Tailgating with Tequila: Bloody Maria, Paloma, and Shots

Wow, it's been nearly 6 months since I've last written here, no bueno. One of my 2014 resolutions is to post here at least once month, starting now:

Tailgating

The end of 2013 was a blast and it ended with one of my highlights of the year- tailgating and being in the Q as the San Diego Chargers beat the Chiefs to get into the playoffs. Since moving to SF, i've tried to make it to San Diego and catch at least one Chargers home game a season. This year it was the Chargers/Chiefs game on Dec. 29. I got to go with all the guys in my family. Now, all the guys in my family love to drink and eat so when we decided to go to the game it was a no-brainer that we'd be tailgating.

I arrived in SD the night before the game and was short on prep time so i took on making the responsibility of making drinks. We wanted to have a relatively simple tailgate but we knew we still wanted some style to our drinking and eating. (Now that the season is nearly over, you can use the following for any playoff viewing parties or Super Bowl parties coming up)

In addition to variety of beers we brought, i wanted to bring some liquor for cocktails. I decided on just bringing only tequila and serving it three ways. I made a Bloody Maria bar for the morning (requires some work), a version of a Paloma for late morning (requires minimal work), and good old shots for just before the game (no work). I went with Cazadores reposado because of its pretty good taste and mid-range price (750ml bottles are about $25). It was good enough to drink it neat but not fancy enough that id feel bad mixing it in cocktails.

Bloody Maria Bar

I created a Bloody Maria bar for the morning to get us rolling. I’ve always preferred tequila over vodka for Bloody Mary's or I should say, Marias. I love the combination of tomatoes, acids, and agave. Anyway, the setup was simple and you can you can put as much effort into it as you want- making all the pieces yourself, or as I was short on time, buy it all pre-prepped.

What you’ll need:

· Plain Bloody Mary Mix. Stay away from the spicy versions as you need a plain base to add your own. You can certainly make your own, but I used generic store bought Mr. and Mrs T brand and it worked just fine.
· Bottled Sauces. Bring a variety of hot and steak sauces lying around the fridge. We brought Tabasco, Worcestershire, A1, Tapatio, and Chalula.
· Some Fruits and Veggies. I used green onions, celery stalks, sliced lemons, wedged limes, garlic cloves and radishes
· Pickled items. I bought jarred manzanita olives, mini pickles, and pickled shallots.
· Toothpicks or skewers
· Ice
· Tequila

You can play bartender, but it’s fun and easier to let everyone just go for it and customize their own drinks. Just grab a cup, put in ice, pour in the tequila and bloody mary mix and hand them out. People can add some tobacco for heat, pick up some olives, radishes, and garlic with a toothpick and throw in your cup. People can use a celery stalk or green onion as a stirrer, the combinations are endless. Best of all, the flavors of drink intensifies as it sits with all the added ingredients, so each drink gets their own unique taste for whoever makes it.

Paloma

Our second tailgating drink was the Paloma. An alternate to a margarita on the rocks, a Paloma is typically made with grape fruit soda, lime juice, and tequila. The most popular soda is Jarritos, but our tailgate version used Squirt (probably the only times I drink squirt), cause it’s found in every store. It’s a lot lighter, refreshing in the heat, has some carbonation and drinks really fast like a soda. We drank this a lot when we were young to easily down handles of cheap tequila.

Pretty simple, all you need is

· Lime or Lemon wedges
· Salt or Seasoning for the rim (The following Mexican seasonings work beautifully: Baby Lucas candy/Pico de Gallo Seasoning/Tajin Fruit Seasoning/Limon candy (in those little green packets)
· Squirt
· Ice
· Tequila

Use the lemons or limes to moisten the cup’s rim and dip it into your choice of seasoning. All the seasonings mentioned above work great. Add ice, tequila, and squirt to your liking. That’s it. It’s a refreshing drink as the some comes up and the day gets warm. Be careful, you won’t even realize you’re drinking tequila after about 2 of these.

Shots

Then of course, as we were about to pack up our tailgating gear and enter the game, feeling good from all the beers, bloody maria’s, and palomas we drank- we finished off the tequila with shots. All you need:

· Tequila
· Family and Friends (or strangers in Chargers jerseys walking by the car)
· Cheers to the Ravens and Dolphins losing, and to beating the Chiefs and making the playoffs!

Remember, always drink responsibly.

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