No, I’m not talking about a new Broadway show, nor an 80s exercise video that’s been rebooted. It’s FOOTBALL season! Some of you (us, really), have waited patiently for the season to start. Those long, football-less months, that forced us to watch other things or *gasp* find another hobby, are finally behind us. Others are annoyed/baffled/amused by the nation’s love of the pigskin. Either way, if your face is painted and you’re shouting at the quarterback, or if you’re (im)patiently waiting to get your  significant other back again when the season’s over, everyone can agree on tailgating.

There are even tailgate historians. Well, mostly. If you ask your friends at Google about it, (like I did), you’ll find a mix of fact and fiction, with a healthy dose of speculation.

Some say things kicked off (see what I did there?) in France: prior to actually being “off with your head!,” there were announcements and bulletins that listed the names of those that were soon to be parted from their thinking parts. I’m pretty sure that the guillotine doesn’t separate everyone from their thinking parts, as evidenced by the current presidential election, but hey, France was trying. So if you wanted to see a particular person’s bloody stump of a neck, up close and personal, well, you showed up early. Possibly with a bottle of wine and cheese.


French Executions were public parties


Not to be outdone by the French, early American civilians showed up before the First Battle of Bull Run (which was on a Sunday), with wagons of whiskey, wine and food. While it sounds cool to say, “..and someone shouted, ‘Go Big Blue’ at the Union Army”, that’s just a smidge of exaggeration (thanks to Dan, my Civil War historian friend and fellow whiskey geek, for verifying that!).

Bull Run Picnic!

Bull Run Picnic!


But, regardless of where things got started, we know the score today. (Ok, last one, I promise). Sports fans from coast to coast show up to roast their wienies in support of their hometown favorites. Elaborate setups, from grills to full RVs, are towed, dragged and carried to a parking spot outside the stadium. Early games involve breakfast foods and a little less alcohol, but afternoon games? If I started as early as some people, I’d need a nap by half time!

So if you’re the tailgating type, or just like a good party in a parking lot, make sure you’re holding your own (NO, not your wienie), and bring something good. Not only is George Dickel No. 12 a great choice in your glass, but check out this delicious BBQ sauce recipe by Adam Perry Lang (check out my interview with APL and his mouthwatering meats).


What is it: George Dickel No. 12 Barbecue Sauce


What’s in it:

1 cup of Honey
1 cup of White Vinegar
1 cup of George Dickel Tennessee Whisky No. 12
3 cups of Your Favorite Barbecue Sauce


How it works: In a low pan, add honey, white vinegar and George Dickel Tennessee Whisky No. 12 over medium heat. Cook mixture until you hear a frying sound and alcohol is cooked off. Add barbecue sauce and stir to combine. Place back on fire and let simmer for at least 10 minutes


(recipe by Adam Perry Lang)


Article: Jeanne Runkle

Cover Image: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports


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