By Brian Cullen

Some lucky folks are going to be miles and miles away from their in-laws and spending Thanksgiving at a football game. Now, some of you might feel jealous of these folks, as you fight your younger cousins for control of the TV. But you know what? You’re absolutely right. These guys are going to have such a better Thanksgiving than you. But, at the very least, the Detroit fans have to suffer through Kid Rock at halftime. So, you know.

If you’re spending your holiday at the game, you can still have a kick-ass Thanksgiving experience. Here are our favorite ways to have a Tailgating Turkey Day.

10. Wild Turkey

I mean, right? What better way to blend booze and turkey than this appropriately named bourbon? I’m no expert on distilling, but I’m pretty sure it’s made by fermenting ground turkey breast with all natural yeast strains. Best served chilled in the cavity of a roasted turkey.

southern tier pumking  Top 10 Ways To Tailgate On Turkey Day

Photo Credit: Southern Tier

9. Pumpkin Beer

Really, you could get away with any fall beer here, but pumpkins are such a huge part of the Thanksgiving tradition, why wouldn’t you take advantage of it? I’m a fan of Southern Tier Pumking. But then again, you guys already knew that, right?

8. Deep Fried Turkey

There are two incontrovertible truths about deep fried turkey: 1) it is absolutely delicious; and 2) it can set EVERYTHING ON FIRE in the wrong hands. Considering I’m the type of guy who would — and probably has — accidentally made mustard case out of household cleaning agents, I’m going to stay as far away from posting instructions as possible. All I’ll say is read this, and then, if you want directions from a pro, the interwebs probably have them.

7. Cranberry-Flavored Vodka

Wait, there’s a story about this. Skip ahead to the next one.

6. Shine On Georgia Moon Corn Whiskey

Here’s how I found out about this monstrosity.

When I was in college, my friends and I decided to have a party called “Liquid Thanksgiving,” where we replicated Thanksgiving dinner with booze. So, we got bottles of Wild Turkey, cranberry-flavored vodka (which satisfied our “cranberries and potatoes” quota) and this… thing. To our logic, it counted as “corn.”

shine on georgia moon Top 10 Ways To Tailgate On Turkey Day

Photo Credit: Public Domain

We were terrified to try it. Partially because it came in a damn mason jar, but, more so because its tagline is “Less Than 30 Days Old” (which is cool, since 30 days ago was a pretty good corn vintage), and even more so because the 30 days old thing is in quotation marks. Are they being ironic? Was it not actually 30 days? Like, “of COURSE this corn mash liquor is 30 days old, officer. A-WINK! Now howsabout you let me off with a warning?”

Anyway. Everyone drank everything except the corn mash liquor, since life and the pursuit of our goals are things that most of us happened to enjoy. The one guy that did try a sip claimed he couldn’t feel his face. He then went home and went to bed. It was 6:45 PM.

So, caveat emptor and all that, party people.

5. Apple Pie shots

I looked up this recipe thinking that it’d have, like, whipped cream and freshly ground nutmeg and all other sorts of complicated what-have-you. You know what this recipe is? 1) Pour cinnamon on tongue. (A fireball would probably work too). 2) Shot of vodka. 3) Shot of apple juice. 4) SHAKE YOUR HEAD AROUND TO MIX IT.

First of all, I’m pretty sure this is the recipe for chocolate milk from Step by Step, but I haven’t been able to find internet evidence of this. The disturbing implication, of course, being that if this never happened, then I apparently once daydreamed about Patrick Duffy mixing chocolate milk in his mouth. In that case, I’ve gotta get my therapist on the phone pronto.

4. Stuffed Chicken Wings

Question: how do you replicate stuffing at a tailgate, even if you don’t happen to have a turkey? WELL! The answer certainly isn’t pouring Stove Top Stuffing into a bowl of milk and eating it like cereal. I tried that once after a bad reaction to pain killers and believe you me, it’s only half as awesome as you’d think.

To create stuffing at your tailgate, simply stuff your chicken wings! Now, it doesn’t specifically say it’s meant for stuffing, but hey, they’re not the boss of you! Cram that chicken full of whatever you want. Peanut butter, marbles, $10 bills, stuffing, whatever. They sky’s the limited, you intrepid dreamer, you.

turducken Top 10 Ways To Tailgate On Turkey Day

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

3. Turducken

Historians agree this is the most American thing that’s ever invented. We — a society that has created poetry, physics, rhetoric, art, Pixar Studios, and hammocks — has also seen fit to cram a chicken into a duck, cram that into a turkey and then cook up the whole damn thing and eat it. Yes, the selfsame society that recoils at the thought of Human Centipede has recreated it with birds, with the intention of making dinner. And it looks like this. For your tailgate, I encourage you to continue laughing in the face of God and take this meal above and beyond reasonable bounds. I challenge you to make an Ostremuturduckenailmmingbird. Mmmmm. Tastes like Dr. Moreau.

2. Thanksgiving Sandwich

When archaeologists discover my bloated, gnarled corpse in my bejeweled tomb in the year 30XX, they will discover that I have been stuffed with sandwiches, am holding a mummified sandwich and the walls and clay pots within will be rife with paintings of hoagie rolls and mayonnaise. The point is, I love sandwiches (and I have big plans for my demise). So whenever you can take two or more things that logically go together, and then illogically stuff them into a sandwich, I’m a fan. That’s where the Thanksgiving Sandwich comes in. The basic formula is: 1) make an entire Thanksgiving dinner; 2) put all those things on bread; 3) eat this new mutant that you’ve created. It’s a handy, portable, convenient replication of T-Give itself.

thanksgiving sandwich Top 10 Ways To Tailgate On Turkey Day

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

1. Spiked Gravy

Let’s not mince words here, people. Gravy and drinking are unequivocally the best parts of Thanksgiving. So why waste all that valuable energy separating out the two? This recipe is simple: just add one part gravy to one part liquor, and you’re good to go. Vodka’s a good choice for a nice, neutral agent. You can try British dry gin if you want more of a “Christmas-y” flavor. Or, for a nice match, try bourbon. The rich, woody flavors of the whiskey should blend nicely with the gravy you’re drinking. I recommend serving this drink over the rocks with giblets.

Now, nobody’s saying that these ideas are restricted to tailgates. So why not shake things up at your next family dinner, be it Thanksgiving or some other holiday occasion? Chances are your family was going to scream at each other for something anyway. You may as well be the one responsible for it.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Check out more Tailgating Top 10s.

Stop in at the Man Cave Daily, where the women are hot and the beer is cold.

Brian Cullen erroneously chose the week before Thanksgiving to try going on a diet and cutting back on drinking. So. We’ll see how well that goes. Get live updates on Twitter @bucketcullen and check back regularly for dispatches at


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