Adam Seger takes tailgating to a new level by making cocktails in the back of his SUV. Here are some recipes he shared exclusively with FootballToaster.com
Football Toaster: The concept of tailgating usually brings to mind beer, but you’re big on cocktails for your pregame festivities. What’s your background in mixology?
Adam Seger: I bartended throughout college and graduate school and have been a bartender at several Chicago establishments, including the award-winning restaurant North Pond. I am also a certified sommelier.
FT: Many tailgaters stick with beer or wine, but you do the driving, so why not lay out some high-end cocktails?
AS: For me, it’s more of a time issue: I like to be able to pregame and enjoy the party with my friends but still manage to get through a good portion of the game. By using both premixes and fresh juices, you can make several cocktails in advance and still have time to mingle.
FT: Can you share some examples?
AS: Sure thing! I’m a big fan of Gin and Tonics on game day. The first one I invented is the North Pond: Tanqueray gin, fresh grapefruit juice, and Fever Tree Tonic water with a cucumber wheel garnish.
Another favorite is called the Black Forest: It’s made with Cherry Heering liqueur, fresh lime juice, Fee Brothers bitters, and really good bourbon.
FT: We especially like the idea for this one of using bitters, which are infusing flavors into your cocktail as you make it. How do you make your cocktails?
AS: I like to build my drinks in pint glasses or highball glasses. This way, I can stir everything really well without worrying about spilling.
FT: What’s in your tailgate drink cooler?
AS: I keep a variety of premixed cocktail options for people who don’t want to think about measuring and shaking; some of my favorites are the Vodka Mojito, Socialite (Peach-Infused Whiskey Lemonade), and our signature margarita made with silver tequila, Cointreau and fresh grapefruit juice. I also always have a few cases of canned beers, water, and mixers on hand, as well as some wine and Champagne for tailgating events after the game.
FT: What else do you like to make?
AS: Right now, I’m really into a Mojito variation I call Ponche Rojo. It starts with a roasted pineapple-infused rum and fresh strawberry purée, which gives it a great color. I also add ginger syrup and fresh lime to the mix.
FT: Do you have any suggestions for making this cocktail during colder weather?
AS: Sure! Just freeze fruit purées in ice cube trays and use those instead of regular ice cubes.
FT: It sounds like you drink pretty well on game day. Any suggestions for food to serve with your cocktails?
AS: I’m a huge fan of Chicago’s Big Fork Brands, which offers everything from sausages to hot dogs and brats, as well as a line of specialty cocktail ingredients.
FT: Thanks for talking to us, Adam! We look forward to your next tailgate party.
AS: My pleasure. I always enjoy sharing my passion for cocktails with fellow fans. So let’s get #social!