What do we need to know about hosting a tailgate picnic at a polo match? My boyfriend is playing on one of the teams and I’m organizing a posh potluck picnic for his team with food throughout the afternoon. My friends are helping and offering to bring dishes, but what about the food and setup? We liked your answer to how to be the best guest, and thought you would know about polo match tailgating. Most websites suggest grilling, but they don’t allow grilling on the polo grounds.
Think of tailgating as an elegant cookout — a veritable moveable feast. The kicker is you don’t even have to bring a grill. Ahead of time you can prepare by boiling and/or roasting in the toaster oven, a fun assortment of haute hot dogs and sausages. Made of beef, pork, chicken, turkey, or tofu, try creating haute hotdogs with names like the Downward Dog, Truffle Dog, Red Haute Dog (with chili), Grif Dog (bacon-wrapped wieners), Hot Turkey Dog (with cranberry sauce), Chicken Friend Dog (chicken sausage) and the Kenturkey, to name a few. You don’t need paper plates or utensils, just lots of colorful napkins in their team colors, and of course mustards.
Creating an assortment of hautedogs is easy when you only have four members on a team to prepare for — plus your friends and his. Since tailgating is hugely about meat, hautedog toppings and buns, and cold beverages, here are simple suggestions.
For a two hour polo match followed by a one hour cocktail party hosted by the association, all you may need for booze is a couple of half gallon bottles of semi-pre-prepared Mimosas, Middleton Mules, Bloody’s Mary’s, and Pimms Style Cold-Brew Ice Tea.
Don’t forget styrofoam coolers for ice and local craft beer; putting salt in the cooler along with the ice will keep the colder . The more local the craft beer, the fresher the taste. Keeping it chilled is key.
The Middleton Mule is such the perfect derby, steeplechase, and polo cocktail. Sparkling from champagne poured over a mixture of gin flavored with crushed passionfruit, mint, simple syrup and ice, it is festively refreshing
The night before the match try making Pimms Style Cold-Brew ice tea by leaving a gallon of cold water, to which you’ve added Earl Grey tea leaves to cold brew, in the fridge overnight. Sweeten it slightly in the morning after straining out the leaves; then add fresh lemon juice and mixing in any mashed fruit such as peaches, raspberries or strawberries, and it’s ready to go. As one of your friends to bring a bottle of Pimms 1, and your guests can do further doctoring themselves.
For tailgating glasses, we like reusable, shatterproof, recyclable plastic glasses by Govino. They look like the popular Riedel “O” (except don’t have a stem) or a beer glass, but have indentations for the thumb and pointer finger that’s helpful for gripping on to your Bloody Mary or craft beer. Don’t use stem glasses because there’s no place to rest them.
Thinking about moist desserts, strir up a batch of Chocolate Chip Cupcakes and a couple dozen Bacon Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies to hold everyone over until the celebratory dinner.
If friends want to dress up your fold-up table (or the trunk of your car) with a cheerful tablecloth, encourage them to bring deviled eggs (Google best deviled eggs), pickles in a jar, and assorted nuts in a basket are all popular. Warning: dips and chips don’t do well in the heat of a summer afternoon; cheese tends to sweat and crackers shrivel.
Check with your boyfriend for an approximate estimate of the headcount. Knowing how many might be stopping to sample your moveable feast, and what you need to bring in terms of tablecloths for the ground and/or table, beach umbrella, folding table, will help you be more organized.
Don’t forget to be wearing a wonderful hat.
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