While the Carolina Panthers travel to Florida for this weekend’s opening-season battle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at outdoor Raymond James Stadium, the fans at home in the Tarheel State will cheer them on while tailgating in front of big-screen TVs.
The Carolina versus Tampa Bay rivalry goes back to 2003 when Panthers defensive tackle Brentson Buckner infuriated Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp by stating that teammate Kris Jenkins was the best defensive tackle in the NFL. The intense rivalry continues this weekend, with Carolina holding a 14-9 edge in the series. But with four players listed on the Panthers’ injury report, including fan-favorite, running-back Jonathan Stewart, this team needs all the support it can get.
Want to know more about how Charlotte tailgates? Visit The Doghouse for more information.
To get in the spirit of the blue, black and silver, try an invigorating Tarheel Shot to get the party going. Created by the good folks over at Drinksmixer.com, this shot is tasty, sweet and guaranteed to mix up a crowd-pleasing Carolina blue color.
- 1 ounce vanilla vodka
- 1 ounce Godiva® white chocolate liqueur
- half ounce Blue Curacao liqueur
Shake ingredients over ice and strain into a shooter glass. Add Blue Curacao slowly until the appropriate color is reached. You may need to add a little, shake, pour some to see the color and then add more. A small amount of cream can be added if the shot is too blue. This recipe makes one shot.
Although drinking plays a large role, don’t forget about the munchies. While the lovely Panthers TopCats are cheering on Ron Rivera and the team, the fans at home will need excellent snacks to keep up their strength. There is only one thing better at a football tailgate than dip, and that is dip with beer. Try this recipe to celebrate what is sure to be a victory for the Panthers this weekend in Florida.
CAROLINA BEER DIP
- Two 8-ounce packages of softened cream cheese
- 8 ounces of sour cream
- 1 package of dry ranch dressing mix
- 2-5 drops of Texas Pete hot sauce
- Three-fourths can of lager beer like Heineken
- 2 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese
- 8 strips of bacon
- chopped green scallions
Mix cream cheese, sour cream, Texas Pete, dressing and beer together until smooth. Mix in half a cup of cheese, leaving the remaining cheese to sprinkle on top. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before preparing the rest of recipe or overnight to really let the flavors settle in. On the day of the event, chop raw bacon into small pieces and then fry until crispy. Discard bacon grease. Just before serving, garnish with bacon and chopped scallions. Serve with pretzels or Fritos Scoops.
S.L. Schmitz is a published author, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Dark Continents Publishing Company, an international soft cover, e-book, and audio publishing company that specialize in the horror and dark fiction genre. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.