It’s football season. Yay! We love us a competitive friendly sport and a good excuse to get friends together on a Sunday afternoon. But what happens when you don’t have tickets to the big game nor a backyard to BBQ {or you’re averse to freezing temperatures like me}?? You put together an amazing tailgate-inspired spread, indoors, of course! But this is no ordinary tailgate. We partnered with Smirnoff ICE to create our dream football watching party. So we’re ditching nachos for kale chips, upping the ante with some delicious cocktails {sorry, I just don’t do beer!}, and we’ve said so long to the same ole football paraphernalia for super chic modern party accessories. While hanging out in the parking lot with hot dogs sizzling is great fun, we promise hanging at home- a quieter approach to the ol’ tailgate madness- is just as entertaining- especially when it looks like this!

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To live out our ultimate football party, we teamed up with Jesi Haack Design who brought in party essentials that one might not immediately think of when talkin’ football. Just as impactful as a wedding or New Year’s Eve shindig, adding a backdrop to your party decor can have the same impact for game day. So don’t forget it! Ours is made out of different ribbons and paper streamers for fun texture and depth that we swear isn’t difficult to make on your own -even if it does look fancy! Best part is, make one in a neutral color palette and use it over and over again! We also added subtle hints at “pig skin” to our party buffet tablescape with leather accents and “football” shaped himmels in a glam bronze. Oh and don’t forget the flowers for a nice feminine factor! We’re taking football back from the boys with this party.

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Putting touchdown pieces in your place doesn’t require you to Go. All. The. Waayyyyy. You can totally score in the hostess department without bringing in 100 yards of astro turf. In fact, we’re all about the simple nods to the game that create a sophisticated yet fun atmosphere. For instance, ditch paper napkins and instead write up tricky football trivia on linen squares. Take turns quizzing friends in what we like to call, Cocktail Napkin Trivia! Not only is it a light hearted way to get excited about the game, they’re also act as a cute place to set your drink! On your serving platters, draft up “plays” in simple “x” and “o” form – we made ours on a slate platter with a chalk pen!

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Another easy DIY? Take blue masking tape and a marker and channel your ol’ varsity jacket. Jazz up paper bags with numbers and stripes then serve kale chips, popcorn, trail mix- whatever your snacking heart desires. Speaking of snacks, we have three foul-proof munchies that are healthy and delicious!

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Foul Proof Snacks:
– Kale chips {in cute paper bags, of course!}
– Roasted Beets Crostini with Burrata and mint
– Delicata Squash Rings with Ricotta, olive oil, thyme

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But it wouldn’t be a party without some tasty cocktails, would it?! You know we always have you covered. We love the idea of switching up the typical game-day booze selection with a fancier, feel good cocktail. So we put a grown-up twist on a tailgate staple: Smirnoff Ice! We created original cocktail recipes your guests can easily mix up themselves. We served ours in vintage crystal goblets {in opposing team colors, duh!} to really up the ante. Here are two recipes – one sweet and one tart – that’ll get the good times rollin’!

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Lemon Tart Touchdown 

1oz fresh Meyer lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 oz orange vanilla liquor
8oz Smirnoff ICE Original

Add fresh Meyer lemon juice and all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into a glass with ice. Use Meyer lemon peel for garnish.

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Pass The Peach Bellini

6 oz Smirnoff ICE Peach Bellini
4oz champagne
2 dashes bitters

Pour Smirnoff ICE Peach Bellini into a glass. Top with champagne. Add 2 dashes of bitters. Garnish with thyme sprig.

So next time you want to have a mellow football party at home, sans chewed up gum on your seats and sticky arena floors {we all need a break from the madness sometimes!}, keep these simple plays in mind. They are a sure win- touchdown!!

original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick // styling + food by Jesi Haack Design // glassware c/o Frances Lane // shot on location at LUX-SF 

This is a sponsored post by Smirnoff ICE.  All reviews/opinions expressed in this post are unbiased & based on my personal view. Drink responsibly.

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