The first single from Little Big Town's sixth album, the song was released digitally June 3, 2014 and sent to Country radio six days later.
The song was penned by Little Big Town's Jimi Westbrook, Karen Fairchild and Phillip Sweet
with co-writers Barry Dean
and Troy Verges. Westbrook compared its vibe to enjoying a few nice cold drinks on a hot summer day. "It makes me think about those summer days when all that's on the agenda is hanging out, relaxing, and having a good time with friends," he said. "So, if that's your plan, here's your song! 'Why don't we do a little day drinking?'"
That rhythmic whistling you hear in the chorus happened by accident when the songwriters sat down to pen the song. "I remember that we had come from the road, because I remember being very hoarse, like really road weary voice-wise," said Karen Fairchild. "So, when we were messing with melodies on the chorus, I started singing something but I couldn't hit it, so I whistled it."
"It was out of necessity," she added. "I was whistling because I couldn't sing what I really wanted to sing. And I was actually emulating what the mando[lin] was doing. It was just this hodgepodge of like, 'Oh, that should be the chorus and the whistle's cool.'"
The video, directed by Declan Whitebloom (Demi Lovato, The Fray, One Direction), was shot in multiple locations in Miami and features the foursome stuck on the Old Port Bridge, day drinking and lounging on the beach, as well as performing in front of a graphic black and white graffiti wall in the Wynwood Arts District. "We had a lot of fun shooting the video," Phillip Sweet told People Country. "It captured the spirit and energy of the song."
Fairchild admitted to Billboard magazine that though the band felt there is something special about the song, it wasn't an instant feeling. "We didn't know it really, but with 'Day Drinking,' we had a blast that day because we were drinking and writing songs," she said. "We left it alone, then a couple of weeks later, Barry Dean and Troy Verges sent us a souped up work tape of what we had done. Then, we thought this is very fun and very cool."
The song featured in a commercial for Twisted Tea - Hard Iced Tea.