The winter of 2020/21 saw the dawn of outdoor socialising in all conditions. Thanks to COVID restrictions, many of us have been limited to only hanging out in small groups outside. As a result, I’ve never had so many magical (and chilly!) winter nights around the campfire. And of course, a campfire just ain’t complete with an array of campfire cocktails!
For a while, a few of us enjoyed trying out some new campfire cocktails at our local Dune Bar; sat on camp chairs and snuggled into a cosy nook in the sand dunes, blankets and all! We’ve taken our portable fire pits to secluded spots on the cliffs to enjoy sunset cocktails. And of course, many Saturday afternoons have turned into evenings warming our toes next to our patio fire pit.
5 campfire cocktails to try out this winter
It’s been a joy (and an obvious hardship!) to make all these delicious campfire cocktails. Some are adaptations of recipes I’ve always drank. Some are brand new and are now a must for any chilly night by the fire. But all add a little extra warmth to your soul and make the long dark days of winter, especially in times of COVID, that little bit more special.
01Hot s’mores campfire cocktail
If you enjoy sweet, creamy cocktails then this is THE campfire cocktail for you. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and one of the more hands-on campfire cocktails on our list, as everyone gets to toast their own marshmallows to add to their drink whilst the milk is heating over the fire. The inclusive nature of making this hot s’mores campfire cocktail shake is an event in itself, just like making S’mores! Plus, it’s super yummy without the Bailey’s, making it an excellent option if you have kids or non-drinkers in the group.
Hot s’mores campfire cocktail recipe
If you have an insulated flask then you can pre-make the cocktail before your campfire and then just add the marshmallows to each mug before you serve.
Makes one small cup
- 2 marshmallows
- 100ml almond milk or any preferred milk
- 50ml Bailey’s
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- Dark chocolate for grating
- Heat up the milk in a pan on the fire, or you can do this before your campfire.
- Stir in the cocoa powder and Baileys and heat for another minute or two, then pour into an insulated flask.
- Meanwhile, toast 2 marshmallows over the campfire and place them in the bottom on your mug.
- Shake up the chocolate milk and Bailey’s mix in the flask so that it thickens up.
- Pour the shake over the marshmallows.
- Grate some dark chocolate over the top of the drink and the rim of the mug, and serve with a cookie on the side. Heaven!
02Spiced mulled mead
Created by fermenting honey with water, mead is an ancient alcoholic honey wine and an excellent choice for couples to enjoy together, or so custom has it! For centuries mead has been renowned as an ‘aphrodisiac’. So much so, in fact, that the word Honeymoon is derived from its consumption. According to ancient Norwegian custom, newly-weds were encouraged to drink mead for a whole month (moon) in order to increase their fertility. Whether it increases or decreases chances of a happy and fulfilled marriage is left to interpretation. But we rather enjoy sipping it for an evening rather than guzzling it for a whole month! This recipe is full of spicy warmth and soft honey flavours that pair perfectly with the tartness of the apple juice and gentle kick of brandy. An ideal fall campfire cocktail for Halloween camping and backyard campfires.
Spiced mulled mead recipe
This is an easy recipe to make directly over your campfire. But it can also be prepared before your campfire and stored in a flask until the time is right to serve up.
- 400ml mead
- 3 tbsp brandy
- 200ml apple juice
- 2 slices of lemon
- 4 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Add all the ingredients into a saucepan.
- Heat up until it starts to simmer.
- Remove the cloves before serving.
03Dad’s hot toddy
Growing up, this was a drink my Dad always made for us when we had a cold or cough. Supposedly, the immune-boosting properties of lemon, ginger and honey help fend off any nasty germs from developing. And whatever germs may be left over are nicely taken care of by the potency of cheap whiskey! Whether it worked from a medical point of view, I know not. But I do know that it’s undeniably delicious and warming, and the perfect tonic to make having a cold just a little bit more manageable. This campfire whiskey cocktail is also rather good at sending you off to sleep, so best saved for the end of the night!
Dad’s hot toddy recipe
This simple campfire cocktail recipe can be made directly into a mug using firetop hot water or made as a big batch either over a fire or pre-campfire and stored in a flask.
- 1 or 2 shots (25-50ml) of cheap Irish whiskey
- 1 thumb of sliced ginger
- 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tsp of honey
- Boil a kettle of hot water over the campfire.
- Add the whiskey, ginger and lemon to a mug.
- Fill the mug up with hot water.
- Stir in the honey.
- Leave to sit for a couple of minutes before wrapping your cold mitts around the mug and sipping away!
This is the only drink on our list of campfire cocktails that is served on ice. The rest are winter warmers that can be enjoyed year-round. But I couldn’t resist including this sweet and herby concoction for a couple of reasons. Firstly, ginger wine, though fresh in flavour, is full of warming properties that ooze autumnal cosiness. It’s rich and syrupy and just plain yummy. Secondly, Jagermeister is a classic choice for boozy apres-ski sessions. And when mixed with Red Bull, is highly reminiscent (for me at least) of ski-season parties on snowy terraces. The infamous Jager Bomb (with Red Bull) is a little on the aggressive side for a calming campfire cocktail. So I was delighted to find that Jagermeister is a complete winner served on ice with Stone’s Ginger Wine and lemonade. But don’t be fooled by its seemingly softened makeover: its sweetness is highly drinkable and can put you on the cold floor more easily than you might imagine!
Ginger bomb recipe
If you’re really after something punchy then omit the lemonade. Alternatively, add more lemonade to make it into a longer drink. I also rather enjoy serving this campfire cocktail in a jar.
- 60ml ginger wine
- 30ml Jagermeister
- Dash of lemonade
- Lemon or lime wedge
- Place some crushed ice in your jar or mug.
- Pour the wine, Jager and lemonade over the ice and stir gently.
- Add a wedge of lime or lemon and serve.
Little beats a hot mug of mulled wine during the Christmas season. Better still, is a large pot of it slowly simmering over a campfire, its aromas wafting on the wind to draw in festive revelers. The first mug of mulled wine of the year signals the official start of Christmas for me. Usually it’s accompanied by a homemade mince pie. However, late in the winter when the first signs of spring are really having to work hard to show their optimistic heads, a cheeky campfire mulled wine is an absolute treat and a wonderful reminder of good times spent with family and friends.
Mulled wine recipe
This recipe can be easily multiplied, depending on the size of your pot or the thirst levels of your party! Leave it simmering on a fire and top up your mug as needed.
- 1 bottle red wine
- 100ml brandy
- 200ml orange juice
- 1 orange, sliced
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- Place all the ingredients into a large pan and mix together.
- Heat up until it is simmering gently, but avoid letting it boil.
- Serve with a ladle into large mugs or jars.
We’re in the process of trying out more yummy campfire cocktail recipes. Yep, hard life! And if we don’t get too sozzled in the process then I’ll be adding them to this list soon. Fireball, gin and Amaretto may or may not be involved!