Could there be anything more summery than sitting in the sunshine sipping on a refreshing cocktail? Ah, just the thought of it oozes relaxation and good times. However, if you’re a little like us and just grab a beer or crack open a bottle of wine because it’s easy, then maybe cocktails don’t feature that much when you’re camping.
To make good camping cocktails you need special equipment, loads of ingredients and some slick skills and knowledge, right? Well, it depends how seriously you take your camp cocktail making!
If you’d rather spend your afternoon at camp drinking than mixing, then you’ll be happy to know that there are loads of yummy camping cocktails that are super easy to make without too much fuss. There’s even a bunch of companies who are ahead of the game and are creating delish readymade mixers which you simply stir together with your alcohol of choice. Genius!
To ensure that your summer is garnished with easy and tasty tipples, we’ve asked a bunch of campers, foodies and mixologists to share their favourite camping cocktail recipes with our lucky readers!
- What makes a good camping cocktail?
- 10 camping cocktail recipes
What makes a good camping cocktail?
Before we dive into our list of camping cocktails, here’s a few things to look for when choosing cocktail recipes to make at camp:
- Camping cocktails should beeasy to make – the less time you spend making them, the more time you have to drink them!
- They should be makeable without specialist equipment – you don’t want to have to spending money and packing space on camping cocktail sets.
- Minimal ingredients is a plus so that you don’t have to transport your whole drinks cabinet to camp.
- Ideally, the ingredients shouldn’t need to be kept cool – you still need space in the cooler for food and alternative drinks.
- If they can be pre-made at home then that’s a mega bonus.
All that said, making camping cocktails can be an activity in itself. Last winter we spent many cold evenings making (and drinking) cocktails that are suitable for sipping around the campfire, and it was great fun! So if you’re a foodie or creative type then spending time making fancy cocktails for your fellow campers can be a joyful and satisfying experience. Why not make space in your car for a few extra bottles of liquor and a camping cocktail set if it’s something you enjoy? There are even a few cocktails on our list that include some foraged ingredients which may pique the interest of the more adventurous camping culinary creatives out there.
10 camping cocktail recipes to make on your next trip
This cocktail is perfect for when wild camping near the beach in late summer-autumn! Sea buckthorn is often hugely abundant where it’s present on the coast. Look for shrubs with tons of pea-sized bright orange berries hugging the branches with long silvery leaves poking through them on dark spiky twigs. Watch out, they can be very juicy and they like to burst as you pick them They’re reminiscent of passionfruit so they’re perfect for a foraged drink whilst out in the wilds.
It helps to have the proper cocktail gear such as a muddler, shaker, strainer and glasses, but you could also improvise (e.g. using driftwood as a muddler and pine sprigs as a strainer etc into mugs!) if you’re travelling light. We used egg whites (save those yolks for breakfast or dinner too!) but you can make it with a vegan cocktail foamer (e.g. Mrs Better’s) which comes in tiny dropper bottles, or simply omit the egg white. I enjoyed these vibrant beauties on the Moray coast in northern Scotland a couple of years ago with my friend Leanne @wildfoodstory, camping with her dog Maisie and my adventure cat Juno too!
Sea Buckthorn Rum Sour Recipe
A zingy, sweet and sour camping cocktail with similar flavours to passion fruit juice. It’s an adaptable recipe with few ingredients.
- 2 shots (50ml) golden or dark rum
- 1 shot (25ml) seabuckthorn juice
- 0.5 shot (15ml) syrup (we used pineappleweed syrup)
- 1 egg white
- Smooth the berries and strain off the juice.
- Shake the juice with the syrup & egg white until frothy.
- Add ice into the shaker if you have it and shake vigorously until all cold and very frothy.
- Pour into glasses and garnish with whatever you fancy; daisies or other edible flowers might be nice, or some sea buckthorn leaves.
You can use a simple syrup (50:50 sugar & water heated and cooled) or at a push 1 tsp sugar dissolved in the juice or rum.
Omit the egg white or bring a cocktail foamer. It would still taste great without the foam.
You may not have the luxury of ice cubes, but you could maybe bring the rum frozen/ very cold already, or put it in a stream or the sea to chill first too.
I know this may be a bit bougie is you’re roughing it, but for some everyday camping I like to be able to mix a drink thank brings me closer to the earth while elevating the essence of what it means to
Sweet Basil Margarita Recipe
This cocktail provides strong earth notes and sweetness of fresh basil, elevated by using lemon instead of limes here. Where the scorched pear and ginger bitters offer a bit of balance with the Sriracha rim salt, bringing out the flavours similar to a meal cooked over an open flame.
- 2 oz white tequila
- 1 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz agave syrup
- 3 dashes King Floyd’s scorched pear and ginger bitters
- 5 basil leaves
- King Floyd’s Sriracha rim salt
- Rim a rocks glass with King Floyd’s salt.
- Add 3 dashes of bitters into the glass and set aside.
- Muddle basil with lemon and agave syrup in the bottom of a shaker.
- Add all remaining ingredients to the shaker and shake vigorously until well chilled.
- Fine strain over ice into previously prepared glass.
- Garnish with fresh basil leaves and enjoy!
Here in the PNW, a warm cocktail will help you get warm around the campfire year-round. Our cocktail kits are easy to pack in and out and with the hot toddy recipe in a tea bag, you will only need to add hot water and liquor to brew. All garnishes are also included, in the Citrus hot toddy kit you’ll find a cinnamon stick, star anise, and an orange slice which has been simmered in Oregonian Wildflower honey and dehydrated. As an avid hot toddy drinker, it was important for me to come up with a flavorful recipe, with the perfect balance of spices, herbs, honey, and citrus.
Citrus Hot Toddy Recipe
Our Citrus hot toddy is perfectly spiced with a bright touch of orange and zingy with lemon. It’s perfectly balanced from the sweetness of honey and the addition of your favourite Bourbon.
- One Citrus Hot Toddy Kit from Trail Toddy & Co.
- 8oz of hot water
- 1.5oz of your favourite Bourbon
- Optional foraged garnishes: rosemary sprig, crushed sage
- Place contents of hot toddy kit in a mug (we love something that keeps the heat in!).
- Add 8oz of hot water and let steep for 5 minutes.
- Add in the bourbon, stir well, dunk tea bag to release ultimate flavour.
- Top with optional foraged garnishes.
This drink is inspired by the flavours of cherry bakewell tart, which shares some of the same flavours as those found in cherry blossom and rowan buds. Cherries and almonds are in the same family – perhaps that’s why they work so wonderfully together. It also explains why cherry blossom has a delightful floral bitter almond flavour that can be captured beautifully in a syrup. Rowan buds have the same almondy notes, and make an impressive native version of amaretto liqueur. These flavours come together in this take on cherry bakewell which captures the flavours of the British countryside at their best. It’s perfect for making whilst out camping – just omit the egg white if you haven’t got a shaker, and stir up several serves at once in a big jug filled with ice.
Wild Cherry Bakewell Cocktail Recipe
A smooth, fruity, floral and almondy camping cocktail
- 50ml dark or golden rum
- 20ml cherry brandy liqueur
- 20ml cherry blossom syrup
- 20ml rowan bud amaretto (or use amaretto)
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 egg white
- Add the rum, cherry blossom syrup, rowan bud amaretto, cherry brandy liqueur and the lemon juice, plus the whole egg white into a shaker (or a large jar with screw top lid).
- Dry shake for around 20 seconds (if you’re not using egg white you can skip the dry shake and move straight to the next step).
- Add a handful of ice then shake again.
- Strain into a glass (or jar, camping mug or whatever you have available), garnish with some cherry blossom (or other edible flowers) and enjoy!
When we go camping, two items we typically bring are orange juice for the mornings (besides coffee) and maple syrup for the breakfast pancakes over the fire on a cast iron skillet. With these two ingredients, the only other ingredients you need are whisky, Toasted Fig, and lemon juice, all of which are versatile in many cocktail creations or camp dinners. If you’ve had a long day of hiking or fishing, getting that extra boost of antioxidants and Vitamin C in the evenings will sooth your body in preparation for the next day of adventure. You can also put a dropper full of Toasted Fig in your morning coffee for a delightful fig and vanilla taste to balance the bitterness of camp coffee (if you make it strong like we do).
Toasted Stone Sour Recipe
The Toasted Stone Sour is a fresh, energising, balance of sweet and acidic, and aromatics resembling a warm evening by a campfire.
- 1 ½ ounces of whisky
- 1 ounce of orange juice (or more depending on the whisky bite you like)
- 1 ounce of maple syrup
- ¾ ounce of lemon juice
- .75 ml of Toasted Fig Cocktail Seasoning (dropper full)
- Build this in your glass. No shaker required!
- Add the whisky, maple syrup, lemon juice and Toasted Fig to the glass.
- Stir for a good 15 seconds to blend the base flavors.
- Add ice and the orange juice and stir for another 15 seconds to melt some of the ice. Enjoy!
As an explorer and wanderer and having lived for years on the road in my van, I do have the best camping cocktail ever.
This drink is the ultimate camping cocktail for three reasons:
- It’s very easy to make and remember how to make.
- It’s made with steamy, delicious hot chocolate!
- It goes perfectly with s’mores.
Hot Schnapplate is, you guessed it, hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps. It is seriously the absolute, perfect camping cocktail ever. The warm and steamy cup can heat up cold fingers while the schnapps warms you up inside.
Adding the Hot Schnapplate to your camping cocktails menu is sure to delight every adult around the campfire.
Hot Schnapplate! Recipe
This camping cocktail is seriously delicious, like a melty Peppermint Pattie for grown-ups.
- 1 cup of hot chocolate
- 1-3 shots (1-3 oz) of peppermint schnapps depending on how strong you like your peppermint (and drink!)
- Make a cup of hot chocolate using your preferred method and ingredients.
- Stir in the schnapps.
- Top with marshmallows then snuggle and sip!
This cocktail is the perfect campfire Old Fashioned encompassing everything about camping. The atmosphere, nature, eartiness, the smoke of the fire and the wild. It was inspired by camping in Scotland whilst Deer hunting, drinking whiskey from hip flasks and smoking cigars.
Deer Hunter Cocktail Recipe
Smooth, smokey, woody and warming. A real storyteller as well.
- 45ml Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7 year old Bourbon
- 15ml Capovilla Grappa Tobacco
- 5ml birch sap
- 10ml smoked sugar
- 4 drops angostura bitters
- 3 zests orange oil
- Add all the ingredients to a stirring glass and stir over ice.
- Decant into a bottle for your trip or hip flask for ease of drinking.
- Garnish with an orange twist and serve with seared venison loin rolled in pine & dill
Everyone knows that the best kind of mixed drink only has two ingredients. Why? They are simple to make, and you know exactly what is in them. The best part? You can make any of these two-ingredient drinks in seconds whether you’re at home or on a camping excursion. It doesn’t get much faster than that – and you don’t have to haul tons of ingredients to your camping site!
Grapefruit Jalapeño Paloma Cocktail Recipe
If you’re in the mood for romance, use a tiny heart shaped cookie cutter to cut hearts out of citrus peels.
- 2oz tequila
- 4oz Mixly Grapefruit Jalapeño
- 2oz soda water
- Grapefruit, lime and lemon peels for garnish
- Fill glass with ice.
- Add tequila, Mixly Grapefruit Jalapeño, soda water and citrus garnishes.
- Stir and enjoy!
This cocktail is just a twist on an old classic, we are just kicking it up a notch. There are multiple ways to make a camping trip memorable and I wholeheartedly believe a drink can be one of those ways. With that being said a bland drink may do its job of giving your crew a buzz, but that cocktail won’t be remembered. We have all had a moscow mule, but one with pineapple and jalapeno, probably not. Months later when people are talking about that epic camping trip, I can guarantee your Tropical Mule will be a highlight in those conversations.
On those hot overlanding trips having the right cocktail for the job is important. Making sure your creation is refreshing is a key aspect in this situation. The ginger beer, mint and citrus from the lime are perfect for achieving that refreshing feeling, not to mention pineapple will always bring people back to a beach vacation and what isn’t refreshing about that?
The ingredients for the Tropical Mule are easy to come by and can be used for your other cooking needs while on your trip, which is always nice to be able to utilise items in multiple ways since space is always a premium while camping.
Tropical Mule Recipe
The combination of lime and pineapple will cut through the bite of the vodka, so adding the jalapeno will help bring back a subtle slap to the mouth, but in an enjoyable way!
- 1.5 shots vodka
- 1 cup ginger Beer
- Cut up some slices of pineapple and limes and put them into a shaker with a few mint leaves.
- Add the vodka and muddle.
- Add ice and slices of jalapeno and shake aggressively.
- Pour into a glass/cup till about ⅔ full
- Top off with ginger beer
- Stir and garnish with a slice of pineapple and mint, then enjoy!
Known throughout the outdoor circle as the “perfect camp drink”, the Bloody Mary has the ultimate weight to nutrition to booze ratio. Enjoyed after a long day’s hike or before setting off in the morning, the Bloody Mary is the pick-me-up bevy that all hikers want and need to keep on keeping on!
Leisuremann’s Bloody Mary Cocktail Recipe
Bright tomato flavor with bold spice notes such as Worcestershire Sauce, celery, cayenne pepper, lemon, and sea salt. Mix with vodka and enjoy.
- 1 pack of Leisuremann’s Bloody Mix
- 6oz water
- 1.5oz vodka
- Empty the pack of Bloody Mix to a glass or camping mug.
- Add the water and stir well.
- Top up with vodka and ice, stir well and garnish, if you wish!
Let your imagination flow! Garnish with any number of food from topping with crushed Ramen Noodles to a peanut butter sandwich, to a wedge of cheese, to pickles and olives, or even foraged mushrooms and herbs. If you are in a snowy climate, snow or a perfectly formed icicle will do the trick.
What a selection of yummy looking camping cocktails! And something for all types of campers from the lightweight backpacking types to the camp in luxury glampers. Makes me want to set up camp right now and get shaking!
Happy mixing, happy campers!