Camping is all about freedom. When you go camping, you get to shake loose civilization and enjoy life at a slower pace. I remember going on camping trips as a kid and just breathing the air and looking at the stars. The charm of camping, is you don’t have to bring much with you to have an incredible experience. But, if you are wanting a few of your creature comforts–and don’t want to give them all up–there are couple of creative ways to introduce a little luxury to roughing it.
If you want to add a little fun to your camping trip, try making a few cocktails. At first glance, cocktails sound like a terrible idea for a camping trip. Depending on the drink, you could have several ingredients you’d have to lug around. Several drinks are chilled, and that presents all kinds of problems. Fortunately, a lot of your favorites at the bar transfer well to simplified and improvised camping versions. The trick is to make your drinks campground friendly. Here are a few general things to consider to make that happen:
What kind of a camper are you?
The extravagance of your camping cocktails depends on what you plan on bringing with you. Some people like to take a trailer with them. They get to experience a world away from the city, but they also have some nice conveniences like extra storage space and refrigeration. Other campers would much rather just tromp off down a trail with nothing but a backpack. Whatever kind of camper you are, there is a cocktail for you.
Combine alcohol with things you’ll already have.
You don’t need to make something complicated like a “pina colada” or a “sex on the beach”. Plenty of cocktails have a much smaller list of ingredients. Several of those have ingredients that won’t spoil easily or add too much extra weight. So, when thinking about how to add a little spice to your camping trip, consider what beverages, juices, or fruit you will already have that could use a little spritz of something exciting.
When will you be camping?
If you are going in the summer, chances are you will already have plenty of fluids and fresh fruits to help you stay cool and refreshed during your outing. If you are planning your trip for the winter, you probably plan on bringing hot beverages like coffee and tea. To make a nice cocktail, just think about what you will already have on hand in those conditions, get creative, and have some fun! It really is that simple. But here are a few ideas to get you started:
This one really lends itself to the great outdoors. On a cool morning or a chilly winter night, nothing beats a nice hot cup of coffee. Just breathing it in is a fantastic way to warm up. If you really want to get toasty, try splashing in a little bourbon. Voila! You’ve got a perfectly rustic cocktail for even the most bitter outdoor adventure.
This drink is easier to make than you might think. All you need is some water, sugar, bitters, and bourbon. That’s all it takes! Just mix about an ounce of fresh water with a little sugar and a shot of bourbon. Toss in those bitters and enjoy! If you are feeling schnazzy, and you brought oranges with you for a snack, shave off an orange peel as a garnish.
Ready for a little tribute to our northern neighbors? For the camping variation on this little concoction you’ll mix bourbon with a lovely drop of rich maple syrup and a dash of club soda. If you’ve got lemonade, add that to complete the experience. Breathe in that mountain air and enjoy!
This one is for those who enjoy foraging on their outdoor adventures. If you know what is edible–and won’t kill you–go ahead and collect some nice, fresh berries. Shake them over ice, with a few ounces of whiskey and a little bit of sugar. If you’ve got mint, go nuts! Once you are all done, enjoy some of the best the great outdoors has to offer.
Bailey’s Dipped Toasted Marshmallows
Ok, so this isn’t a cocktail, but it is a delicious way to introduce a little booze to your camping trips. If you plan on toasting marshmallows over the fire–a classic campsite tradition–dip those marshmallows into some Bailey’s Irish Cream. Its rich, toasty, gooey, and delicious.
Looking for something more family-friendly? Some of the above cocktails work sans-alcohol. However, if you’re looking for something comforting in the evening, you can’t do any better than a hot cup of hot chocolate. For daytime refreshment, check out these suggestions.