Campfire Cocktails

Adam, the tent, and the tumblers with a small Manhattan pour, early on our trip in New Mexico
Adam, the tent, and the tumblers with a small Manhattan pour, early on our trip in New Mexico

While on the road and especially while camping, it’s important to retain the occasional creature comfort. There’s nothing like a cold beer after a long hot hike or a plastic bowl of boxed wine on a chilly evening, but sometimes circumstances call for something a little more creative. They certainly won’t replace a craft cocktail, just like a crappy Utah 4% beer (I’m still not over it) will never stand up to a real IPA, but here’s some of my favorites:



Here's the ingredients and my beautiful labeling for campfire White Negronis
Here’s the ingredients and my beautiful labeling for campfire White Negronis

Bottle Aged Anything

This one’s especially helpful if you’re planning a camping trip and trying to clean out your liquor cabinet at the same time. Rather than giving all your half-finished bottles of booze to your friends, simply mix up your favorite boozes in proportion, and throw them back into one of the bottles. We made Manhattans and flowery White Negronis before taking off. As a bonus, we didn’t notice any effect from the extreme temps these bottles went through in the trunk for a few weeks before we drank them.

White Negroni: 3 parts Gin, 2 parts Doulin Blanc vermouth, 1 part Salers Aperitif (Real Recipe Here). This is a very flowery gin cocktail that is one of Adam’s favorites.

Manhattans: My favorite recipe calls for 2 oz Buffalo Trace bourbon, 1 oz Doulin Rouge vermouth, and 3-4 dashes Angostura bitters.

Before we left Chicago, I measured everything out into pyrex measuring cups on the counter and then refilled the smallest bottle. We kept these in the trunk of the car, and both recipes held up great despite the extreme temperatures we had over the first few weeks.

Campfire Bottle-Aged Anything Recipe
Ingredients: Ice, Pre-poured cocktail mixtures

  1. Put ice in cups
  2. Add booze mix
  3. Stir. (Or shake it, if you have a lid and you want to pull a James Bond). Enjoy.

Cocktails_BoxedWineSangriaBoxed Wine Sangria

Boxed wine is one of our general go-to beverages for camping. It’s inexpensive, and doesn’t come loaded with a lot of heavy packaging. I would note that while most boxed reds from Bota, Black Box, or Target are just fine, most of the white wines I’ve tried fall somewhere between forgettable and horrible on the taste scale.

However, some days call for something fancier than your usual boxed wine. In that instance, grab your party cups and follow this easy recipe:

Boxed Wine Sangria Recipe (Serves 2)

Ingredients: Ice, red wine, diet lemon lime soda (Any one will work: Store brand, 7-up, Sprite, Fresca. You can even use the fat versions if you’re feeling crazy.)

  1. Fill cup with ice
  2. Fill about half way with red wine
  3. Add diet lemon lime to taste
  4. Stir and Enjoy
Two-ingredient Sampler Pack Beer-mosas. It's like a mimosa but with Hefeweizen.
Whoever thinks it’s appropriate to put a hefeweizen and a shandy in a four beer sampler pack is a jerk.

Sample Pack Beer-Mosas

One challenge Adam and I experience on the road is that we like the same beers, usually the hoppier ones in the sample pack. While at Mount Rainier, we made the mistake of purchasing a Widmar Brothers variety box with IPAs, Pale Ales, Shandies, and Hefeweizen. Realizing we weren’t up to drink multiple hefes, we decided to spruce it up a little.

Sample Pack Beer-Mosas Recipe (serves 2)

Ingredients: Ice, 2 Hefeweizen, wit, or white beers, 4 – 12 oz. Orange Juice (2 – 6 oz. per beer)

  1. Fill your cup halfway with ice (Or less if beer is cold.)
  2. Add beer
  3. Add OJ to taste
  4. Enjoy your fancy self


If you are planning a camping trip or simply want that camping experience at home, I recommend getting a couple of these Tervis tumblers with lids. We received a set from my amazing aunt, uncle and cousins for Christmas one year. While they were one of the last things I added to the “camp kitchen”, we ended up using them all the time when we were car camping.  Just season with a little dirt and you’re good to go!

Side note: if you are really planning a big camping trip, please call me so I can join you. And as a reminder, clicking the link above and purchasing something from Amazon earns me a little commission which I will likely use for more beer or campfire cocktails.


2 thoughts on “Campfire Cocktails”

    1. I’m glad you finally made it to my little corner of the internet. 🙂 And yes, it’s Rafe’s recipe, simplified a little for camping and minus the mixing and stirring that I think really takes it from standard to awesome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *