Whether you’ve had a long day of outdoor activities or a chill afternoon in a hammock reading a book, a nice drink is a perfect way to end your evening. But if you’re tired of beer, wine, and boring old drinks, we’ve got a solution. We’re breaking down our top camping cocktails that are perfect for your next getaway.
What Makes for a Good Camping Cocktail?
Most of us can appreciate the appeal of a fancy, complicated cocktail with a half-dozen ingredients. But this is precisely not the kind of cocktail you want to make while camping. Chances are you’ll have limited prep space, limited cocktail-making tools, and fewer ingredients than a typical home bar. You can make a good camping cocktail quickly and with few tools. The best camping cocktails can use as few as two to three ingredients.
The 10 Best Camping Cocktails for Your Next Trip
With these straightforward requirements in mind, we’ve selected our top cocktails. These will have everyone on your camping trip praising your bartending skills.
#1. Hot Toddy
- 1.5 ounces whiskey
- 0.5 ounces lemon juice
- 1-1.5 tablespoons honey (to taste)
- Hot water
- Cinnamon stick/lemon round (optional)
How to Make It: A hot toddy is one of those campfire cocktails that will warm you in more ways than one. Add whiskey, lemon juice, and honey to your cup or mug and stir. Add hot water to fill or to taste, garnish with a cinnamon stick or slice of lemon, and enjoy. It’s perfect for those chilly nights around the campfire.
#2. Peach Sangria
- White wine
- Peach schnapps or liqueur
- Ginger ale
- Sliced peaches, other fruit as desired
How to Make It: Best prepared in larger batches or mixed ahead of time, peach sangria is a delicious variation on your typical sangria. Start with a bottle of white wine, and add half to three-quarters of a cup of peach schnapps or liqueur and a quarter-cup of sugar. Add in sliced peaches and any other fruit and stir. If possible, let it sit for an hour or more to let the flavors blend. Finally, top with ginger ale before serving. This sweet, flavorful campfire cocktail will have the whole party enjoying a drink before you know it.
#3. Spiked Cocoa
- 1.5 ounces (or more) spirit of choice
- 1 cup milk (real or non-dairy)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1-2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
- A pinch of salt
- Cinnamon stick or whipped cream (optional)
How to Make It: Spiked cocoa is a sweet, delicious reminder of childhood falls and winters, with a decidedly adult twist. The first step to making spiked cocoa is deciding what spirit you’d like to use. Depending on your taste, you can choose from whiskey, vodka (flavored or regular), Kahlua, or peppermint schnapps — or even some combination of these. Heat your milk, cocoa, sugar, and salt in a pot until dissolved and heated to the desired temperature. Next, add your spirits, along with a cinnamon stick or whipped cream if desired.
#4. Cucumber Mule
- 1.5 ounces cucumber-flavored or infused vodka
- 0.5 ounces lime juice
- Ginger beer
- Sliced cucumber (optional)
How to Make It: The Cucumber Mule takes the Moscow classic and makes it even more refreshing. For truly authentic cocktails, prepare this in a copper mug. Fill the mug with ice, then add the cucumber vodka. Add a half-ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice, and top with ginger beer. Garnish with one or more slices of cucumber in the drink, which you can muddle for extra cucumber flavor.
- 6 ounces light beer
- 6 ounces lemonade
- Lemon wheel (optional)
How to Make It: For a refreshing, simple summer camping cocktail, pour yourself a shandy. Fill half your glass with light beer (about six ounces) and top off with about the same amount of lemonade. Adjust with more beer or lemonade if necessary, and then garnish with a lemon wheel. With just two required ingredients, it’s one of the easiest cocktails out there and can provide a low-alcohol option as well.
#6. Dark & Stormy
- 2 ounces dark rum (preferably Gosling’s)
- 0.5 ounces lime juice
- Ginger beer
How to Make It: Refreshing, tropical, and a bit spicy, the Dark & Stormy is a thirst-quenching cocktail that’s as easy to make as it is fun to drink. Start with two ounces of dark rum over ice. Typically, this drink has used Gosling’s Black Seal rum, but any brand will work. Add a half-ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice, and then top with ginger beer. It’s quick to make and provides a rarely-seen change of pace from other spirit-plus-mixer cocktails.
#7. Bahama Mama
- 1.5 ounces flavored vodka or rum
- 1 ounce coconut rum
- Pineapple juice
- Cranberry juice
How to Make It: There’s no reason camping cocktails can’t be tropical, as the Bahama Mama, also known as the Caribbean Breeze proves. Start by pouring 1.5 ounces of flavored vodka or rum over ice. Good flavor choices include orange or other citruses, raspberry, and other fruits. Add one ounce of coconut rum, and top it off with equal parts pineapple and cranberry juice. With just four ingredients, you’ll feel like you’re at a tiki bar on a faraway beach. Make this as a surprise for your spouse to really ramp up your RV getaway.
#8. Spiked Cider
- 1.5 ounces whiskey or rum
- Apple cider
- Cinnamon stick (optional)
How to Make It: Whether enjoyed hot or cold, spiked cider is one of the simplest camping cocktails. Depending on your preference, you can make it with any type of whiskey or rum. If you’re enjoying it cold, just add 1.5 ounces of your chosen spirit to your glass, then top off with cider. This is also an excellent choice on chilly nights out at the campsite, where you can warm the cider over your campfire (with a cinnamon stick for extra flavor, if desired).
- 2 ounces tequila
- 1 ounce triple sec or orange liqueur
- 1 ounce lime juice
- Lime slice (optional)
How to Make It: Who doesn’t love a good, easy-to-make margarita around the campsite on a warm summer evening? The perfect blend of sour and sweet, making a margarita is as simple as combining your tequila, triple sec, and lime juice (ideally fresh-squeezed) and shaking. Strain into a glass with ice, and you’re done. For a little extra style, wet the rim with a slice of lime before pouring and twirl in salt or sugar. Garnish with a slice of lime if desired, and enjoy.
- 2 ounces tequila
- 6 ounces grapefruit soda
- Lime juice
How to Make It: If you’re in the mood for tequila and want something even simpler than a margarita, try a delicious Paloma. Simply add your tequila to a glass with ice, and top off with grapefruit soda, with about three parts soda to one part liquor. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and you’ve made one of the most uncomplicated and refreshing cocktails out there.
As you can see, a satisfying camping cocktail can come in many forms and doesn’t have to be complicated. These quick, straightforward cocktails can appeal to just about all tastes and come together in minutes.
Here’s to raising a glass of one of them next time you’re out at the campsite. Which will you make first?