When it comes to camping cocktails, you don’t need the pretty glasses, or a swag of ingredients. Here are seven of my favourite recipes – perfect for summer!
Each recipe makes one serve! Garnishes are optional, (unless you like it that way) and so are cocktail shakers as you travel. I don’t know about you, but I don’t camp with a food processor – so just use what you have. If you are after a mocktail, simply omit the alcohol or replace it with a non alcoholic spirit or bubbles.
Also, if you want the cocktail to have less of a punch (alcoholic kick and calories), try these five tips:
- Use a tall glass or big cup or mug (but keep the nips the same number)
- Add extra ice +++
- Add extra soda +++ (or other mixers)
- Add more low calorie garnishes – like cucumber, herbs, lemon, lime, mint, lemongrass sticks…
- If you have a freezer and can be bothered, freeze big ice cubes with garnishes and flavour bombs – like herbs, lemon, lime, peel, berries – in them. Not only do they fill up the vessel, they keep it cool!
If you are low in garnishes – bring a cocktail umbrella. They travel well. So do dried lime and lemon slices.
If you make cocktails often – travel with a shot glass. We use our shot glasses (our go-to port sippers) from the Hoochery Distillery in Kununurra, WA. Even though they are pottery, they have stayed intact over a decade of rough roads!
Now, an Aussie shot is 30mls, which is the same as a nip! These recipes are based on shots. Two tablespoons is roughly equivalent. To muddle is mash or press ingredients together in the base of the glass.
Final tip – shop local and support the Aussies. Australian distilleries and wineries are up against so many taxes. It’s nice to help an Aussie farmer or maker.
If you like light and summery camping cocktails, try these….
1. Tom Collins
I was stuck on a cruise for 10 days – I sipped an awful lot of cocktails, but I kept coming back to this one.
Fill a glass with ice. Add a nip (or 2) of gin, a teaspoon of lemon juice, a dash of no sugar lemonade (or sugar/syrup) and top with ice. It is nice with a citrus slice, alternatively a maraschino or fresh cherry. It’s nice with pink gin or pink lemonade, too!
2. Apple and Elderflower Collins
The recipe calls for pressed apple juice, but any type works. Very refreshing, and easy to make the mocktail, just omit the gin.
Fill a glass with ice. Add 2 shots of gin, 2 shots of apple juice, 1 ½ shots of lemon juice, and 1 shot of elderflower cordial. Serve with a slice of lemon.
Our family favourite, it is too good to wait for Christmas Day! Fact is, although peach nectar is traditionally used, you can replace the nectar with most fruit juices! This is also known as a champagne cocktail. TIP: you can buy these nectars in UHT for easy travelling.
Add 1 ½ shots guava nectar to a glass and top with sparkling wine (bubbles). If you want to raise it further – add ½ shot of peach schnapps or cointreau.. Garnish with a fruit wedge!
4. Moscow Mule
I love ginger beer, and now opt for the low sugar versions. Brands do vary a lot in their spiciness, so it is worth taste testing a few before you decide ginger beer is not for you.
To a tall glass, add half a nip of lime juice, 1 to 2 nips of vodka and top with your fave ginger beer. Add ice and garnish with a lime wheel. You can even add crystallised ginger.
5. Musk Rat
UDLs are not really my thing, however I would recommend any cocktail lover visit Billsons Factory in Beechworth, Victoria. They offer a FREE pour-yourself taste test of 36 flavours of UDLs! Kids are also catered for with an extensive cordial taste test!
Musk was our favourite – so we bought a bottle of musk cordial. Heatley created these camping cocktails for me in the snowy High Country. Yum!
You’ll want lots of ice in a big glass. Add a nip of gin, a nip of musk cordial (or more if you like it sweeter). Top with soda water and give it a swirl. Add a musk stick to garnish. The only problem is to keep everyone else’s hands out of the musk sticks!
6. Muscat Spritzer
This drink was a revelation! I need to thank Chambers Rosewood Winery at Rutherglen, Victoria for this recipe. Who knew you could drink muscat with soda? Yum! You can buy de-alcoholised Muscat for a mocktail. Muscat is a fortified wine, like port, but sweeter.
Muddle a wedge of lime in a glass. Add 30 ml Chambers Muscat. Add ice and top up with soda water.
(If you like it sweeter add a dash of lime syrup/cordial).
My favourite variation of this cocktail from Brazil has fresh passionfruit added. I like my cocktails with a bit of fibre and chew! But there is the basic version:
Cut 1 lime into 8 wedges and crush into a glass with 1 teaspoon caster sugar (or any sugar – or add a dash of no sugar lemonade). Add ice, 2 shots of vodka and give it a good stir. Garnish with a lime rind if you like.