CampingBackcountry Bartending 

Backcountry Bartending 

Make These Quick and Easy Campfire Cocktails 

After a long day on the trails, kicking back with a tasty adult beverage when the sun goes down certainly hits the spot. And if you’re pitching a tent for the evening in the backcountry, it’s possible to make delicious campfire cocktails without carrying a full bartending kit into the bush. The following cocktail recipes are geared toward dirtbags who like to mix drinks in the wild. 

Dirtbag Margarita


  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • 8 oz Sprite
  • 1 Honey Packet
  • Lime juice
  • Option: Substitute lime Gatorade for lime juice

Everyone loves a good margarita. And it’s possible to make a pretty darn good one while you’re in the backcountry. Combine 1.5 ounces of tequila, a packet of honey, and a splash of lime juice (or lime Gatorade for electrolytes). Shake the ingredients for about 30 seconds. Then crack a can of Sprite and add about eight ounces to your cocktail. The resulting drink offers a sweet, fizzy take on a classic Margarita. 

Hobo Hot Toddy


  • 4 oz Pine Needle Tea
  • 4 oz Whiskey
  • 1 Honey Packet
  • Optional: A dash of lemon juice

Nobody wants to be in the backcountry with a cold. But when it happens you might benefit from drinking a Hobo Hot Toddy. Whiskey is a natural decongestant, and pine needles have a substantial amount of vitamin C. Combining these ingredients into an evening cocktail can help to relax the airways in preparation for sleep. 

To make pine needle tea, you’ll need to pick a half cup of pine needles from a nearby tree, and steep them in boiling water for four to five minutes. Not all pine needles are safe to drink. Stay away from conifer and yew trees. But if you can find a white pine, spruce, or hemlock tree, you’ll be good to go. (If you’re apprehensive about tree identification, bring a lemon-ginger tea bag.)

After you’ve prepped your pine needles, place a bandana over your cup to filter the needles out of the water as you pour the solution from your saucepan into your cup. To finish your Hobo Hot Toddy, add four ounces of whiskey (Tincup Mountain Whiskey makes a delicious rye perfect for a backcountry toddy), a honey packet, and a dash of lemon juice. Then gently stir. 

Mountain Lion Lemonade


  • 8 oz Lemonade 
  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • Option: Muddled Blueberries

The Appalachians are usually covered with blueberries by late summer, which make for a good snack. But blueberries can also be used in a bunch of different cocktails, too. If you’re lucky enough to collect a handful of those backcountry blueberries, you should muddle them in your glass, and then add 1.5 ounces of vodka, and 8 ounces of lemonade to your drink. Then shake the contents of your glass to bring the flavors together. 

The Mountain Lion Lemonade is a simple backcountry cocktail that can be made with powdered lemonade for your convenience. And being able to harvest local berries from the trail can make your drink even more delicious. 

Peakbagger Piña Colada


  • 1.5 oz Rum
  • 1 packet Coconut Drink Mix (often available in the mixer aisle)

Outdoor adventurers can bring the tropics to the backcountry with the help of a Peakbagger Piña Colada. Add 1.5 ounces of rum to a cup or shaker, and then add a packet of coconut drink mix and eight ounces of water. If you have ice or snow, add it to the mix, and shake for about 30 seconds. Garnish with a piece of pineapple, and drink up.

The Peakbagger Piña Colada is a simple take on the conventional Piña Colada, which is commonly made frozen. A similar consistency can be created with the help of clean snow, if you’re planning for a winter hike later in the year. 

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