Breckenridge Distillery- Earning your turns in the backcountry requires sacrificing some luxuries. But, something that you don’t need to sacrifice is a spectacular après cocktail to cap your amazing day. Leave the Kool-Aid drink mix, Country Time Lemonade powder, and Crystal Light squeeze bottles at home. Instead, think ‘elevated cocktail experience’ and pack ingredients like a mini bottle of bitters for an Old Fashioned or cinnamon sticks for a hot smoked cider. Breck Distillery’s Liquid Chef Billie Keithley created 6 easy cocktails to take your drinking experience to new ‘elevations.’

When it comes to packing for après, keep it simple. Using fruit rinds, dehydrated fruits from trail mix, or snow can reduce the amount of ingredients you need to haul in. Read more below about how to efficiently pack your booze and ingredients.

Snowball Old Fashioned

2 oz Breckenridge Bourbon
1/4 oz maple syrup
*3 drops of bitters
*Orange zest
*Dehydrated cherries
Chill with a snowball
Combine all ingredients and stir. Add Snowball to your cocktail.

Optional: Smoke using a fire log

*Pack a mini bottle of bitters. Recycle your orange peels and use berries from your trail mix.

TIP: To make a smoked cocktail, use a smoking log from your fire. Safely remove the log, turn the glass upside down over the smoke, wait a few minutes and add the cocktail mixture to the glass. Swirl it around to get that smokey flavor. Do the same thing with a cinnamon stick to add a cinnamon kick to your cocktails. See the Hot Smoked Cider below.

Backcountry Tea
1 oz Breckenridge Vodka
6 oz hot water
Teakoe Tea – Try it with the Berry Bodacious or the Nirvana Limòn Teas
Honey stick, clip one end and put open end down
Add a squeeze of lemon for added flavor

TIP: once the honey stick is empty, snip the other end of the honey stick and reuse it as a straw.


1.5 oz Breckenridge Bourbon
.5 oz maple syrup
Top with hot tea
Serve with a slice of bacon

Hot Smoked Cider
1.5 oz Breckenridge Spiced Whiskey
Apple cider packet
6 oz hot water
*Smoke using a cinnamon stick

*Ignite cinnamon stick and smoke the glass while preparing cocktail. Pour cocktail into smoked glass.

TIP: Cinnamon sticks are flammable. Use them to help start your fire, as a potpourri for the hut, or as the perfect garnish or added flavor to your cocktail.


1 oz Breckenridge Vodka
1 packet Emergen-C
1 jelly packet
6 oz water

*Shake all ingredients in water bottle.


1 oz Breckenridge Espresso Vodka
Top with coffee


  • Leave the heavy glass bottles behind and use a bladder or a light weight water bottle to transport your booze. Using a bladder allows you to collapse it and save room in your pack for the haul out. Note, one 750 bottle of booze typically serves 17 cocktails. Keep that in mind when you are trying to gauge how much to bring.
  • No need to pack extra ingredients just for a cocktail. Reuse your snacks and tea bags. Use your orange peels for an Old Fashioned. Save some berries from your trail mix and add that as a delicious garnish. Reuse a tea bag more than once.
  • Go mini. There are a ton of bitters companies that make mini bitters bottles. Check out Strongwater Herbal Bitters. If you can’t find one, take a small baggy of bitters.
  • Use the environment. Melt and boil snow for extra water. Need ice? Get packing….snowballs, that is. If you can’t leave them outside overnight, pack the snowballs tight, otherwise they will melt quicker once dropped into your cocktail. Snow is the perfect chilling method.
  • Pack items with multi-use (Emergen-C, coffee, bacon, ciders and teas).
  • Don’t over pack ingredients and think small. You should be able to pack everything in one small baggy.

The Breck Distillery offers their own Backcountry Cocktail Kit. These Backcountry Cocktail Kits make the Snowball Old Fashioned, Backcountry Tea and the Hot Smoked Cider. Our kits come with a 1000ml Breck Distillery water bottle | $30.

**Booze is not included in online purchases of this Backcountry Cocktail Kits

Photo Credit: Jessie Unruh/Breckenridge Distillery & Ian Fohrman/The Public Works

Places to Go, Things to See: