These DIY Bottled Cocktails Are Perfect For Your Next Camping Trip

Like fish and chips or footy and meat pies, beer and camping seem to just go together. But what if you’re looking for something other than a lager, something to really take your camping trip to the next level? Armed with a few staples and a variety of mixers, you’ll be ready to shake up your next camping trip with some smooth yet unpretentious drinks. If you don’t fancy bringing a shaker to camp, all of these recipes can be easily pre-mixed at home and then served over ice while sitting around the fire.

The Manhattan

This Prohibition-era cocktail is a classic and ideal for bottling before camping because it’s straightforward, hardy and doesn’t need to be shaken before serving. The Manhattan is also versatile in winter and summer thanks to its whiskey base, going down a treat around the fire as easily as by the water.

To make it you’ll need 300mls of Rye Whiskey, 220mls Sweet Vermouth, 6 dashes of bitters and around 150mls of water (or more to dilute to taste). If you want to be extra fancy, add a twist of lemon rind or glace cherry when serving. This recipe makes around 750mls.

The Cucumber Gin Fizz

Refreshing and light, a gin fizz makes good company at sunset. Gin is a great spirit to use when camping as it can easily be flavoured with botanicals, such as rosemary or thyme, to really make the flavours of the bush come alive.

To make 750mls of cucumber gin fizz, combine 90mls of lime juice, 90mls of sugar syrup, 280mls of gin and 280mls of soda water. If you’re feeling bold, try infusing the gin with cucumber or herbs before mixing with the other ingredients. Garnish with a slice of cucumber or sprig of thyme and serve over ice.

The Bulls Eye

What’s that? Turning beer into a cocktail? Now that’s getting creative. If you want to make use of what you already have, this Cuban cocktail is a lifesaver. Simply combine lime juice, ginger beer, light beer and sugar to sweeten and presto – an uncomplicated yet refreshing cocktail.

To make 750mls you’ll need 50mls of lime juice, 350mls of ginger beer and 350mls of light beer. Add sugar to taste. The ratios may need to change depending on the brand of light beer you use.

Photo: Thomas J Story.

The Negroni

The Negroni is an Italian summer cocktail that balances sweet and bitter flavours with an orange-scented base. The recipe itself is also straightforward, requiring less technical skill and more tasting to make sure you’re getting the balance right.

To fill a 750ml bottle you’ll need 250mls of Campari, 250mls of Sweet Vermouth, 250mls of gin and 3-4 orange slices. Shake together and taste regularly to make sure it’s not too strong. If you’re serving the same day, add the orange slices to the bottle and allow to infuse until serving. This will help infuse the citrus flavour in the cocktail.

The Old Fashioned

There’s nothing so deceptively understated as a simple Old Fashioned. The vibrant orange cocktail is relatively easy to make and its core ingredients can be easily substituted. You can use bourbon, rum, whiskey, rye – whatever you might have floating in the cupboards. You’ll also need to prepare some sugar syrup by mixing brown sugar and water.

To make 750mls you’ll need 600mls of rye whiskey, 100mls of sugar syrup and 50mls of bitters. Like the Negroni, taste as you go to make sure you’re getting the balance right. Serve with an orange peel. The Old Fashioned is even better when served over ice.

The Dark And Stormy

If the camping trip isn’t going the way you planned because the weather has turned, or you’re in a bad mood after a day of hiking, a Dark and Stormy might be the fix you need. Simply mix together equal parts dark rum and ginger beer and then top with lime when serving.

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