Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Backpacking cocktails

A cocktail or two can make a long campfire a whole lot more fun.  But what to bring?  After many tries, I keep coming back to the same few favourites.

Mountain Man mixing up a batch of Mojitos.

Vodka Lemonade

Expecting hot weather and time to chill out in the sun?  Then vodka lemonade is the drink for you.  This makes a great cold, quick cocktail when you plan to leave time on your trip for hanging out lakeside.  

To prepare this all you'll need is vodka, lemonade crystals, and a plastic bottle.  Never bought lemonade crystals before?  You can usually find them in the bulk section.  Alternatively, you'll definitely find a brand such as Country Time near the iced tea crystals.  

The trick to this drink is to mix your lemonade crystals & vodka before you leave for your trip.  This will create a sweet vodka liquid that you simply mix with cold water to make a complete drink.  

I personally mix about 1/4 cup lemonade crystals to 1 cup vodka.  It's going to look like a LOT of lemonade powder (and it is).  This is one of the reasons that it's useful to pre-mix.  I've found out the hard way that we always bring too few juice crystals if we pack it separately.  However, there is considerable personal preference here, so start with this ratio then test it by mixing a drink with water and make adjustments to accommodate your taste.  

Baileys and....lots of things

When winter camping or spending a night huddled around a campfire Baileys Irish Cream is delightful.  A few different ways to prepare your Baileys:

Fastest way to make friends at a backcountry ski shelter?  Share your Baileys.
  • Straight Up.  If you're like me and have a taste for things that are very rich,  you don't need to mix your Bailey's at all.  It's almost obnoxiously creamy with a nice little bite of liquor.  
  • & Hot Water.  If straight Bailey's is too much for you, or if you'd prefer a hot drink, try mixing your Baileys with equal parts hot water.  The first time I heard about this I thought it sounded weird but trust me, it's worth a go.  Mountain Man prefers Bailey's this way.
  • & Hot Chocolate.  A classic combo! The cream will make your hot cocoa richer while the liquor will make it more fun.  
  • & Coffee.  Does this even need to be mentioned?  I do this at home.  Does that make me a lush?  
  • & Liquorice Tea.  Or I guess many kinds of tea (Chai? Earl Grey?).  But in particular I find that Bailey's combines admirably with Liquorice tea.  

Mountain Mojitos  

Are these recipes too simple for you?  Maybe you're like Mountain Man would prefer to make something overly complicated simply because you can't sit still? (Kidding, love you darlin'!)  Then Mountain Mojitos are for you.  

To make those you'll need
  • White Rum
  • Confectioners Sugar
  • A little squeeze bottle of real lime juice (like this)
  • Fresh mint leaves
Again, pre-mix your rum and sugar at home.  Start with 1/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of rum and work from there to find your personal level of preferred sweetness.  

Pack your sweet rum mix into a plastic bottle and bring along your lime squeeze bottle and your fresh mint leaves, wrapped in a paper towel to keep them from sweating themselves into oblivion.  If you can pick fresh mint on your trip, bonus!

To assemble put a few mint leaves in your mug and add lime juice (1 part).  Muddle with your spoon.  Add rum mix (2 parts) and water (2 parts).  Mix and enjoy.  

A note on packing

I recommend repackaging the appropriate amount of your drink of choice into a disposable plastic water bottle (or two) prior to your trip.  Plastic water bottles are light weight, cheap, and reusable.  If you're worried about leakage you can get more piece of mind for slightly more weight by using a plastic soda bottle.  And let's be honest, if you've made space for liquor, you're probably not concerned about ever last milligram of weight.  

What's your favourite drink to kick back with in the backcountry?  Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. Your post is really good providing good information. I enjoyed reading it.




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