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The DAILY DIRT - The nitty and the gritty of outdoor news

Trail Chef: Top 10 Backpacker Cocktails

Light that fire and kick back with a signature camping drink.

Some food items are just too heavy to justify schlepping them around in your pack. (When's the last time you saw somebody whip out a watermelon at camp?) But liquor, my friends, is not one of those items. Yeah, the ingredients can be heavy, but a perfectly blended, snowbank-chilled cocktail can be the difference between an excellent day on the trail and a transcendent day on the trail. In that spirit, here are 10 of our favorite concoctions. Cheers.
1. Mountain Margarita
Lemon-Lime Gatorade + tequila + fresh snow

2. Watermelon Snowfield
Fruit punch sports drink + Bacardi 51 rum + snow + maraschino cherry

3. Bikini Sunburn
Vodka + light rum + cherry sours + juice of half a fresh lemon + sugar

4. Mountain Storm Cosmo
Lime juice + cranberry juice concentrate + triple sec + vodka + lime Kool-Aid powder + hailstones

5. Snake in the Grass
Lemon-Lime Gatorade + vodka + green creme de menthe

6. Blackberry Margarita
Fresh-picked berries + snow + tequila

7. Backcountry Mai Tai
Tang + snow + dark rum

8. Goodnight Kiss
Good Earth tea + scotch

9. Wilderness White Russian
Kahlua + vodka + milk (use dry whole milk powder)

10. Under the Sleeping Bag
Light rum + triple sec + brandy + lemon juice

With thanks to editors Jon Dorn, Shannon Davis, Steve Howe, & Kristin Hostetter; realcampingworld.co.uk. Image credit: GSI Outdoors

—Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

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Stook
Mar 30, 2011

A better Warm Apple Pie recipe would be:

1 gal Apple Cider
1 gal Apple Juice
1 ltr Everclear
3 Cinnamon Sticks
6 c Sugar (+/- to taste, may start with less [or more] if you like)

Combine cider, juice, everclear and cinnamon sticks in large pot. Place over medium heat and bring to boil. Remove from heat. Add sugar. Stir thoroughly, until sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool. Pour back into gallon containers. You will need one extra, as the yield is over two gallons. Serve warm. And you may think this is alot... You would be correct, however it goes quite fast. Served warm, it tastes exactly like warm apple pie, hence the name.

Now that's a little slice of heaven on the trail.

Dane
Dec 30, 2010

You should try Apple Pie: 1 bottle ever clear, 1/2 gallon of apple cider, 1 bag of red hots, and 2 Cinnamon sticks.....Boil all in pot until melted. Chill and take some on a weekend getaway (goodness in a cup)

Anonymous
Dec 30, 2010

You should try Apple Pie: 1 bottle ever clear, 1/2 gallon of apple cider, 1 bag of red hots, and 2 Cinnamon sticks.....Boil all in pot until melted. Chill and take some on a weekend getaway (goodness in a cup)

Tyson
Mar 30, 2010

Maker's with a dash of water. Sweet nectar!!!

Stickman
Jan 14, 2010

Don't forget Jello shots. Add jello to vodka in a ziplock bag and bury in the snow overnight. Delicious!

D
Jan 03, 2010

I thought that tang+vodka was called a cosmonaut

Eric
Jan 02, 2010

Ultimate trail screwdriver is Tang and Schmirnoff (carry in a leftover plastic pint bottle); if on a long hike and need more for variety, pack a couple plastic 1/2 pint bottles with your favorite liqueuer flavor. For brandy drinkers, mix 50/50 your favorite flavored brandy with a plain brandy, like E&J, P.Masson, C.Bros. or Courvasior (sp?)--the mix will give you a higher-quality flavored brandy since they alone are only about 5% actual brandy (grape) product; be sure to have a soda or juice chaser with it, preferably matching the chaser with the brandy as you would food with wine. Of course, you could mix up your favorite shooter recipes at home before you leave and pack them ready-to-drink in plastic 1/2-pint and pint bottles...hey...come on, print off a nice label for them to give them some dignity!

Philip E. Ankrom
Dec 31, 2009

I am a single malt scotch and Jack Daniel's fan and have carried a flask on most trips. We even had a liter of Jack shipped to us in a re-supply bucket while on the JMT. However, my son turned me on to a great hot drink. Strong Earl Grey tea and add a shot each of Grand Marnier and Amaretto. Great evening drink with snow all around.

Jim
Dec 31, 2009

We discovered this one on our first trip. Hot Chocolate and Vanilla Vodka. The Vanilla Vodka is good for pure shots too.

Jeannie
Sep 04, 2009

We carry a small flask of port to celebrate on the days we reach the top of passes, such as Muir Pass on the John Muir Trail. We only need little sips, no mixing required, and we crave the sweetness it offers. We call it our "Pass-port!"

Corey
Sep 03, 2009

For weight savings, but still with some actual rum flavor, I carry Bacardi 151 and mix with various Crystal Light tropical flavors. The little umbrellas are optional.

JD
Aug 31, 2009

Stag Beer is great. It won a gold medal at the Denver Beer Olympics. It gets a bad rap because it is still $12 a case...

Angelica
Aug 30, 2009

Best ever - Bailey's Irish Cream in your morning coffee!

Phil
Aug 21, 2009

A small flask of Grand Marnier served 3 of us on a recent 2 night outing in the Sierras. It's the perfect liquid dessert that offers a touch of sweetness, but still has the kick of cognac to warm a chilly, high country night. Cheers!

Phil
Aug 21, 2009

Clear springs ( essentially pure ethanol) doubles as stove fuel low sugar conrtent mixes well with anything next to no afer taste.

Jason
Aug 20, 2009

Go hiking with 21 year old kids and you won't need to bring any alcohol except for your stove. Personally I usually just bring my 70 proof blackberry brandy.

Scott Etienne
Aug 20, 2009

On ultra-light trips, I favor Everclear (190+ Proof) and Crystal Light Lemonade. Most bang for the gram. Mix a shot with water and CL in your drinking cup. The first hit has an edge to it, but once past that, it goes down good and works fast ;)

Mike
Aug 20, 2009

Your are right - I am nuts to take the time to reply to your ignorant remarks when you do not even know me. I have hiked the AT and carried a 70 lb. pack for 10 days in Denali St. Park at the age of 50, and have numerous other adventures under my waist belt. I have seen and heard of too many alcohol related "accidents" in the backcountry that probably could have been avoided. Also, in case you care, I feel that we are too regulated by the government and have NEVER needed anyone else (maybe my husband) to make decisions for me.

John Fisher
Aug 20, 2009

I know the "Thin Mint" as a "Peppermint Patty" and a cup around the campfire on a cool night is a good thing. Or there is snowshoe grog which is 1 part brandy + 1 part peppermint schnapps, but is on the strong side.

Joe
Aug 20, 2009

mikey, don't be so quick to judge!
keep politics out of this...

-------------------------------------------

To Linda who thinks Backpacker is encouraging people to drink on the trail... You are NUTS! Probably a liberal who needs government and everyone else to make decisions for her. Next she's gonna say that backpacker is encouraging people to hike with eavy loads on their backs and this is dangerous. Gimme a break!
Posted: Aug 20, 2009 Mike

Mike
Aug 20, 2009

To Linda who thinks Backpacker is encouraging people to drink on the trail... You are NUTS! Probably a liberal who needs government and everyone else to make decisions for her. Next she's gonna say that backpacker is encouraging people to hike with eavy loads on their backs and this is dangerous. Gimme a break!

dave
Aug 20, 2009

"The Thin Mint": Hot chocolate with marshmallows & Peppermint Schnapps's. Good night!

dave
Aug 20, 2009

"The Thin Mint": Hot chocolate with marshmallows & Peppermint Schnapps's. Good night!

Casey
Aug 20, 2009

BevMo has tiny plastic sacks of liquor (think CapriSun, only smaller), I think about the same size shot as an airline bottle. If you want to drink on the trail those would be convenient. I bought some but haven't used 'em yet!

Susan
Aug 20, 2009

My personal favorite is something I call "Tang-queray" (Tang plus Tanqueray Gin). Mmmmmm....

Susan
Aug 20, 2009

My personal favorite is something I call "Tang-queray" (Tang plus Tanqueray Gin). Mmmmmm....

RenoRick
Aug 20, 2009

Here's a twofer: carry an alcohol stove, and fuel it with Everclear grain alcohol. Also tip a bit of that rocket juice into a warmed cup of lemon-lime Gatorade for a great finish to your day. Baccardi 151 will work as stove fuel as well, but it has that rum taste. Everclear just tastes sweet.

JonnyT
Aug 20, 2009

Lately, I've been fond of this cheap vodka called simply "110 Proof Vodka." The name says it all. It's 9 bucks a liter. It mixes well with Tang, Gatorade, etc. and most of the bottle fits in one of those GSI Lexan flasks. A great way to end the day..!

ET
Aug 20, 2009

Cask strength single malt scotch--simple and the best bang per ounce. Had the good fortune to add hail stones on a backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon in 2002. Priceless!

Ross
Aug 20, 2009

I carry bourbon. In the winter I add a couple ounces to some hot chocolate.

Ross
Aug 20, 2009

I carry bourbon. In the winter I add a couple ounces to some hot chocolate.

The Behr
Aug 20, 2009

I'll have to lean to the other side and say that maybe people are trying to be to light. The weight of a few trail beers is more than worth the effort. You'll see the true value about night 3 when all you trailmates can barely choke down another ship of liquor. The bargaining potential is limitless. The Goodnight Kiss sounds excellent.

Note to camper - If taking beers on the trail it may be funny to buy Stag Beer but you won’t want to drink it. Leave no trace.

The Behr
Aug 20, 2009

I'll have to lean to the other side and say that maybe people are trying to be to light. The weight of a few trail beers is more than worth the effort. You'll see the true value about night 3 when all you trailmates can barely choke down another ship of liquor. The bargaining potential is limitless. The Goodnight Kiss sounds excellent.

Note to camper - If taking beers on the trail it may be funny to buy Stag Beer but you won’t want to drink it. Leave no trace.

Rick
Aug 20, 2009

A flask of Wild Turkey suffices. Nothing like a little titanium cup of straight bourbon.

Linda
Aug 20, 2009

While I enjoy a drink now and again and wish for a nice cold one after a long day of backpacking, I am disappointed that Backpacker encourages drinking on the trail. How dangerous is this!

heeltoeheeltoe
Aug 18, 2009

You guys are all carrying too much. Single malt, is all that is needed to celebrate the day. 2 fingers worth in a sierra cup with a couple drops of water, sit back, relax and enjoy!

B
Aug 17, 2009

Orange tea + honey + whiskey

Laurie Ann March
Aug 17, 2009

I love "Blueberry Tea"... no blueberries harmed in the making of this one. Simply hot orange pekoe tea, amaretto and grand marnier... sweetened to taste. Yum.

OlyHikerGirl
Aug 15, 2009

These are great ideas! I usually bring the 'ol stand by, tequila & limes.

traildog93
Aug 13, 2009

Not one whisky drink? Whisky and lemonaid over snow mmmmgood.

Harlene
Aug 13, 2009

Wish we had these recipes last month while in the Beartooths where lots of snow was available. Had to make do with straight Crown Royal. Next time.

Griztopher
Aug 13, 2009

The dude abides number 9

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