The Easter weekend is an excellent time to escape on a camping trip. But packing the right food and beverages isn’t always easy when space is tight, and you can’t take fresh ice with you to keep everything cold.
No chill? No worries. We’ve got you covered for camping-friendly drinks ideas that can be prepared in advance, and none of them involve adding water to dehydrated travel bags of beer (no, seriously, that’s a thing).
A great camping trip is all about exploration. And with no access to ice, you’ve got the perfect excuse to explore the world of room temperature cocktails. One of the most famous iceless cocktail styles is the Scaffa, popularised during the 19th century when fresh ice was hard to come by. It’s designed to achieve a balance between aromatics, texture and pre-determined dilution that isn’t possible in other drinks.
It might sound complex, but it doesn’t have to be. You can prepare a quick and satisfying Rum Scaffa by mixing one part white rum – like Bacardi Superior Rum or Havana Club 3 Anos – with one part Dom Benedictine and a dash of Angostura bitters. It’s got the robustness and complexity of flavour an iceless cocktail demands – and it’s easy to mix before you leave home.
If there were ever a cocktail designed for the campfire, it’s the Kumbaya (of course). No-chill cocktails tend to avoid perishable citrus ingredients like juices and garnishes in favour of heavier spirits, but the Amaro Montenegro in this recipe delivers the sweetness of fruit without compromising on lifespan.
Good old scotch. A lip-smacking whisky is a nice way to end the day. Bring along a Highland whisky like a Glenmorangie 10YO, or an earthier Islay Scotch like the Laphroaig 10YO, to match your occasion in the great outdoors.
Or, if you prefer not to drink your whisky neat, try a camper’s twist on the famous Rob Roy cocktail –AKA the Scotch Manhattan. Combine 150ml of a blended whisky like Johnnie Walker or Chivas Regal with 45ml Cinzano Rosso Sweet Vermouth, five dashes of Angostura bitters and 45mL of water, and you’ve got yourself a flask-filling refreshment.
Heavier spirits are a durable drink option for holidaymakers, but if you’re looking for something more sippable, a full-bodied red will do the trick. While you’re enjoying the great Australian landscape, why not enjoy some of its finest grapes as well, expressed delightfully in the Crowded Hour McLaren Vale Shiraz, or Australia’s first ever cabernet sauvignon, Wynns Black Label.
Pour your chosen drop into a large canteen before your trip, and you’ll enjoy all the portability of a bottle of wine without having to worry about breaking glass (or remembering a corkscrew, if you’ve chosen a bottle that requires one). Match your wine with a meaty campfire dinner, or just some roasted marshmallows. After all, you’re on holiday – who’s going to judge?
Speaking of marshmallows, a long weekend camping trip isn’t all hiking, tent-wrangling and drinking iceless cocktails. By saving on space with a made-to-travel drinks selection, you’ll have more room to fit the food and extras that make a camping weekend special.
But where to begin? First, plan some meals that don’t need heating, or some dinners you can finish off on an open flame. Porridge is the camping breakfast of choice, but a pre-prepared granola like this one needs no extra cooking. Hot smoked salmon sandwiches with avocado and capers go down well alongside a game of campfire cricket – as long as you’ve got room for a bat and ball. And for dinner, you can reheat your favourite homemade mac’n’cheese in a foil tray over the fire, or even make nachos from scratch, if you can bring the ingredients in your pack.
Most importantly of all, make sure you’ve got enough drinking water to last the trip. Check whether you’ll have access to water when you arrive at camp, or bring an ample supply with you. It’s H2O that will get you through a long day of outdoor activities, so when you’re back at the campfire, your no-chill drinks will taste all the better.