On a hot summer evening, nothing will cool you off like a mixed drink. They have more flavor than most beer and wines, and with shots of booze, a stronger kick to them too. These ten cocktail recipes are especially great for camping because none require using a blender. Cheers!
1. Tropical mimosas
- 1/2 cup mango nectar
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- Dry sparkling wine
With notes of pineapple and orange, these Tropical Mimosas will have you dreaming of the beach in Hawaii. If you’re camping with kids, or friends who don’t drink, you can also substitute the alcohol with sparkling white grape juice.
Pour your champagne and sparkling drink into your glass first, then add your juices. Garnish with slices of pineapple if you want to be extra fancy.
2. Tequila sunrise
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1.5 oz tequila
- .75 oz grenadine
- Orange slice
- Maraschino cherry
Garnished with an orange slice on the rim, like a sun rising over an ocean, this Tequila Sunrise tastes as good as it looks. To make it, combine your orange juice and tequila in a shaker if you have one. If you don’t, you can also mix them in a cup thoroughly with a spoon.
Fill your glass with ice and pour your OJ-tequila mixture over the cubes. Measure out your grenadine and pour it in your glass slowly. Be careful to not mix—this is where the reddish-orange gradient color comes in. This is because the grenadine is denser than the juice and tequila, so it sinks to the bottom and creates the gradient color throughout the glass.
While you’re waiting for the grenadine to settle, take a step aside to create your garnish. Cut your orange in half lengthwise, and then cut a slice off one of the halves that’s about 1/4-1/3 inch thick. Cut a slit in the orange wheel and slide it over the edge of your glass. Spear a maraschino cherry onto a cocktail umbrella, stick it through the top of the orange, and enjoy!
3. Kentucky Mule
- Bundle of mint leaves
- Two limes (one will make four cocktails, plus one for garnish)
- 4 oz ginger beer (not ale)
- 1.5 oz whiskey (or vodka)
If you’re not much for fruity drinks, try this twist on the classic Moscow Mule. With hints of mint, lime, ginger and whiskey, it’s extra refreshing on a warm summer night. Once everything is clean, cut your lime into quarters. Throw one of the slices into your shaker (or just a mug) along with your mint leaves. Then muddle it well. As the recipe contributor describes, “Don’t be afraid to let today’s troubles get in the way of your muddling. Let your anger out on the lime and mint!”
Add in your ice and whiskey to the muddled lime and mint. Shake lightly, and pour your drink into a copper mug if you have one available. Top it off with ginger beer, and garnish with a lime wheel or mint leaf.
4. Fourth of July cocktails
- Gatorade Fierce, Blue Cherry flavor (20 oz)
- Sobe pina colada (20 oz)
- Diet cranberry-lime juice
- 1.5 oz tequila
Layered with red, white, and blue, this patriotic drink is a hit at parties on Fourth of July. It can actually be made with any three colored drinks, as long as you layer them by sugar content. The recipe contributor says:
The thing that makes these kinds of layered drinks work is that the heavier liquids sink to the bottom and the lighter liquids are able to float on top. You can tell the order that the drinks will settle by reading their sugar content. Drinks with a higher sugar content will sink to the bottom while drinks with a lower sugar content will float to the top.
One thing to be aware of while selecting drinks, is to look at the grams of sugar as well as the serving size. For example, a 16 oz drink with 24 grams of sugar will have a lower sugar content than an 8 oz drink with 24 grams of sugar. For this reason, it’s important to pay attention to the ratio of sugar to serving size to make sure your drinks actually have different sugar content, otherwise you won’t get the cool effect of separate layers. It’s also good to keep in mind what color layers are going to be and make sure that complimentary colors are not next to each other or the place between them will turn brown.
To make it, add ice to your glass, along with tequila, and enough blue Gatorade to fill the glass about a third of the way. Using a measuring cup, slowly pour the Sobe in near the side of the glass (to make it 2/3 full) and allow it to sink to the bottom. Fill the rest of your glass slowly with cranberry juice to top it off.
- One 12 oz can of light beer (wheat or lager)
- One 12 oz bottle of citrus soda made with real juice (lemon, grapefruit, or orange)
- Two sliced and quartered lemons and fresh mint to garnish
- Optional citrus powder and sea salt for the rim
The Shandy, a 50/50 mix of citrus beer and soda, is refreshing yet light enough in alcohol content that you can sip on it by the campfire all night without overdoing it.
For an extra touch, you can wet the rim of your glass with a piece of lemon and press it into a mixture of 1 tbsp citrus powder and 1 tbsp sea salt. Fill your glass with ice and a few pieces of lemon, then pour in your citrus soda, followed by the beer. Garnish with a lemon slice and mint leaves, if you’d like.
6. Blue Lagoon
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 oz blue curaçao
- Squeezed juice from one lemon
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3.5 oz water
With the same name as the geothermal spa in Iceland, this Blue Lagoon is actually a delicious combo of vodka, lemon juice, and blue curaçao. It’s as simple as throwing ice in a glass and adding in all of your ingredients. For a charming ocean theme, garnish with Swedish fish candies.
7. Strawberry Sake
- Three strawberries (2 for the drink, 1 for garnish)
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1-ounce simple syrup
- Fresh mint
- 2 ounces sake
- 1.5-ounce sparkling or seltzer water
Sake, a Japanese rice wine, pairs well with strawberries for a sparkling drink. Fresh mint enhances the flavor, while the lime and simple syrup add tart and sweetness. To make it, chop up two of the three strawberries and muddle them in a glass with the lime juice and simple syrup until the strawberry’s been completely mashed up.
Add in your mint leaves and tap it 5-6 times to get the flavor mixed in (over-muddling can cause it to taste bitter). Fill your glass with ice, add in sake and stir well. Top it off with seltzer water and make it pretty with a mint leaf and the final strawberry on the rim.
8. Dark & Stormy
- Ginger beer
- Dark rum (spiced rum also works great)
- Lime wedge
Despite the name, you’ll love a Dark & Stormy even when it’s bright and sunny. It’s easy to make by adding ice in a glass, one shot of dark rum, topped with ginger beer, and garnished with a lime wedge. Some bartenders also like to add in a pinch of cayenne to up the spiciness.
9. Northern Peppermint Green Julep
- 1.5 oz bourbon
- Five sprigs of fresh mint (1 for garnish)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 8-16 oz seltzer or club soda
The flavors of sugar and mint in this drink really complement the bourbon. To make it, strip all the leaves off your mint sprigs (except for one), and stuff them into a sturdy glass. Then throw your sugar on top, and use a muddler or the back of a spoon to grind the sugar into the leaves.
After muddling the leaves well, they should start to change color. Once you’ve muddled the plant enough to resemble thawed frozen spinach covered in dissolved sugar, you can stir in your bourbon. Filter out the solid mint leaves, add it to a glass, and top it off with seltzer. Put the mint twig you set aside in the glass for garnish, removing a few of the lower leaves as necessary.
10. Caribbean Breeze
- 1 oz Vodka
- 1 oz Amaretto Liqueur
- Pineapple Juice
As refreshing as the Caribbean breeze, these fruity drinks are easy to make with only three ingredients. Pour your vodka and amaretto into a rocks glass filled with ice, then fill the rest with pineapple juice and decorate it with a pineapple slice or mini drink umbrella.