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Wellness / February 13, 2018

The 4-item backcountry minibar

Written by: Brenna Stevens

Editor’s note: This piece was produced in collaboration with Tod’s Natural Cocktail Mix. Until March 1, we’ll ship two of their mixes with every order made in our online shop. 

Yes, there’s a certain high associated with spending time in the outdoors. The smell of the dirt, the sound of pine boughs rustling in the wind, the feeling of wind on your face… it’s intoxicating.

But sometimes it’s not intoxicating enough. So over the weekend, I called up the folks at Tod’s All Natural Cocktail Mix for some tips on building a campground-friendly minibar.

It’s actually a lot easier than it sounds—with some planning, you can create a serviceable bar out of stuff you’d probably bring along camping anyway.

 

1. Booze

The VSSL Flask, posing for a promotional photo.

I don't take shots of whiskey (and neither should you). But the collapsible glasses are great for measuring out booze.

This is as far as most people go: a little of their favorite spirit, usually in a flask.

I personally prefer Breckenridge Bourbon (a damn good whiskey, even if it is brewed outside of Kentucky). And I prefer to carry it in the VSSL Flask: an LED flashlight that can conceal 10 ounces of liquor and two collapsible shot glasses in the handle.

As I just said, this is enough for most people. But if you want to climb a few steps on the hierarchy of needs, you’ll want to bring along a few accoutrement.

 

2. A glass

Probably not a real glass. I have a copper mug at home for Moscow Mules, so that’s what I bring. Pretty much any sturdy camp mug will do, though.

I’ve known several campers who mix their drinks in their water bottles. That saves some extra weight and pack space, but in my experience it’s definitely worth it to just pack a glass of some kind. (But again… don’t pack actual glass!).

3. Your mix (and citrus, probably)

Booze alone does not a cocktail make; you need some kind of mixer. And because I drink whiskey (and to a lesser extent because they’re a promotional partner of ours), my mixer of choice is the Whiskey Sour from Tod’s. It’s light, packable, and tastes pretty much exactly like the “real” thing.

That doesn’t have to be your mix, but I definitely recommend choosing a campground cocktail that can be replicated with a powder. It’s just easier.

Choosing a drink that includes citrus is probably the easiest way to include a fresh ingredient. Lemons, limes, and small oranges pack easily, and the vitamin C they contain will offset the less-than-nutritional nature of most camp food.

 

4. A swizzle

Honestly, you can stir your cocktail with pretty much anything once you’ve mixed together your ingredients. But if you want to look classy in front of your campmates (which is honestly the whole point of this campground minibar business), you’ll want to have a something better than a stick or your finger.

I use the Muncher spork from Full Windsor. That versatile titanium multitool has already earned a permanent spot in my camp kitchen kit, so bringing it doesn’t add any weight to my pack. And I get a weird kick out of mixing a cocktail with a spork.

That’s it. That’s all I take. It’s a pretty simple kit, but that’s all it takes to improve on the rugged but disappointing experience of sucking booze straight out of a metal flask.

This piece was produced in collaboration with Tod’s Natural Cocktail Mix. Until March 1, we’ll ship two of their mixes with every order made in our online shop. 

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about the author

Brenna Stevens

Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, Brenna has spent more of her life outdoors than in. An avid camper, backpacker, and wine drinker, she writes primarily about outdoor culture for Shoulders of Giants.

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