Backcountry Bartender: Delicious & Easy Backpacking Cocktail Recipes

Three delicious & easy backpacking cocktail recipes to help spice up your next night under the stars.

While you always need to remember to stay hydrated on your adventures, sometimes you want a little nightcap on the trail. That delicious evening drink can help you unwind and soothe those sore muscles after a hard days work. But the problem is that you don’t want to sacrifice too much weight just to get your drink on, so you need to choose your backpacking cocktail recipes wisely.

On a recent backpacking trip, I tested out some new cocktail formulas, and I think I’ve finally nailed it. Here’s my three favorite super easy (and lightweight) backpacking cocktail recipes that can help spice up your next night under the stars.

Looking for some no-hassle backpacking meals to go along with that beverage? Check out my post Simple Backpacking Food Ideas


Transport yourself to the tropics with this deliciously fruity trail concoction. Mix a bit of rum and water with about 1/2 a packet of coconut-pineapple powdered drink mix (to taste). The pineapple-coconut mix can usually be found near the Crystal Light in the grocery store. The Krogers brand is particularly tasty, is packed with potassium, and blends well with even the cheapest of rum.

Backcountry Bartender: 3 Delicious and Easy Backpacking Cocktail Recipes

Bourbon – Hot Apple Cider

Bourbon and hot apple cider is hands down my favorite backpacking cocktail for those cold nights or for swapping stories around the fire. All you need is a backpacking stove to boil some water, some instant hot apple cider packets, and your favorite bourbon, rye, or whiskey. One apple cider packet makes one 8-oz cocktail.

Backcountry Bartender: 3 Delicious and Easy Backpacking Cocktail Recipes


Crystal Light lemonade mixed with vodka makes for a tart and refreshing trail libation. The Crystal Light also goes a very long way, helping cut down on weight. One packet is usually good for 2-3 average sized cocktails. Any kind of vodka will do, but I find Svedka to be excellent value.

Backcountry Bartender: 3 Delicious and Easy Backpacking Cocktail Recipes

If you don’t want to mess with the mixers or the idea of a cocktail without ice doesn’t do it for you, passing around a plain ol’ bottle also does the trick. Bring a flask filled with your favorite booze – tequila or a good bourbon perhaps – and make sure you bring enough to share!


Bearfoot Theory

Written by Kristen Bor

Hey there! My name is Kristen, and this is my outdoor blog. I discovered the power of the outdoors in my 20s, at the time I needed it most. Now 15 years later, prioritizing that critical connection with nature continues to improve my life. My goal at Bearfoot Theory is to empower you with the tools and advice you need to responsibly get outside.

7 comments on “Backcountry Bartender: Delicious & Easy Backpacking Cocktail Recipes

  1. I usually go with the vodka and some fruity powdered drank drink. One day it will be Everclear and an eye patch. That’s an ultralight tip.

  2. Why did you stop there?
    The options are limitless
    I prefer Tequila so every drink I make is a “Mountain Margarita”
    Usually just different brands of lemonade & lime juice from the little plastic limes.
    But I’m mixing it up this weekend.
    I found JollyRancher singles at Walmart and got watermelon flavor for “Watermelon Margaritas”
    And I grabbed a liquid concentrate “water enhancer” that is mango/pineapple flavor so I’ll also be trying out some “Mango Pineapple Margaritas”
    And that little green plastic lime always goes with me so I can chase my Tequila shots.

    I’m trying to figure out how to make a trail “Bloody Maria” or “Bloody Mary” for Vodka lovers.
    Any ideas???

    1. Hi Brandon!
      Have you figured out a trail friendly Bloody Mary mix? I’ve seen several online, like at Mrs Wages Store. Then you could add some powdered tomato mix and vodka! Maybe even pack in a stick of celery! You’d be the envy of the camp. I also read that some people have dehydrated tomato juice and a bottle of bloody mary mix and reconstituted it on-trail. I’d love to hear how your Bloody Mary turned out.

  3. I like using the apple cider mixes with caramel vodka. Not a big bourbon fan. This version tastes like caramel apples.

  4. For me, I like your suggestion on bringing a flask to share. A high point is sharing a view at the top of a mountain with a friend and a flask of something special, like a 12 to 14 year old scotch right out of a flask. Great view, great times and great whiskey.
    Dave L.

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