Who knew? When I started camping, my idea of a camping adult beverage was a Bud Light. That’s it. Bud Light (not that there’s anything wrong with that…) Then I went camping with my sister’s in-laws and my eyes were opened to a whole new world. A world that had wine, and cocktails, and fancy appetizers. Yes, a Camping Happy Hour world! And what a fun world it is!
That first night years ago, as our group gathered together near a roaring campfire to watch an amazing sunset, my sister’s in-laws (longtime avid RVers) came sauntering over to our site from theirs, beverages in hand. And to my amazement, it wasn’t Bud Light! A rich and smoky Cab for him, and a light and fruity Chardonnay for her, both swishing and swirling in elegant wine glasses. Wait… what?? Wine? They brought wine camping? (Oh, and she also brought over the most amazing bacon-wrapped shrimp appetizers to go with said wine. Woo hoo!)
Clearly, I had a lot to learn. And learn I did! I learned that a ton of folks who camp bring wine. I learned that those beautiful wine glasses are actually unbreakable plastic wine goblets. I also learned that wine is just the beginning – there’s all kinds of whiskey (Scotch, Bourbon, etc.), rum, and of course mixed drinks. And you really don’t need to bring many ingredients to concoct a whole host of flavorful, interesting, and satisfying adult beverages. I learned what it takes to have a killer Camping Happy Hour!
Easy Camping Happy Hour Drinks
Let’s start with the obvious – beer! Let me be clear… There’s nothing like an ice cold beer straight out of the cooler when you’re out camping. So bring all the Bud Light you can! It’s a light, refreshing, perfect mid-afternoon go-to to get things rolling.
Now on to the “more interesting” stuff… Wine. Boxed wine is where it’s at when it comes to camping, my friends. No need to bring heavy, breakable wine bottles. Just find a box you like (there are actually some pretty decent red and white choices… if you’re looking for rosé, you’re probably out of luck, though), and pack it wherever it easily fits. When I bring white, I take the inner bag out of the box and toss it into our drink cooler. It’s always available, and always cold!
Next up, the hard stuff. Whether you like it neat, on the rocks, or mixed with a variety of sodas or juices, liquor can make for some very interesting evening cocktails. Bring a Lightweight Cocktail Shaker and the sky’s the limit! Whether you’re a Jack or Jim or Jameson fan, bring along some Coke and you’re all set! Vodka also has its place (like in that ever-delightful morning Bloody Mary), and don’t forget the rum – added to some tropical punch or mixed with a bit of cranberry juice and 7-Up (that’s the Wave Runner I’m talking about and pictured here…), rum gets the job done!
That ought to get the party started! Here’s a recap of what you need (feel free to add as you wish based on available space and personal tastes):
- Wine (red or white, or both (like I do!))
- Vodka and Bloody Mary Mix (if you subscribe to the “hair of the dog” theory)
- Lightweight Cocktail Shaker (click on link to order through Amazon)
- Plastic Wine Glasses (click on link to order through Amazon – these are the exact ones I have. Love ’em!)
- Anything else that makes people happy
- And if you want some ideas for Camping Snacks, listen to this 10 minutes podcast!
I’ve learned so many things camping with my sister’s in-laws (like the importance of watching the black tank levels, or when to hook up batteries in series or parallel), but my favorite is how to have a great Camping Happy Hour! Cheers to them and their more than 50 years of marriage and their 20+ years of RV camping together. May you have many more!