You can do more to stay warm than layering up. Time to up your cocktail game with some warm libations.
Looking for something hot to drink on your next camping trip, hike, or even just around the house? Sure, winter camping requires a bit more planning and grit. But it also opens up more possibilities for food and drink. After all, good ol’ raisins and peanuts (GORP) won’t cut it when you need to stay warm.
Primus Outdoor Cooking Equipment’s consulting chef, Adam Dulye — author of “The Beer Pantry” — put together some classic boozy hot drinks to keep you relaxed and toasty warm no matter where you choose to partake. Heck, you could spice up the holidays indoors too!
Best Winter Cocktail Recipes
Mulled Wine (8 Servings)
This mulled wine is a fall and winter warmer for the patio, couch, or campsite. It has a little spice kick from the apple cider as well as black peppercorns to balance the honey or agave.
Mulled Wine Ingredients:
- 750 mL red wine (ideally pinot noir, Gamay, softer varietals; avoid zinfandel, merlot)
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 orange sliced into ¼” thick rounds, seeds removed, about 6 slices per orange
- 4 each whole cloves
- 2 each cinnamon sticks
- 2 each star anise
- 4 each black peppercorns
- 3 tbsp. honey or agave
- ½ cup brandy
- 1 piece cheesecloth (roughly 8” x 8”) and string to tie
- Place the cheesecloth flat on a work surface. Place the cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorns, and star anise inside, close up, and tie with string.
- In a 3L camp pot, pour in the wine, apple cider, and two orange slices, reserving the remaining four for garnish
- Bring the wine over medium heat to a simmer. Do not let the liquid boil.
- Stir in the honey or agave.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the brandy, remove from heat, and remove the cheesecloth.
- Serve and garnish with an orange slice or chill to hold the cold for up to 24 hours.
- Note: If you’re using the Primus Tupike, add a little camp flavor by grilling the orange and cinnamon sticks on the included Griddle Plate over medium heat until lightly marked, then add to the wine.
Whiskey Chai (4 Servings)
This recipe guides you on how to make your own masala chai. Of course, you can also buy chai concentrate from your favorite tea company or local store.
The best way to take this to the campsite is in two containers. Heat the chai first, then add the oat milk (or half-and-half) and whisk with a fork to get a frothy top. Then, simply pour the milk over the chai.
Whiskey Chai Ingredients:
- 2 cups of water
- 3 black tea bags
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 1 tsp. allspice berries
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp. vanilla paste or 1 each vanilla bean split
- 2 tbsp. honey or agave
- 2 cups oat milk (or half-and-half)
- 6 oz. bourbon
- Ground cinnamon to garnish
- Combine all the chai ingredients in a 1L Primus Campfire Saucepan and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer for 20 minutes, remove from heat, and strain through a fine strainer or coffee filter. Hold hot or chill and store for up to 2 days.
- Pack to take with you at this stage. If finishing, continue to the next step.
- In a 1.8L saucepan, bring oat milk to a boil over medium heat. Froth gently with a fork.
- Lay out four mugs and pour 1½ ounces of bourbon into each mug.
- Combine oat milk with hot chai base or reheat chai in a separate pot and add in.
- Pour one cup of hot chai liquid into each mug.
- Garnish with a dash of ground cinnamon.
- Campfire Cookset Small (both 1L and 1.8L saucepans included)
- 4 Seasons Mugs
- Tupike Portable Stove
- Klunken Vacuum Bottle (if traveling)
Boozy Campfire Coffee (2 Servings)
A great finish to the evening, this recipe is made with decaf coffee so you can still fall asleep under the stars. For those who want to stay up or turn this into a morning warmer, by all means, charge it up!
Campfire Coffee Ingredients:
- 2 cups hot decaf coffee
- 2 oz. rum
- 2 oz. bourbon or Irish whiskey
- 2 oz. oat milk or half-and-half
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- Prepare coffee in your preferred manner.
- Lay out two mugs.
- In the bottom of each mug, add 1 teaspoon brown sugar and 1 ounce of oat milk.
- Add 1 ounce each of bourbon and rum to each mug.
- Pour 1 cup of hot decaf coffee into each mug.
- Stir and enjoy.
Apple Brandy Hot Toddy (2 Servings)
Classically, a hot toddy is simply hot water, lemon, and brandy. This recipe takes it into fall and winter with the use of apple brandy and a warm garnish of cinnamon.
This can be made hot and transported in your favorite vacuum-insulated bottle. The cinnamon will bloom a bit, so make sure to let this sit a minute before taking that first sip.
Apple Brandy Hot Toddy Ingredients:
- 2 cups of water
- 2 tbsp. honey or agave
- 1½ oz. fresh lemon juice
- 2 pieces whole cinnamon stick
- 4 oz. apple brandy
- ½ fresh apple — honeycrisp, gala, or fuji — thinly sliced
- Bring the water to a boil. Turn down to a simmer.
- Add honey and fresh lemon juice and all but four apple slices.
- Lay out two mugs and add 2 ounces of apple brandy to each mug. Add one cinnamon stick and two slices of apple to each mug.
- Pour one cup hot water-and-lemon mixture into each mug and serve.
Drinking Chocolate (2 Servings)
This is thick! It’s supposed to be, and the idea was created by the French — because this is what you would take into the French Alps. Frankly, it’s how you should drink chocolate. It’s a dessert, a beverage, and an internal warmer all at the same time.
Seek out the best-quality chocolate you can (think German or Mexican chocolate over 70% cacao) for this recipe, and you’ll be rewarded with an even richer sip.
Drinking Chocolate Ingredients:
- 2 cups oat milk or half-and-half
- 8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
- 3 oz. whiskey, bourbon, or rum
- 4-8 candied cherries
- Sea salt flakes to garnish
- Place the chopped chocolate into a 1L saucepan and set aside.
- In a separate 1.8L saucepan, bring the oat milk or half-and-half to a boil.
- Pour the oat milk over the chocolate and stir gently to combine.
- Bring the mixture over very low heat to a gentle simmer and continue stirring. Do not stop stirring, or the chocolate will burn in the pan.
- Place in a thermal mug for travel or set out two mugs and pour 1½ ounces whiskey, bourbon, or rum into each mug.
- Pour one cup of chocolate mixture into each mug.
- Garnish with candied cherries and a few flakes of sea salt.