While chatting with my sisters last night, I realized I’m missing an important piece of RV Life, here on the blog. We do a lot of day drinking, evening drinking, campfire drinking. Ha ha! So here’s my stab at defining the 5 best cocktails to drink around a campfire! Pile up some wood, whether in the forest or your own backyard and mix up one of these divine sippers!
First, let me offer a little bit of background. My mother died about four and a half years ago. Then my dad kept her cremated remains with him until he died in January, 2020. My sisters and I planned to bury them together that summer in Louisiana…but then the world starting closing down from Covid-19. Long story short, we couldn’t all meet up until February, 2021 to finally lay our parents to rest. Dang you, world pandemic!
I decided that we needed an official cocktail for the occasion and came across a recipe for the Corpse Reviver No. 2. It seemed perfect! This drink comes from the pre-Prohibition time period and was consumed to rouse the drinker from the dead! Basically it’s the ultimate case of “the hair of the dog”, as people drank this to get over a hang-over, “increase vigor” and otherwise have a great start to your day. What better drink to celebrate our parents!
Well, of course, we ended up with two best cocktails for celebrating our parents! The second was a Cotton Candy Margarita, complete with a choose your own cotton candy selection from Walmart. I kept my “glass” and still use it for margaritas today…around the campfire…making this drink my first in the 5 best cocktails for drinking around a campfire!
#1 Cotton Candy Margarita
This awesome drinks comes from Such the Spot, who I found on Pinterest. I may or may not have a secret Pinterest Board labeled Cocktails. I’m so obsessed with collecting drink recipes, even though I don’t make most of them. Anyway, this cotton candy margarita is to die for! And you can get all the recipe details over on the link above. But this simple mix of lime juice, cream soda, cotton candy and tequila really hits the spot!
I’ll never drink a cotton candy margarita without thinking of my sisters, especially my youngest sister, Alana. She wasn’t all too sure about trying the Corpse Reviver No. 2. But she sure enjoyed sipping this little drink right out of our cotton candy packaging cups! Me too!
It brings all the best of summer into one glass. Who doesn’t think of light and airy spun sugar when they think of hot summer days?! And combine that with a margarita? Yep, it’s definitely a drink you’ll love sipping around a campfire. Or in front of the TV, who I am to judge? Steve and I do our fair share of day drinking, so you just do you and try this awesome cocktail.
#2 Smores Martini
Okay, this one is dedicated to my sister, Della. She jumped right on the bandwagon during our sister-chat about cocktails. Della is the queen of infused vodka, I mean seriously, if you can think of it she’s soaked it in vodka for a few days. And then concocted all kinds of delicious drinks!
Now I don’t know how true this is, but I’m going to share what I remember about my dad’s aunts and mother from when we were kids. They had fabulous parties, where everyone dressed up. The men retired to my great-uncle’s den, probably to smoke. And the women drank cocktails out of beautiful crystal glasses. I was maybe 8-10, so who knows if my memories are true, but…this is how I picture my sister Della. She could fit right back into those cocktail parties, fancy dress, fancy drink and all!
On to the Smore Martini, which is one of THE best cocktails for sitting around a campfire, while solving world peace. I found this recipe over on Host the Toast and boy does it deliver! She even lights the marshmallow on fire before dropping it into the glass. What??? I mean who thinks of that little extra awesomeness?!
It starts with a marshmallow fluff and graham cracker rim on the glass. Then squeeze chocolate sauce into the glass to make it look even prettier and taste even yummier. Add in your mix of marshmallow vodka, Irish Cream, heavy cream, Drambuie and more chocolate sauce! What could be tastier? Well, in total honesty, I hadn’t heard of Drambuie before. But over on her website, Morgan says it’s “made from scotch, honey, and spices. It doesn’t scream “graham cracker” but it gives you a little nod to it.” A little nod to the graham cracker? Yes, please!
Kids, you can have your sticky version of a smore. Grammie’s having this Smores Martini!
#3 Watermelon Cucumber Gin and Tonic
I’m a lover of gin! Hendrick’s is my favorite for anything having to do with cucumber. It’s just a heavenly combination of refreshing summertime drinking. This easy drink is great around the campfire or for enjoying a BBQ with friends. It makes a big batch, so that’s even better! I found an official version here on Joyful Healthy Eats. But I’ve been making it for years, just off the cuff.
Chop up some watermelon, blend it and pour it in a pitcher. The recipe I’m sharing says to strain it and just use the “juice” and that’s certainly a great option. But I’m not usually quite that patient, it’s up to you. I also throw cucumber slices into the watermelon while blending, for that extra little kick of goodness.
Add lime juice (or lemon if that’s what you have), gin, simple syrup (or agave), tonic water, thin cucumber slices and you’re good to go! Skip the gin, if you’re making a batch for the kiddos. Add some mint, if you like that kind of thing.
Simple syrup is just equal parts sugar and water stirred together till combined. For big batches, I heat it to dissolve the sugar, then let it cool before using. Keep a mason jar in the fridge and you’re ready for cocktails all summer long.
#4 Strawberry Basil Margarita
Because if one margarita is good for my 5 best cocktails to drink around a campfire roundup, then why not two? Plus who doesn’t love this classic combination of strawberries and basil? Oh, you could serve a side dish of sliced tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and basil, drizzled with a delightful balsamic vinegar. What a heavenly combination! Grill some chicken. Or not. Give me a plate of tomatoes and mozzarella with a glass of Strawberry Basil Margarita and you’ll find me literally drooling by the campfire!
Here’s an easy to follow version that I found at Our Salty Kitchen, in case you want all the particulars. But again, I’m a wing it kind of gal, so measure if you want! Blend some strawberries with tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and simple syrup (or honey). Then muddle your basil in a cocktail shaker. I’d likely toss in another splash of tequila, just to make the muddling easier. Add in the strawberry blend and shake it like you’re Tayler Swift! (Back in my running days, her song “Shake it Up” was one of my favorite songs to listen to as I sashayed down the road. It was likely not pretty, but it WAS fun.)
Pour that yummy goodness into a salt-rimmed glass of ice, head over to your campfire and gaze at some stars. What a delicious drink for soaking up summer evenings!
#5 Best Cocktails: Limoncello ~ Lemon Drops
Okay, Limoncello is one of my favorite all time drinks. It’s a sipping drink that I first discovered in Italy with Steve. Limoncello is commonly served after dinner, in a little shot glass. It’s not a shot drink though, it’s for sipping. Steve doesn’t love it, but I do!
We went back to Rome, some years later, with my sister Trish and her husband, Ben. He fell in love with it, just like me! And Trish has long been a Lemon Drop drinker. So my last best cocktail for drinking around a campfire is actually two drinks! It’s your classic two-fer. Ha ha. I’m amusing myself, can you tell?
Limoncello takes a couple weeks to prepare, so you do need to plan ahead. When we were in Arizona this past February, we stopped by my girlfriend’s house. She’d been picking oranges from her yard and I’m not even exaggerating when I say that her entire island and one counter was stacked full of citrus! Another friend had given her lemons. So I left with a huge bag full of two different kinds of oranges and beautiful fat yellow lemons. I ate an orange (or two) a day for a couple weeks. I’ve never tasted anything better!
All that to say, I was in heaven! Oranges and lemons, oh my! I quickly got to peeling the lemons to start a batch of limoncello. Now you can probably find a detailed recipe, but you don’t need to.
Here’s all there is to making your own:
- Peel the lemons carefully, so you get the zest part, but not the yellow part. It doesn’t matter if your strips are even, as no one’s going to see them.
- Put them in a quart mason jar and fill 3/4 full of vodka. Use a good vodka. Well, that’s true of any cocktail. Buy the best alcohol you can afford, as it truly makes a difference.
- Steep the lemon peels in a dark place for a week or so. In our truck camper, I put it in the bottom shelf of our pantry and tuck a bag of powdered sugar around it to keep it safe. If you forget about it like I did, don’t worry, it’ll just be more lemony.
- Strain out the peels and then fill the rest of the quart jar with simple syrup.
- Wait for another week. I know it’ll just about kill you, all the waiting!
- Then sip and enjoy!
It’s really that simple and delicious.
Lemon Drop: One of the best cocktails ever!
So, if you want to make your limoncello into a fancier drink, that’s easy too!
- Rub a lemon slice around the rim of a martini glass, then dip it in sugar.
- In a shaker with ice, add 1 ounce limoncello and 1 ounce vodka. Shake it up, then pour into the prepared glass.
- Get fancy by adding a twist of lemon peel.
- Head to the campfire and enjoy!
If you don’t want to wait two weeks to make limoncello (or a month if you forget you’re making a batch!), then hop on over to Savory Experiments to try their version of a Lemon Drop. You’ll be glad you did!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my take on the 5 best cocktails to drink around the campfire! It was fun for me to pull together some of my favorite drinks. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I have. Cheers!