6 Easy Camping Cocktails Recipes Inspired by Nature

By Nancy Raven Kirk on February 09, 2024
8 min read

There’s nothing more enjoyable than a handcrafted cocktail while camping. Whether you're sipping around a campfire under a starry night sky or lounging by a chilly creek on a blazing summer day, these camping cocktail recipes are almost as essential as your favorite outdoor hiking shorts

Of course, not everyone drinks alcohol, so all of these camping cocktails can easily be made as virgin drinks by simply removing the alcoholic beverage from the drink, and occasionally swapping it out for another ingredient. We’ve included how to make each drink alcohol-free, so everyone (even the kids!) can sip on these delicious drinks.

Learn how to make the following camping cocktails. All names inspired by nature! 

  • Moonlight Margarita  
  • Saguaro Sangria 
  • S’mores Campfire Cocktail 
  • Badlands Bloody Mary 
  • The Old Faithful Old Fashioned
  • Sea Seeker Aperol Spritz

Moonlight Margarita 

Burritos are a camping staple because they’re easy, customizable, delicious, and filling. You can opt for a simple burrito recipe with just beans and rice, or fancify your meal with fajita veggies, grilled chicken, and guacamole. Either way, we’d argue a burrito isn’t really complete unless it’s accompanied by a nice, fresh camping cocktail - an ice-cold margarita.

While you don’t have to be camping to enjoy this margarita, you're sure to impress your camping buddies when you pull out a bag of frozen blended margaritas while immersed in nature. Refreshing and light, this margarita will surely become one of your new camping menu staples. This recipe yields about 8 margaritas. 


  • Can of limeade 
  • Water 
  • 2 limes 
  • Margarita salt 
  • Triple sec (or originally, blue curaçao for the real Moonlight margarita with dazzling blue color)
  • Silver tequila 
  • Optional: Sliced strawberries or jalapeños
blue liquid in drinking glass
Moonlight margarita with it's dazzling blue color by Sara Cervera.

Make a Virgin Margarita 

Take out the triple sec and tequila to make this a virgin drink. 


  1. Add one can of limeade to a large pitcher. 
  2. Fill the empty can of limeade with water and add to the container. Pour another can of water to the container. 
  3. Add 8-12 shots of tequila to the container, depending on desired strength. 
  4. Add 4-6 shots of triple sec. 
  5. Pour mixture into a thick, large ziplock baggie. You likely need two bags. 
  6. Double bag your mixture, and place in the freezer. 
  7. Leave overnight, or over two nights for a more solid freeze. 
  8. Once ready to go camping, place your margarita bags into an ice-filled cooler. 
  9. Once the margaritas have become a softer slushy texture, remove from the cooler. 
  10. Coat the rim of your glass with lime juice (from your sliced lime). 
  11. Dip the rim into salt, and fill your glass with margarita slushy. 
  12. Option to add sliced jalapenos if you like your cocktails spicy, or strawberries for a sweet and colorful touch. 

Saguaro Sangria 

This sangria is best enjoyed under a warm blue sky in Arizona’s Saguaro National Park, or anywhere in nature for that matter.

Sangria is an alcoholic punch with Spanish origins. It’s traditionally made with red wine, fresh fruit, and brandy, although there are plenty of variations. Our camping version of sangria is sweet not only because of its flavor, but because it can be made in advance for extra convenience.

Read The Ultimate Arizona Road Trip Itinerary for details on Saguaro National Park, as well as travel tips for visiting the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and more! 

We opted for a lighter sangria to make this cocktail enjoyable during summer camping trips. You can always play with the ingredients if you prefer red wine, which would pair better with dark liquor, such as rum.

We suggest using plastic mason jars if you have enough cooler space, as you’ll have built-in cups. Plus, you’ll probably feel like you ordered a beverage at a swanky bar. Pair your sangria with some camping spaghetti, sandwiches, or even enjoy the drink and the fruit inside as a midday snack! 


  • Fruits of choice (such as pineapple, strawberries, peaches) 
  • Limes (or lime juice) 
  • Lemonade concentrate
  • Sugar 
  • Soda water 
  • White wine 
  • Vodka 
yellow liquid in small plastic cup
Refreshing summer sangria made with white wine - fill it with fresh fruit! Photo by Michael Dunn.

How to Make a Virgin Sangria 

Omit the white wine and vodka and swap out the soda water for sprite. Voila! 


  1. Set out four plastic mason jars, or any other airtight container. We recommend plastic over glass since it's less likely to break. 
  2. Fill about one-fourth of the mason jars with fresh, chopped fruit. You can also use frozen fruit to make this recipe extra convenient. 
  3. Add one shot of vodka and two shots of wine to each jar.  
  4. Add a teaspoon of sugar and lemonade concentrate.
  5. Let the jars sit in your cooler or fridge until you’re ready to drink (for up to three days). 
  6. Once you're ready, fill the rest of the jar with club soda. Enjoy! 

S’mores Campfire Cocktail 

S’mores are a campfire classic, so why not turn that classic into a sweet, chilled cocktail? This drink is easy to enjoy with the whole family as it can easily be made into a virgin drink.

With alcohol or without, this is a sweet treat to sip on as the sun sets or while stargazing under a cozy blanket. Turn this drink into a tradition the kids won’t forget and can carry on into their adulthood. It’s easy to make, and even easier to enjoy! 


  • Almond milk 
  • Graham crackers 
  • Chocolate syrup 
  • Marshmallows 
  • Vanilla vodka 
  • Bailey’s 
person holding white cup with marshmellows
Drink this fine camping cocktail from a martini glass with marshmellow skewers on top! Photo by Stefen Tan.

How to Make a Virgin S’mores Campfire Cocktail 

Swap out the vodka and Bailey’s for eggnog. You can also opt for chocolate milk instead of almond milk, and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon. 


  1. Place chocolate syrup on a plate and, use it to coat your cup’s rim in syrup. 
  2. Mash up some graham crackers. Coat your rim in the graham cracker crumbs. It should stick to the syrup. 
  3. Add a few cubes of ice to the glass. 
  4. Add 1/3 cup of almond milk, one shot of vanilla vodka, and one shot of Bailey's to a container, and mix together. 
  5. For a virgin version, add eggnog or chocolate milk to your glass. Top with a few sprinkles of cinnamon. 
  6. Enjoy with loved ones. 

Badlands Bloody Mary 

It depends on the trip, but a Bloody Mary can kick start a day spent kayaking on a nearby lake. Garnish with a couple of olives, a celery stalk, and a pickle, and you’ve got a delicious, savory mid-day snack while hanging out with friends and reminiscing on past camp trips.


  • Tomato juice or Bloody Mary mix 
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Lime 
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Optional: Celery, olives, and pickles for garnish
red liquid in glass with pepper and olives on top
One of the best camping cocktails - Bloody Mary with olives and pepper. Photo by David Ashleydale.

How to Make a Virgin Badlands Bloody Mary 

Omit step one from the instructions below. 


  1. Pour one shot of vodka into a cup filled with ice. 
  2. Fill the remainder of the cup with tomato juice. 
  3. Add hot sauce and Worcestershire to taste. 
  4. Squeeze half a lime into a cup. 
  5. Stir and garnish with whatever you like! 

The Old Faithful Old Fashioned 

If you’ve traveled to Yellowstone, you’ve undoubtedly stopped by Old Faithful. This famous, trusty geyser continuously erupts an average of 20 times per day to provide spectators with entertainment performed by Mother Nature herself.

Just as Old Faithful and Yellowstone are highlights of any trip to Wyoming, these old-fashioned cocktails are sure to be a highlight of your camping trip, no matter where you are.

Disclaimer: this recipe is best enjoyed with friends while listening and singing along to some good old acoustic guitar. 

Read The 10 Best Hikes in Yellowstone National Park to start planning your next visit! 


  • Orange 
  • Maraschino cherries 
  • Sugar 
  • Club soda
  • Bourbon or another whiskey
orange drink in glass
Old Fashioned tastes like heaven after a day spent hiking. Photo by Paige Ledford.

Make it Virgin 

To make virgin old-fashioned, swap out your bourbon for a half glass of coke or dark ginger ale. 


  1. Thinly slice orange. 
  2. Place one orange slice, a maraschino cherry, and a teaspoon of sugar into your cup. 
  3. Use a spoon to smash ingredients together and dissolve sugar. 
  4. Add ice to your cup and pour in a shot of whiskey. 
  5. Add a splash of club soda. 
  6. Garnish with another orange slice and cherry.

Sea Seeker Aperol Spritz 

There’s something about a refreshing Aperol spritz on a bright summer day that just elevates your mood. They are citrusy, bubbly, colorful, and easy to make. This drink has become more popular in the past few decades, and for good reason.

So what is Aperol anyway? It’s the Italian bitter that gives this drink its gorgeous orange color. If you haven’t already added these to your camping cocktail rotation, you’ll need to try them on your next summertime camping trip.


  • Aperol 
  • Processo or other sparkling wine 
  • Soda water 
  • Optional: Orange wedge for garnish
two glasses with orange liquid outdoors
Take a break at the summit with the fresh Aperol spritz! Photo by Sven Mieke.

Make it Virgin 

Instead of sparkling wine, opt for a sparkling beverage, such as Martinelli’s or even Sprite. 


  1. Fill a stemmed glass with ice, and add about two ounces of Aperol and one ounce of sparkling water.
  2. Add 3 to 4 ounces of sparkling wine. 
  3. Garnish with an orange wedge. 

Go Camping with KÜHL

We encourage you to enjoy every moment! Whether camping with family or friends new and old, sharing food and drinks creates memorable bonds and offers comfort while exploring new places. Our clothing is also focused on making our community comfortable as they move through each new day.

Shop our clothing below to join the KÜHL community of outdoor enthusiasts!

Featured Image - Drinking margaritas on Lake Sherwood, Thousand Oaks. Photo by Luke Bender.

Nancy Raven Kirk
Nancy Raven Kirk

Nancy is a writer, traveler, and outdoor enthusiast originally from Los Angeles. She's had work published in the L.A. Times, OC Weekly, and various other publications. Check out her website at www.copybykirk.com.


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