Some people don’t understand that hammockers are not just lazy , work avoiding low lifes, swaying in the breeze with a cocktail, a sunset and a beach. The truth is that we’re a hardworking, active group of adventurers, climbing mountains, fording rivers, exploring new environments, with just our hammocks and a backpack of essentials. More importantly, all that stuff to make cocktails is really, really, friggin heavy. But that sholdn’t stop us from enjoying a cocktail after a long day. We just need to adapt our recipes.
Unless you plan on hauling some copper kettles and a serious amount of grain into the woods, chances are, you won’t be producing or getting your liquor after you start your hike. But that’s not to say there’s not a way to make your normal liquor purchases more suitable for the trail. Collapsible flasks from GSI Outdoors are a great way to take your liquor into the wild and forego the heavy, very non-collapsible bottle. Each flask holds up to 4 oz of your spirit of choice and easily packs away into the nooks and crannies of your pack.
Besides apple cider mix and Tang, you won’t find a lot of powder, trail-ready, juice mixes. This is a problem considering that just about every tropical cocktail relies on some sort of juice mixture. Luckily, we’ve got a solution. By taking dehydrated fruit and running it through your blender or food processor at high speed, you can make a powdered juice mix that will taste plenty good after a long hike. Make pineapple, orange, lemon, and lime juice, all with this simple technique. For mixing ratios, do your own tests, but 1/2 Tbsp to 4oz. of water should yield a decent juice. You may also want to add a tsp of sugar to the juice to return some of the sweetness lost in the dehydrating process.
Here’s one area where you can get real creative making cocktails on the trail. Instead of frilly toothpicks, go for twigs or sticks. Shave the bark and sharpen the ends to make a toothpick Davy Crockett would be proud of. As for the garnish itself, consider dehydrated fruits and berries easily found in the bulk food section of most supermarkets. Cherries, strawberries, pineapples, and orange slices are all easy to find in dehydrated form. Thread them onto your trail-made toothpick and let the liquids in your drink re-hydrate them for a classy, spirit infused garnish.
If you’re lucky to be near a glacier or snowfield, your ice needs are pretty easily met, just make sure you take the cold stuff from a few inches down. The top of ice and snow is great for collecting all sorts of nasty bacteria. If you aren’t lucky enough to hammock near something that convenient, try cooling your cocktail by letting it sit in a sealed container in nearby stream or lake. Make sure that your container is completely sealed to guard against untreated water turning your happy hour into a gastrointestinal nightmare.
For a mai tai, mix equal parts orange juice and dark rum, garnishing with a dehydrated pineaple and cherry. For a daiquiri, mix together lemon and lime juice mix along with white rum and a touch of sugar. Do you like pina coladas? All you need to make one is pineapple and orange juice mix, along with some grated coconut and white rum. Shake to combine all your liquid and garnish with a cherry and pineapple piece.