We asked the experts for some easy-to-make but impressive cocktails that are perfect for any campsite.

gin and grapefruit cocktail recipe

Thomas J. Story

Cocktail by Ryan Lawrence, Clare Byrne, and Thomas Giddings of Suncliffe gin

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You don’t need more than a few ingredients to make delicious camp cocktails that are as flavorful as they are easy to tote around. So, we asked a trio of our favorite spirit makers for their favorite recipes. Then we headed to an Airstream at the new AutoCamp Joshua Tree to craft them in the great outdoors.

Attraction

watermelon and sake cocktail recipe
Cocktail by Nova Brewing Co.’s James Jin and Emiko Tanabe

Thomas J. Story

Shinobu Adams of Nova Brewing Co.
Shinobu Adams. Photo by @wtfukusumi

Nova Brewing Co.’s James Jin and Emiko Tanabe are crafting a true California sake at their outpost and brewery in Covina. While the beverage is “normally enjoyed straight, like a fine wine,” the team created a special cocktail recipe with watermelon cubes to “complement the delicate flavor,” says Shinobu Adams, director of sales and marketing. Makes 1 cocktail

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Get the Gear: Sip some sake while you craft this cocktail with Snow Peak’s titanium Bartender Set, which comes with a sake bottle and cups, plus a measuring spoon and stacking mug.

Attraction

New Old Oaxacan

mezcal cocktail recipe
Cocktail by Dana Rodriguez of Doña Loca mezcals and tequilas

Thomas J. Story

Dana Rodriguez of Doña Loca
Dana Rodriguez. Photo by Joni Schrantz

Dana Rodriguez is not only a chef; she’s also behind Doña Loca mezcals and tequilas. For her new Denver restaurant Cantina Loca, beverage manager Nicole Rezner created this cocktail with simple syrup and bitters, but here added a few more ingredients for a pre-batched version.

“Our Espadìn mezcal has a smooth, rich mouthfeel,” Rodriguez says, “which makes it excellent to use in unfussy cocktails like this one.” Makes about 12 cocktails

Get the Gear: Portion out your batched cocktail for easy storage on a hike thanks to VSSL’s Flask, a compact container also equipped with a flashlight, compass, and built-in shot glasses.

New Old Oaxacan

Desert Bloom

gin and grapefruit cocktail recipe
Cocktail by Ryan Lawrence, Clare Byrne, and Thomas Giddings of Suncliffe gin

Thomas J. Story

Suncliffe gin founders Ryan Lawrence, Clare Byrne, and Thomas Giddings
Ryan Lawrence, Clare Byrne,
and Thomas Giddings.
Photo Courtesy of Suncliffe.

Ryan Lawrence, Clare Byrne, and Thomas Giddings craft Suncliffe gin as an ode to Arizona. They also sell pre-made cocktail kits that are perfect for an overnight camping trip.

“Compared to a lot of gins on the market today, Suncliffe does not have a strong citrusy note,” says Lawrence. “We did this on purpose for two reasons, which are to really highlight the wild harvested ingredients, and because fresh citrus is always available to add as a juice or garnish.” Makes 1 cocktail

Get the Gear: Take your cocktail to go in High Camp’s Firelight 750 Flask; two tumblers screw on the top and bottom of the vacuum-insulated cylinder.

Desert Bloom

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