Looking for the perfect summer camping cocktail? This Blackberry Citrus Old Fashioned is the warm weather whiskey drink you’ve been waiting for.
As readers of this blog may already know, we don’t camp with a cooler. 1) We don’t have any room. 2) We hate dealing with ice. Then again, sometimes we really really miss having ice, like when we’re trying to make a cocktail. During the cooler months, we were content to enjoy a Hot Toddy or two in the evenings, but with summer on the way, we needed to figure out a more seasonally appropriate drink.
We landed on an Old Fashioned, which traditionally uses ice but works well without it, and only requires a few ingredients. For the fruit, we used an orange and blackberries. The orange is great for camping because it doesn’t spoil or bruise, and you can liven up your campfire by tossing the rinds in. The blackberries might require a little attention, but if you are camping along the coast of the Pacific Northwest then chances are there’s a blackberry bush right next to your tent. We were in Arizona, so ours came from Whole Foods.
For the sugar, we snagged a couple of packets of raw cane sugar from Starbucks. While it’s nice having these small packets on hand, we’d suggest looking for traditional white sugar. For this cocktail, you’ll be using the sugar to make a simple syrup (dissolved sugar + water), and white sugar is better at this than raw cane sugar (although either will work).
Finally, the most essential ingredient in making an Old Fashioned: the bitters! When we used to live in Los Angeles, there was a cocktail shop down the street from us called Bar Keeper that had an entire section of the store devoted to different styles of bitters. Much like whiskey itself, you can easily fall down the rabbit hole of different flavors.
While Angostura Orange used to be our go-to bitters, we recently got turned on to Hella Bitters. Hella is a Brooklyn-based cocktail company, that offers a range of cocktail accessories, and they also make their own bitters and syrups. We found that their Citrus Bitters added the perfect balance of floral and citrus notes to our Old Fashioned.
So this summer, instead of schlepping a cooler full of beer out into the woods, give this refreshing whiskey drink a try instead.
Equipment Used in This Recipe
Hella Citrus Bitters – This “full spectrum” bitter is made from four different types of citrus (including: lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit) as well as a proprietary blend of herbs, roots, and spices. It’s bright and well-balanced profile made it the perfect choice to enhance this fruity whiskey cocktail. Beech Adventure Spoon by Miscellaneous Adventures – This handcrafted wooden spoon is great for a variety camp cooking activities, including – in this particular case – muddling! Made from naturally antibacterial beech wood, this spoon is perfectly suited for cooking in the outdoors – where cleanliness is often less than ideal. Summit Mini Chopping Board by Miscellaneous Adventures – The relatively small size of this handcrafted wooden chopping board makes it the perfect addition to our portable cocktail kit. This mini chopping board gives us plenty of space to work without being too bulky to carry. Opinel Trekker Knife – We use this pocket knife for practically everything – including cocktail preparation. It has a stainless steel blade and locking hilt, which makes it perfect for slicing up fruit. We also love the forest green handle and leather lanyard, which gives it an outdoor aesthetic without looking like a macho commando knife. Snow Peak Silicone Rocks Glass – The classiest and safest way to enjoy a mixed drink in the outdoors, these silicone rocks glass are crystal clear and completely shatter-proof. With a pair of these, there’s no worry of broken glass on the ground.
Blackberry Citrus Old Fashioned Cocktail
1 teaspoon sugar
splash of water
2 1/2-inch thick half-moon slices of orange
2 dashes Hella Citrus Bitters
1.5 oz whiskey
Optional: 2-3 ice cubes
In a cup or a mug, dissolve the sugar in a splash of water.
Add the blackberries and orange slices and muddle with the back of a spoon.
Pour in a shot of your whiskey of choice, 2 dashes bitters, and stir to mix. Add ice if desired.