Whether you’re headed out to the beach, to some of our beautiful camping sites or fishing at a lake, bringing refreshments is a must. After all, there’s nothing more relaxing than lounging outside with a nice, cold drink in hand after a hard week of work. The combination of a well-mixed drink and fresh air will certainly help you forget all about the stress from the past days. That being said, having your own portable bar to take anywhere you want sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it?
But mixing drinks in the great outdoors is a lot different than doing so at home. Luckily, with the right elements, stocking a functional portable bar can be affordable and easy. From negronis to margaritas, here are all the basics you need to mix up the best ever cocktail recipes on the go.
Before you can become a real outdoor mixologist, you need the proper tools to perfect your art. However, you just can’t take a tumbler or a glass that you have in your home bar. Not only are these more likely to spill, but they can also break and get you hurt. That being said, you need to get some proper outdoor-friendly barware that’s leak-proof, sturdy and insulated to keep your drinks colder for longer.
Obviously glass is a big no-no to take with you in a backpack. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is a much better choice. So, instead of bringing along glass bottles that can break and cause a mess, consider straining the drinks in specialised bottles made of 304 food-grade stainless steel. While a stainless steel water bottle can also work, outdoor bar bottles are designed to look like the real thing, so you can sip your favourite drink in style. What’s more, some of these bottles are designed to hold the drinks cold for up to 24 hours.
If you’re one to experiment with cocktails and mix a variety of drinks, a portable mixer is essential for you. Make sure to pick one with a leak-proof lid with a seal. There are also outdoor-friendly cocktail and wine glasses made so you can feel extra fancy. These glasses are usually made of 304 food-grade stainless steel or BPA-free acrylic as a lighter alternative.
Besides bottles, mixers and glasses, you will also need a bar spoon for stirring drinks. For most drinks, you can get away with a standard long stirring spoon that you probably have lying around in your kitchen drawer.
The Right Alcohol
Or course, bringing a collection of alcohol with you can only weigh you down and take up valuable space for other things that can make your trip more enjoyable. So it’s a good idea to create your outdoor cocktail menu based only on a few simple, but quality ingredients. Since most cocktails are centred around spirits, gin is the most versatile alcohol to take on the go for whipping up fresh cocktails.
For greater convenience, consider getting some mini gin specials that will be just enough to mix and sip. And if you want to offer your company a unique gin-tasting experience, you can get a gin tasting pack that consists of a variety of Aussie gins from different states and territories. You can find these gin specials at a store specialising in craft gin. Some of these stores also offer pre-assembled packages for different cocktails featuring other drinks like vermouth, cola or lemon juice so you don’t have to go around shopping for extra ingredients.
A Portable Cooler
Even though portable bottles may be good for keeping drinks cool for 24 hours, a portable cooler is even better. With a cooler, you can enjoy really ice cold drinks – and there’s nothing better than this on a super hot day. There are two types of outdoor coolers – soft-side and heavy-duty. Basic soft-side coolers are great for picnics as they offer minimal insulation. They are lightweight and great for space-conscious consumers as they can conveniently fit in the trunk of all cars. They also carry a negligible price tag which makes them very popular.
A heavy-duty cooler is something you want to have with you if you’re going on a camping holiday that lasts a week or more. They offer a large capacity and can be plugged into a generator, which is why they are most convenient for RV users. Their thick insulation, tight seal and locking lids makes them a great choice for harsh outside conditions.
If you have an outdoor cooler or want to invest in one, then you can also get some chilled, fresh cocktail garnishes. Things like ice cubes, fresh herbs, olives, lemons and strawberries can go a long way toward fancifying simple cocktails and really take your outdoor adventure to the next level. After all, eye-catching presentation is one of the reasons we love cocktails so much. Just be sure to also take a small paring knife or veggie peeler to clean the garnishes.