Boozy Warm Winter Drinks to Make on Your Next Outdoor Adventure
Winter is finally here, and it's probably one of my favorite times of the year. Some of our favorite climbing areas are finally cool enough to climb at. Ski and mountaineering options open up. I can go running outside any time of the day without sweating a gallon of water out of my body. The weather is fantastic in California during this time of the year.
PLUS we can make our favorite winter-time boozy drinks! These are great for on the go, at the top of a peak, or even winding down at the end of the day at camp. I've detailed 3 of my favorites below.
*Disclaimer* This post features alcoholic drinks and you should be 21 or older before drinking in the United States. Also, this post contains affiliate links.
Some useful tools to have for your boozy outdoor drink setup include:
- A Flask! It's nice to have your booze ready to go when you are. We like the Classic Flask from Stanley
- A Thermos! This is particularly useful if you want to prepare your hot drink ahead of time and save it for later, or to drink at the top of a peak or climb. During the winter whenever we go bouldering we fill ours up with hot tea or coffee to enjoy the whole day of climbing. We have a Stanley thermos, which holds a lot of hot water and lasts for 24 hours, I also have a GSI Outdoors Coffee Mug that is "ultralight" that I can bring with me backpacking that holds in heat for up to 8 hours
- A Mug! Grab the mug of your choice, whether lightweight, or cozy, or handmade... whatever floats your boat. I like this "Zero Fox Given" mug (have this one at home), or if you are looking for something handmade, I really like @alexapland stuff on Instagram!
- A way to boil water! If you're going to be boiling water at camp, its nice to have a quick way to boil water. I like MSR products the best, I detailed one on my favorite gear page, and they also have a full setup with gas online for purchase. Alternatively, you could get a Jetboil. Jetboil's are great too and I used to own one, but I found the MSR Reactor to be better at high altitudes and better with wind. Either one is a great option though.
Now onto the recipes... All recipes below are for 1 serving size, and are meant to be easy to make. We don't need technical recipes when we are outside adventuring.
Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Schnapps
This recipe is as classic as it gets, and there is nothing more cozy than sitting around a campfire at the end of the day with a cup of Hot Chocolate spiked with Peppermint Schnapps.
- 1 oz Peppermint Schnapps (or more if you're up for it)
- 5 oz Hot Chocolate - for camping we like the individual sized packets from Ghirardelli, or for a vegan alternative check out Wild Cocotropic Raw Cacao
- Prepare the hot chocolate however you like. Usually we just buy some hot chocolate mix, which just requires some hot water, making it easy for camping or exploring.
- Combine the Peppermint Schnapps (1-2 oz is usually perfect) into the hot chocolate mix
ZEN AND THE ART OF TRAILBLAZING
Smoked Maple Bourbon Chai Tea
Celebrate reaching the top of your climb or hike with a hot, spiked cup of chai tea, or enjoy on the go! As always, use common sense. If your hike or climb back down is technical or requires a technical rapel, it might be best to wait till you reach the bottom. Use your best judgment.
- 6 oz hot water
- 2 chai tea bags, such as Tazo Chai tea, or whatever brand of tea you enjoy. If you prefer a more mild Chai flavor, use 1 bag instead of 2.
- 1 to 3 oz Maple Bourbon of your choice (such as Knob Creek, Jim Bean, etc.) (depending on how much you like bourbon, I prefer 1oz, Michael 3oz)
- 1 ounce half-and-half or other creamer (optional)
- Prepare some hot water.
- Pour the hot water over the chai tea bags in your favorite mug. Let the tea steep for 3 minutes, and then remove the tea bags.
- Add the maple bourbon and half-and-half (if desired) and stir to combine.
NOT YOUR MAMA'S ALPINE START
Hot Coffee and Baileys
Winter ascents often mean alpine starts (waking up fucking early) in order to beat the sun and hike through pristine snow conditions. While, I don't advocate hiking technical terrain while intoxicated, if you have a nice easy ascent, this could be a fun way to get the day started, or an equally fun way to end your evening.
- 2 oz Baileys Irish Cream
- 6 oz Hot Coffee
- Prepare some hot water.
- Combine the hot water and Baileys into the mug of your choice
Hope these drinks help to keep you warm this winter! Don't let the cold be an excuse not to get out and crush.