5 Campfire Cocktails
Updated: Nov 30, 2018
After a day spent carving wakes, or cutting cord wood, nothing compares to settling into a comfortable camp chair, kicking off your flip flops, or kicking up your Red Wings, and circling a campfire with friends. Add a guitar, a midnight chorus of Shambala, a clear Milky Way sky, and a few campfire cocktails and you’ve damn near achieved Nirvana. (S’mores and inhalable varietals, optional.) So, check your Kumbaya at the camper/cabin door and toast the Summer with one or more of these Campfire Cocktails!
COCKTAIL: The Northwoods by Du Nord Craft Spirits
Du Nord Craft Spirits in Minneapolis is known nationally for its’ Triple Gold Medal L’Etoile Du Nord Vodka. (“Star of the North”.) It is the first craft vodka to bring together sugar beets with corn. The result? An award-winning, uniquely smooth vodka with a subtly sweet flavor. Born of rural practicality and with a city vibe, the distillery was founded and is owned by husband and wife Chris Montana and Shanelle Montana. The couple is committed to diversifying the craft alcohol community and actively recruits under-represented communities of women and racial minorities. This philosophy is represented in Du Nord’s Mixed Blood Blended Whiskey. The blend was put down in barrels in 2014. At the time of this post, the spirit is available in Du Nord’s Cocktail Room and is being bottled for retail sale. The Northwoods is basically a riff on a classic Sazerac cocktail. Do your whiskey lovin’, inner-Viking self a solid and get your hands on some of this. SKOL!
COCKTAIL: Rambling Man by Blake’s Hard Cider
Family owned and operated, Michigan-based Blake’s is pushing the boundaries on hard ciders. From fermentation to inebriation, this brand is a leader in Hard Ciders. Take for example, the pairing of their hard ciders with quality spirits to create delicious craft cocktails. Andrew Blake is the company’s owner and founder and has been quoted as saying, “We grow almost every single ingredient here at Blake Farms. We’ve been growing apples since 1946. We are one of the few operations that grow, press and ferment right on sight. Any product we don’t grow, we source locally.” In addition to great tasting cider and cocktail recipes, Blake’s also has some cheeky videos.
COCKTAIL: Up in Smoke by Townshend Distillery
In the 10 years since launch this Portland-based distillery has leveraged its’ experience blending botanicals and teas to create herbal spirits from kombucha distillate. Offerings include tea liqueurs, bitter liqueurs, and other botanical spirits like Bluebird Alpine Liqueur for which Townshend’s received an American Distilling Institute Craft Spirit Award in 2017. For their Up In Smoke cocktail, mix whiskey, cardamaro, Bluebird Liqueur and bitters in a shaker with ice . Strain into a glass and gently put in a bar spoon of Smoke Tea Liqueur. Fun fact: The Distillery has a working-class cat named Boone who “..enjoys a nap, a hearty meal, and is always up for a scratch behind the ears”. He’s kind of a big deal.
COCKTAIL: Sauna Cubes by Tattersall Distilling
In a recent National Geographic article describing the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul as America’s Coolest Drinking City, Tattersall Distillery is listed as an “out-of-the-way gem” busy developing award-winning homegrown spirits. One of them is Aquavit; the Scandinavian equivalent of Gin. It is a Swedish Love-Child crafted from organic corn a complex blend of botanicals with caraway leading the charge. It can be substituted in recipes calling for gin, or vodka. Enjoy these boozy cubes while sweating in a sauna, or around the fire. So all you need to do is add one to a glass and top with soda water for cool, savory hydration? Oh, yah you betcha!
COCKTAIL: The CC Mountie Salute by Canadian Club
Serve this on the rocks, or in a chilled shooter glass. Yes, it’s a shot, and yes, it’s the whisky your great-grandfather drank (and if you’re lucky, your great-grandma, too.) This heritage brand was originally created in 1858 and was popularized in gentleman’s clubs in Canada and the US. It was also a favorite of Al Capone who smuggled a crap-ton of it during Prohibition.