Favorite Drinks – Winter 2017
The trucks are parked. Base camp is set up. If we’re lucky, we’re in an area where fires are allowed and there’s a nice one roaring. It’s time to settle into our favorite camp chair with a drink, tell some tall tales, and dwell on the day’s adventures. It’s quite possibly the best part of our trips, the time we get to spend together as friends, around the fire, away from the hustle and bustle of this face-paced, dog-eat-dog world, social media, politics, and noise that has become part of everyday life in America.
With that in mind, we thought we’d share some of our favorite winter drinks to enjoy around the fire… cheers!
Reformation Brewery, Union
By: Dan Boles
Hailing from Woodstock, Georgia, my favorite pick for Winter 2017's Beer is Reformation Brewery's Union, a Belgian-Style White Ale (aka: witbier), coming in at approx. 4.8% ABV. Brewed for that moment when "strangers become friends", this lovely liquid gold has a nice mild body with a touch of citrus, and a punch of spice which comes from the traditional use of coriander in a witbier. While typically witbiers are not associated as a winter beer, but rather a summer/seasonal, somehow this one has found its way into my hands more frequently than many others this winter. Maybe the coriander punch and orange undertones are satisfying the palette because I didn't have any PSL's in the fall like some of you... No matter the reason, Union doesn't disappoint, and has quickly become one of my favorite all around beers. It's one of five beers that make up Reformation's core offering, which also includes Cadence (Belgian Dubbel), Atlas (IPA), Stark (Toasted Porter), and the recently launched Jude (Belgian Tripel).
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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
By: Freeman Barber
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, this beer is a full flavored ale that is complemented with being aged 6 weeks in a decanted bourbon barrel. This beer's flavor profile starts with vanilla & oak, then adds in the smooth bourbon derived from the barrel it was stored in. It finishes with an sweet ale taste leaving your taste buds wanting a bit more. I like this deliciously smooth beer to pair with a meat dinner, usually with steak or burgers made around a campfire. This mixes those bourbon flavors in the beer with the meat created from the charred campfire wood, for me this takes my Overland meal over the top.
Monday Night Brewing, Drafty Kilt
By: Kevin Keegan
I’ve tried a lot of beer, but have never been or considered myself to be a beer snob of any kind. We have one of these in our group, his name is Dan. Go to him if you’d really like to dive in and find some great beers that are local or from afar. Because of my unsophisticated palette, i’m not terribly picky, but I don’t like things that are too bitter and don’t like it to have a bad aftertaste. And like most people, there are beers that I like more in the fall and winter and some in the spring and summer. For cold weather brew, I have taken a liking to one of Atlanta’s local breweries, Monday Night Brewing. Specifically, their scotch ale, Drafty Kilt. It is smooth, rich, kind of nutty and smoky, and all around good around a camp fire on a cold night. Give it a try, if you don’t like it, there’s always Guiness! Sláinte!
Red Hare, SPF 5050
By: Kevin Winskey
If i am making plans to camp with my Peach State Overland crew, I always ask them as a whole," what beer are you bringing me" ? That's often how I have found new drinks that I like that I haven't tried before. One of my recent favorites was a beer that I received from a fellow member called SPF 5050 by Red Hare brewing company, at first it sounded pretty odd as it contained %50 IPA and %50 grapefruit juice two things I hate equally, that was until Red Hare put them together and it was delicious! Its almost as if the two bitters cancel each other out to make a flavorful beer that's more suited for the warmer summer months but can still be enjoyed year round; I highly recommend it! I've also found beer as a way to introduce myself and make new friends whether I am asking " what beer did you bring me" or "hey, you wanna beer"? Those questions also seem to help put groups from different backgrounds or other overland groups at ease if we all arrive at the same camp and it turns out to be a very small campsite or if someone was blocking a trail and holding other groups up.
Maui Brewing Company – CoCoNut PorTer
By: Patrick Metzger
Back in 2014 my wife got the opportunity to travel to Hawaii for work, and she asked what she could bring back for me. I thought and thought, and nothing came to mind, then it hit me, Beer!! 🙂 What she came back with would change my life forever! She visited 2 breweries for me, Kona Brewing Company and Maui Brewing Company. I would soon find out that the one beer that became my favorite would also be very hard to find here in the US.
Maui Brewing Company’s Coconut Porter is a classic porter with natural toasted coconut. Being a fan of darker coffee/chocolate hints in beer, I love the smell of the coconut and the rich silky feel of this dark malt. Even with an ABV of only 6%, I have found that you still only need a couple of cans to have a nice mellow evening with a good night sleep.
Great News!! As of May 2016 Maui Brewing Company announced that with an increase in brewing capacity, they have partnered with Cavalier Distributing Company in Florida to bring this wonderful beer to 3 new states on the east coast. While it is still ~6 hours away, I pick up several cases every year on my annual family vacation in Florida.
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Red Hare, Sticky Stout
By: Steven Sorensen
In the winter time I have a tendency to want to drink darker beers, and explore more of the chocolate and coffee flavors that are commonly found in stout beers. This is what lead me to Red-Hare's Sticky Stout. This beer is locally brewed in Marietta Georgia and comes in an easy to dispose of can, which makes this great for camping since you are packing out everything that you brought in (right?). The beer is more of a mild and smooth stout, and is not overwhelmingly covered up in coffee flavors or chocolate but yet both flavors exist along with an oat note. It's one of the stout beers that you can drink a few of and not have that full feeling in your belly slowing you down. Overall it's a great camping beer for the winter, and thus is my pick when relaxing around the campfire. If your feeling adventurous, you can also grab their Berry Belgian Waffle ale, which is a great 2nd choice if you cannot find the sticky stout, or are looking for something a little sweeter.
By: Dan Boles
Who names a drink after themselves, right?! So vain!!! Well, DaddyBadger doesn't care. And after you knock a couple of these boys back, you'll quickly find out why...
What You Need: Jack Daniel's Fire (Cinnamon Whiskey) Sprite (12 oz) Ice (if available)
Directions: Pour 2-3 shots of Jack Fire over ice, if desired, into your favorite camp cup. Pour 12 oz. (1 can) of Sprite over. Do not shake, or stir. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the layered goodness that is a little bit of DaddyBadger's charming sweetness, followed by the fire of craziness. Repeat as often as responsible consumption will allow. I typically stop at two myself... just because... otherwise I've been known to find my way into the actual camp fire. Not good. It's really bad for your boots.
Sugarlands Apple Pie Moonshine
By: Freeman Barber
Moonshine has its roots in the south, and started many of rivalries that evolved into Nascar. This is not a story about bootlegging or Nascar, but more about the my favorite drink when sitting around the camp fire enjoying the adventures of the day. It wasn't until the PSO Crew planned a trip to Gatlinburg, before the horrific fires, that I had tried any of Sugarlands' moonshine. Upon our quest to help the locals and their economy that we stopped into Sugarlands for a taste testing of their moonshine. To me the outdoors is synonymous with apples, their sweet aromatic flavor and numerous farms in North GA make them a staple in our adventures. Sugarland's apple pie nails the quintessential caramel apple made into a delicious beverage, perfect for those Overland evenings amongst the outdoors. To make a Caramel Apple Pie, it starts with half a glass of Sugarlands Apple Moonshine, the other half apple cider (the richer in flavor the better) and finish the drink off with a few cubes of ice then enjoy! To add that extra special kick, add a fresh cinnamon stick, adding garnish and flavor to make this a staple in my Overland beverage short list.
(for 1 serving) First pour the following into a cup: - Fill 1/2 of your cup with Sugarlands Apple Pie Moonshine - Fill other 1/2 with your choice apple cider leaving some room for ice - add a few cubes of ice - stir with fresh cinnamon sticks, leaving in drink for extra flavor
Jack and Coke
By: Kevin Winskey
When it comes to a liquor drink for my overland and camp purposes, I'm pretty old school. I think by drinking and old standby, Jack Daniels black label made in Lynhburg TN and classic Coca-Cola made right here in GA! Now as far as the ratio that I mix, it is a continually evolving thing. Some days it depends on the day I've had and other times I simply over pour one or the other. Since Jack Daniels products come in a variety of bottle sizes and even the smallest bottles are plastic, its easy to fit into my cooler right next to the coke; either in a 20oz bottle or a can. Jack also does distillery and tasting tours that involve the company's history and thimble sized tastings of Jack fire, Jack honey, Gentleman Jack, classic Jack Daniels black label and finally Jack Daniels single barrel.
Old Fashioned (Overland Edition)
By: Kevin Keegan
I first came upon this recipe for an 'Old Fashioned' on Gear Patrol’s blog. The differences are subtle, as with any variation of a cocktail. A typical old fashioned will contain liquor (whiskey, rye, or bourbon), sugar cube, bitters, and some kind of fruit garnish (an orange peel or cherry). The above recipe calls for simple syrup rather than a sugar cube, and specifically a citrus garnish; one strip of orange peel and one of lemon.
Now for my twist. When we’re on a trip, we often don’t often carry fresh fruit and never carry anything for a garnish. So I opt for those little lemon juice squeeze bottles you get at the grocery store that actually look like a lemon or lime. It’s less work, less mess, and less wasteful if you’re only making one or two cocktails and will have lots of lemon or orange left over.
A cocktail shaker and strainer
Bourbon (I like Bulleit and Knob Creek) links
Simple Syrup, link
Angostura Aromatic Bitters, link
Lemon Juice Bottle
Glass or cup
(for 1 cocktail serving)
First pour the following into your shaker:
- 2oz of your preferred bourbon
- 2 bar spoons (or tsp) of Simple Syrup
- 2 dashes of Angostura Aromatic Bitters
Fill the shaker with ice and stir
Add ice to your cup or glass, then use the strainer and pour the mixture into your cup or glass
Add 1 squirt of lemon juice and swirl your glass.
Liquor – Jack Daniels Winter Jack Tennessee Cider
By: Patrick Metzger
For the days when I want something a little stronger, usually wintertime, I reach for Jack Daniels Winter Jack Tennessee Cider. Heat this drink over the open flame of your camp stove for a heart-warming spice filled surprise that should only be shared while in the company of your closest friends. Caution! If you drink this cider while in the company of total strangers, you may end the night with several more friends than you intended!
1 - Bottle of Winter Jack
1 - Camp Stove with kettle (if heating)
1 - Cup
2 - or more friends (caution when drinking around strangers)
(for 1 serving) Heating Instructions:
First pour the following into your kettle: - Several oz of Winter Jack
Heat to desired temperature
Pour in cup
Take in the sweet smell of cider 3 times prior to your first sip
Caution contents may be hot
Add friends and enjoy your evening!
Sugarland Butterscotch Moonshine + Ginger-Ale
By: Steven Sorensen
One of my favorite cocktails to wind down a busy day on the trail is the Butterscotch 'shine and Ginger-ale. This drink meshes some of my favorite winter time flavors together with it's brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla notes that mesh perfectly with good ole corn moonshine. With some drinks a brand is not as critical, but with this one Sugarland makes the finest Butterscotch shine that I have found. Here are a few things that I like about this drink that make it ideal for me for my winter camping:
1) The name is the drink, so it's quick and easy to make
2) The taste is on point. The flavor notes in the 'shine mesh perfectly with the ginger-ale to create an easy sipping cocktail
3) In typical overland style, where we try to use each item for multiple purposes, the Ginger-Ale in this cocktail is a multi-purpose drink. It works great as a mixer, but can also help to calm an upset stomach if needed while bouncing around on the trails all day.
Here is how you make it:
Step 1: Add as much Butterscotch Moonshine as you would like (I typically add about 1 shot)
Step 2: Add 1 can of chilled Ginger-Ale
Step 3: Modify drinking speed based on how much you added in step 1 🙂