5 Warm Drinks for Chilly Nights around the Campfire

5 Warm Drinks for Chilly Nights around the Campfire

Sure, coffee is a staple when we are camping. But when the days get shorter and the nights start to get chilly, we love to make some other warm drinks to enjoy at the campground. The adult kind (ahem).

Here’s a selection of some of our favorite hot spirits. The best thing about these ‘recipes’ is that they can all be tweaked according to how strong or sweet you like your drinks. You can hear us talk about all these warm drinks on this episode of the RVFTA podcast.

Experiment, have fun, and stay warm.

The Classic Hot Toddy

So this isn’t a new or unusual hot beverage, but it’s a classic. And for good reason. Everyone has heard of a Hot Toddy, but so many people have never actually tried one. Now’s your chance. They are simple and delicious. Plus, they warm you right up from the toes to the nose.

The Basics…

  • Shot of whiskey
  • Squeeze of Lemon
  • Honey
  • Hot water

The key is to making the perfect Hot Toddy is to adjust the amounts of whiskey, lemon, and honey to suit your own personal taste. I like to go stronger on the whiskey and lemon and lighter on the honey because I don’t like my drinks overwhelmingly sweet.

You do you.

Warm Pumpkin Spice Rum Cocktail

Apparently the whole world is wild for pumpkin spice, so we had to include one in our list of favorite hot drinks. If a pumpkin spice latte is your jam, but you are done caffeinating for the day, try out this treat.

The Basics…

  • shot of dark rum
  • Shot of vanilla vodka
  • Pinch of pumpkin pie spice mix
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Coconut Milk (some folks like the Pumpkin Spice Dairy Free Coconut Milk from SoDelicious)
  • You can also whisk in some pumpkin puree if you really, really like pumpkin.

Warm all the ingredients together and enjoy!

Hot S’mores Cocktail

I originally saw this recipe in Bon Appetit, and it’s the most fun because you get to make your own liquor like a 1920’s bootlegger. First you have to make “graham cracker liquor” by combining a liter of white rum, cinnamon stick, and ½ cup of honey. Let that sit for 4 days, shaking once a day. Now bring your Graham Cracker Liquor to the campground and get ready for s’more time…

The Basics…

  • 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker liquor
  • 1 shot of brandy
  • Fill up the mug with hot chocolate
  • Top with mini marshmallows, of course

Let the little guys walk around with ooey-gooey fingers while you sip your sweet, unsticky drink.

Mulled Wine

We actually feel like this classic hot beverage gets brushed aside as old fashioned and out of style. But it’s really yummy and warming. It’s basically the winter version of Sangria, and Sangria’s hip, so…

The most important tip we can offer is to use a dry red win. If you use something sweet, it will end up cloying and overbearing.

The Basics…

  • 4 cups of apple cider
  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • An orange, zested and juiced
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • Orange slices for garnish

Just combine everything in a saucepan and bring to boil. Then reduce and simmer for 10 minutes. Some folks make this in a crockpot and then just keep it warm for serving at tail gates and around the campfire.

Spiked Peppermint Hot Chocolate

You can make this as easy or as complicated as you wish. For the hot chocolate, keep it simple by using a mix packet, or heat milk and melt in delicious semi sweet chocolate squares.

The Basics…

  • Shot of peppermint schnapps
  • Fill the mug with hot chocolate
  • Top with whipped cream
  • Garnish with crushed peppermint candies or mini chocolate chips!

You can do the ‘mocktail’ version of this one by simple adding a drop of Peppermint extract to the kiddie’s hot chocolate!

Those are five of our favorite warm drinks for the campground. What are you drinking around the campfire right now?


  1. Amy

    Where are the mug and lap blanket from?

    • RVFamilyTravelAtlas

      Camp Casual!

  2. Errol

    No no no no no. Never bring mulled wine to a boil or let simmer! Haven’t you ever done that experiment in High School science class where you boil off alcohol? If your wine is boiling, the alcohol has already boiled off. If that is your intention, fine, but I bet most people dont want that happening. The key is to bring it up to drinking temperature (170F or 75C) and holding it there either on the stove on low or in a crock pot like you mentioned (Instant Pot works great also!). My wife is born and raised in Germany and they dont make it using apple cider but I’ll have to try it out.

    • RVFamilyTravelAtlas

      America’s Test Kitchen has done some pretty interesting experiments in this area. It’s actually a lot more complicated than just ‘boiling off the alcohol’. If your goal is to have the highest alcohol volume, then your advice is spot on. However, for many people the goal is to retain a percentage of the alcohol while also reducing a percentage of the vapors to get a smoother, more robust taste. Obviously this is a version of what you do when making a sauce or glaze with alcohol. Your looking for the best flavor, not highest alcohol volume. America’s Test Kitchen gets super specific about this (of course) and talks about deep vs. shallow pans, etc. I’m not interested in being that fussy about it, but in general, I strongly disagree with the rule that you do not want your wine to boil or simmer at all.


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