Filson Staff: Campfire Cocktail Recipes

melted marshmallows stuck through with a wood skewer balanced over the lip of a copper mug

A summer evening spent around the campfire is incomplete without something to take the edge off. We turned to Filson’s staff for a few fresh takes on our tried-and-true tin cup cocktails (i.e. whiskey slugged from anything that won’t leak). From a Texan rendition of the Hot Toddy to a no-frills Bourbon Slush that’s downright dangerous, we rounded up 8 new recipes to keep your cup filled all the way through the dog days of Summer, into early Fall.

text reading the bee's elbow
the bee's elbow cocktail, halved lemon, honey dipper, two rocks glasses with ice and liquid behind them

“If you happen to find yourself beneath some Big Leaf Maples this summer in a slouchy camp chair while the sun warms your bare feet and the breeze tickles your brows, might I suggest this car-camping cocktail to enhance the experience? Slightly easier to pack in a cooler than its egg-white sister, The Bee’s Knees, the Bee’s Elbows can be made ahead of time in a shaker and topped of on-site. I would suggest quadrupling the recipe below.” – Rachel Ruecking, Cost Accountant


• 2 oz Gin
• 2 oz Local Honey
• 1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
• Mint Leaves
• Cracked Ice
• Club Soda to Top


1. Muddle 6-8 mint leaves in a cocktail shaker.
2. Crack ice with a hammer so that the middle (the coldest part of the ice) is exposed. Add to shaker.
3. Combine gin, honey (if too thick, warm honey up a little bit), and fresh lemon juice in a shaker.
4. Shake until you cannot hold the shaker in your hands anymore! It should be too cold to handle.
5. Add fresh ice to a lowball glass and strain.
6. Top with club soda to fill, and garnish with mint leaves.

text reading campfire mule
melted marshmallows stuck through with a wood skewer balanced over the lip of a copper mug

“A twist on the classic Moscow Mule, this cocktail packs a boozy punch for those who love ginger and a bit of heat. This recipe can be pre-mixed as well, but like most cocktails, it’s best made using a strainer and served in a separate glass. ” – Jameson Clifton, Content Producer


1 oz vodka (chilled)
1/2 oz butterscotch liqueur (I chilled this too)
1/2 oz cinnamon whiskey
1 oz maple syrup (the real stuff)
3/4 cup of dry ginger beer

Note: I prefer the drier varieties of ginger beer from Fever Tree or Cock & Bull, but any will work. Ginger ale can also be substituted.


1. Chill the vodka in the freezer, or cooler.
2. Add ice to glass or cocktail strainer.
3. Combine vodka, butterscotch liqueur, cinnamon whiskey, maple syrup, and ginger beer into a glass with ice and stir.
4. If using a strainer, pour into a separate cocktail glass with ice added to personal taste.
5. Garnish with some freshly toasted marshmallows.

text reading ranch water
ranch water cocktail in a mason jar in front of two glass bottles

“Ranch Water is a cowboy thirst quencher born in the heat of the West Texas summer. This 3-ingredient libation is simple to make for your next outdoor outing. After a couple of refreshing sips of this low-calorie cocktail, you will for sure come back for more!” – Geoff Samples, Wholesale Account Manager


• 1-part silver tequila (use the good stuff, no good ever came out of a bottle of cheap tequila)
• 3-parts Topo Chico Mineral Water
• Freshly squeezed juice from ½ of a lime
• 2 slices of jalapeño (optional)
• Salt for the rim of glass (optional)


1. Fill your glass of choice with ice.
2. Add the fresh-squeezed lime juice from ½ of a lime.
3. Add one-part silver tequila of your choice.
4. Add 3 parts Topo Chico. I prefer the “hint of lime” flavor.
5. Toss in a couple of slices of jalapeño and slice of lime.

text reading bourbon slush
bourbon slush cocktail set on a black table with a lake in the background

“This is a family favorite for any time you want to “set it and forget it”. Bourbon slush comes together with a few simple ingredients including your favorite Bourbon and a splash of soda at the end. Since this is a frozen drink, it’s great for keeping the rest of your cooler chilled and for cooling you down on a hot summer day.” – Allie Juszczak, Human Resources


• ½ cup Sweet Black Tea

Note: You can make your own from 1 single-serving size bag of black tea – ½ cup water and ½ cup sugar.

• 2 cups Orange Juice
• 3 cups Lemonade
• 1 cup Bourbon


It’s pretty simple – Mix/Freeze/Serve.

1. Just toss these 4 ingredients together and mix evenly
2. Freeze for about 8 hours or until slushy.

Tip: You can store in one big container and dish out as you need it, a freezer bag, or pour into individual serving size mason jars for easy access and travel. I like to toss the frozen mason jars into the cooler; that way it keeps everything chilled and they’re just right for when it’s time to enjoy.

3. Serve! Use a fork to break up the frozen bits–note, the bourbon keeps it from totally freezing up. Top with a splash of lemon soda for a little extra fizz.

Storing bourbon slush: place leftovers back in the freezer to save and serve again when you want it.

text reading blueberry maple
glass with ice in front of bottle of whiskey and a metal shaker in a grassy clearing

“One great thing about camping is combining the use of ingredients. This cocktail can be made with blueberries from home or freshly picked off the trail. Combine with syrup you brought for pancakes along with bourbon, lemon juice and club soda and it makes for a great happy hour drink after a long hike.” – Lisa Hedges, Business Process Manager


Blueberry Syrup Compote

• 1 cup fresh blueberries (preferably picked from the trail)
• ½ cup maple syrup

For each cocktail…

• 1 ½ oz bourbon
• 1 oz blueberry maple compote
• ½ oz lemon juice
• 2 oz club soda


1. Muddle the blueberries and syrup and set aside.
2. In a cocktail shaker, shake the bourbon, lemon juice, and blueberry syrup with ice until frosty.
3. Pour the cocktail, ice and all, into cup and top with soda.
4. You can strain out the berries if you’d like, but I prefer to have some in the drink.

text reading texan hot toddy
a mason jar inside a leather holder with a salted chili rim

“Nothing warms the bones like a Hot Toddy around the campfire with friends. From post-summit celebratory cocktails to a tough day on the river swinging flies. If the temperature drops, it calls for this cold-weather classic.” – Brian Buford, Retail Assistant Manager


Boiling water
Lemon slice
Taijin spice


1. Heat water to a boil.
2. Add honey to the bottom of the cup.
3. Add mezcal to taste and boiling water.
4. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice into the beverage, then rub the rim of the glass.
5. Add Tajin spice to the rim of the glass.

text reading crimson tide
crimson tide cocktail red liquid with lime wheel on lip of mason jar

“This non-alcoholic, natural electrolyte drink is made using hibiscus flowers, sea salt, lime juice, and honey, combined with a splash of sparkling water. It’s a great way to beat the heat and rehydrate on a hot Summers Day.” – Sonia McBride, Technical Designer


½ cup dried hibiscus flowers
4 cups boiling water
1 tbsp honey
Juice of 1 lime, and a lime wheel for garnish
¼ tsp sea salt
Sparkling water


1. Make ahead: Pour 4 cups of boiling water over the ½ of hibiscus flowers and add honey.
2. Let steep until cool.
3. Strain, then add lime juice, a pinch of salt, and chill in the refrigerator.
4. To serve: Pour into an ice-filled tumbler filling halfway, top off with sparkling water, and garnish with a lime wheel.

text reading autumn rose
hands holding red cocktail in a rocks glass next to a firepit in a grassy lawn on a sunny day

“The Autumn Rose is a simple old-fashioned cocktail and makes a perfect drink for crisp nights around the campfire. The dark caramel-colored Apple Brandy, cardamom, and cinnamon-infused grenadine, and lime is a spirit with deep American roots.” – Elizabeth Doering, Color & Design Department


12 oz apple brandy
3 oz Lime juice (juice of 2 limes)
1 oz Lemon juice (juice of ½ lemon)
2.5 oz Grenadine


1. Steep the grenadine in the fridge overnight for 2 days with 3 cinnamon sticks and 1 Tsp whole cardamom seeds.

Note: Any favorite fall spice blend could be used here, such as star anise or clove, but cardamom is my favorite.

2. This will fill a pint jar nicely. Let this stand in the fridge overnight–the sediment of the lime will settle to the bottom leaving a clear ruby spirit above–strain and serve.