MINNEAPOLIS — Emily Vikre posed with her travel flask and collapsible cup on the shore of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota: “You don’t need perfect bartending tools to make a really good cocktail.”
As the last stop for many campers on their way Up North, the eight-year-old Vikre Distillery in Duluth has become an unofficial resource for those with questions about bartending in the great outdoors.
Fortunately, co-founder Emily Vikre is an expert on nature’s cocktail room.
She is the author of “Camp Cocktails” (Harvard Common Press, $26.99), a new guide to the many ways to imbibe under the stars.
The Duluth native grew up partly in Norway, and camping and the outdoors were “deeply ingrained in the culture” of both places, she said. “And having a distillery here at the gateway to the North Woods, it was a natural fit.”
The book, which came out earlier this year, organizes recipes and techniques by camping style. If you’re a “hard-core” camper like Vikre, the section on backpacking features easy “spikeables,” like adding an ounce of bourbon to 8 ounces of lemonade. Or premixing a simple, stirred cocktail like a Vieux Carré, proportioned for one serving, an 8-ounce flask or even to fill a 32-ounce water bottle.
The mixtures become more complex, depending on whether you’re car camping or spending a cozy weekend in a cabin. Sitting around a fire? Grill some oranges or strawberries to muddle into a drink.