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From the pages of I RVing: Summer 2022
Punch Up Your Summer

Punch Up Your Summer

Prepping these big batch beverages for your weekend will pay off bigly.

The galley might be food central, but if you’re doing the weekend properly, it’s also drink HQ. Now, it can be all too easy to fall into the trap of just throwing a sixer in the cooler. But this summer, make a little bit of room for a little bit of wow. Offer some beverage enlightenment to fellow citizens on the campground. Liberate your libations. Drop some extra delight into your drinks. Because the heat is on, my friend. And it’s time to punch up or shut up.

3 Principles to Start With

1. Minimize prep time by going big.

The easiest way to save time and energy in the kitchen (mobile or not) is to make extra of everything and then maximize the leftovers. In the case of drinks, both boozy and otherwise, keep the same ratio of ingredients, and you can produce whatever amount you need.

Pro Tip: Multiple your favorite margarita recipe by 5 or 6, and put it in a jug. Now you have a pitcher of your favorite marg. And probably lots of new friends.

2. Make everything yours.

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little bit extra. Use recipes as starting points, adding your own extra spin as you go. A splash of ginger beer (which is typically alcohol-free) or your favorite citrus juice can give old drinks a new kick. The bitters route is also worth a taste. Two of the most common are: Angostura, which adds a fragrant, fruity, and spicy bouquet to most old-fashioneds; or Peychaud’s, which has a sporty licorice and candy taste that screams New Orleans. Find one that feels like you and then experiment.

Pro Tip: Nervous about experimenting? Try switching your base ingredient for a flavored version. Think Vanilla Coke instead of regular in a Jack and Coke, orange-mango juice in your mimosas, or if you’re really feeling squirrelly, a smoky mezcal in your margs. Switching your base with a preflavored one means you don’t have to guess at how much of your bonus ingredient to add, even when making large portions.

3. Tempt your inner teetotaler.

Your drinks don’t need booze to be interesting any more than you do. A gallon of punch can make an entire summer weekend tasty. And if you have young kids, mixing up a jug of something is a great way to get them engaged in the galley.

Pro Tip: Nonalcoholic drinks can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be. If you have the extra time, freshly squeezed, cut, snipped, or juiced ingredients add tremendous value. And don’t be afraid to explore those bitters and bonus ingredients here, too.

Classic Horchata

Classic Horchata

A smooth, creamy, very Mexican drink that’s part Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal milk and part melted vanilla ice cream. Perfect for the kids. Perfect for summer. Perfect just about every way there is. You’ll have to make this one before you hit the road, since you’ll need your blender and to soak the rice for at least three hours.

Ways to Make It Yours

  • Add 1 oz. of rum or Kahlua to each serving (for adults), or
  • Add coffee or espresso for dirty horchata, or
  • Add a sprinkle of chipotle chili powder for a kick, or
  • Add a dollop of crème de coconut

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long-grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 dash of nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole milk (nondairy works too)
  • 1 tablespoon Madagascar vanilla
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 6 cups water

Directions

Blend the water, rice, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg until the rice is about the consistency of polenta. Let that mixture sit in the fridge between 3 to 8 hours. Strain (using cheesecloth to remove even more rice particles for a smoother consistency, though this isn’t necessary). Stir in the rest of the ingredients, chill, and serve. Makes about six cups.
Whiskey Ginger

Whiskey Ginger

After years as a silent movie star, Greta Garbo’s first line in her first talkie was, “Gimme a whiskey, ginger ale on the side.” Then, in full Swedish Sphinx mode, “And don’t be stingy, baby.” The whiskey ginger was popular even before Garbo—really exploding during Prohibition when the ginger helped cover a multitude of quality-related sins. Today, it’s a crisp alternative to Jack and Coke. If you wanna church it up, you can call it an Irish buck. Whatever you call it, it’s simple and refreshing. Easy to make and easy to drink.

Ways to Make It Yours

  • Use a smokey Scotch whiskey, like Laphroaig’s 10-year single malt, or
  • Swap the ginger ale with ginger beer to make a Tennessee mule, or
  • Use Sprite or 7-Up for a whiskey variation of the classic 7 and 7, or
  • Add your favorite bitters to cut through the sweetness of the ginger ale

Ingredients

  • 1 part whiskey
  • 5 parts (give or take, depending on preference) ginger ale
  • 1 part squeeze of lime (use about a half lime for a pitcher full)

Directions

Mix, stir, chill.
I Heart Limeberry Punch

I Heart Limeberry Punch

This simple recipe is perfect for those kid helpers, since it takes almost zero assembly, and it’s impossible to mess up.

Ways to Make It Yours

  • Switch out your favorite fruit juices (infinite options), or
  • Add fresh-cut fruit just prior to serving, or
  • Add your favorite spirit to taste, typically between 2-4 cups per gallon (adults only)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 12-oz. can of frozen limeade (or your favorite juice) concentrate
  • 2 1/2 cups Ocean Spray cran-raspberry juice
  • 1 2-liter bottle of lemon-lime soda

Directions

Mix and chill everything but the soda, which you should add just prior to serving. Makes about a gallon of finished product. For maximum wow-factor, add a scoop of sherbet to each serving a few minutes before serving. And it’s almost better if the sherbet’s not all the way frozen—it’ll add a nice frothy texture as glorious sherbet joins with delectable punch.

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