Summer camping tends to get all the hype, but I think autumn is one of the best parts of the year to spend your time outdoors. The trees are displaying their beautiful colors, the days and nights are cooler, and the campfires are cozier as everyone crowds in for warmth while telling stories. With the cooler temperatures comes the need for warmer drinks, and we’ve rounded up some delicious hot beverages for you to enjoy around the campfire when the weather turns chilly.

All of these beverages can be made on an RV stovetop, camp stove, or even over the coals of a campfire (although I prefer the stovetop method, so I can be ready with a warm drink when we light the fire). And while all of these can be made as non-alcoholic drinks, we’ve also included some liquor and spirit suggestions on a few recipes in case you want to turn them into camping cocktails. So next time you’re looking for a cozy fall beverage for your camping trip, pull up a chair, wrap yourself in a blanket, and sip on one of these warm drinks while enjoying the crisp autumn and winter air.

Mexican hot chocolate

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican Hot Chocolate. Photo Credit: Sarah Cribari

If you’re tired of boring, everyday hot chocolate, adding ingredients like chili powder and cinnamon make a basic mug of cocoa even cozier. It’s the perfect warm and chocolatey drink to sip around the campfire and is a favorite for both the fall and winter months.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups milk
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional – if you want your hot chocolate super spicy, add 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper. I prefer to leave this out, but many others love the heat!

Suggested toppings

  • Whipped cream
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Marshmallows

Makes 4 servings

Directions

Add all ingredients to a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk everything together and heat until the mixture is hot. Don’t let it boil, and be sure to stir occasionally so the spices don’t sink to the bottom of the pan and burn. Remove from the heat and let cool for a minute or two. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream, marshmallows, and cinnamon sticks or a shake ground cinnamon.

Caramel apple cider

Caramel apple cider

Caramel apple cider. Photo Credit: Sarah Cribari

What’s better than regular apple cider? A drink that tastes like a caramel apple! This fall beverage adds the sweetness of caramel and warmth of cinnamon to everyday apple juice or cider. It’s also delicious cold, so stick any extra in a fridge or cooler to enjoy the next day.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups apple juice or apple cider
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Suggested toppings

  • Whipped cream
  • Caramel sauce to drizzle on top
  • 1 oz of brandy or bourbon to make it alcoholic

Makes 4 servings

Directions

Heat apple juice/cider, caramel sauce, vanilla, lemon juice, and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan over medium low heat on a stove or over the campfire. Bring to a low simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into mugs. Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.  You can also add a shot of brandy or whiskey to turn this into a cozy alcoholic beverage.

Pumpkin spice hot chocolate

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate with marshmallows

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate. Photo Credit: Sarah Cribari

If you love all things pumpkin spice and want to make your own version while camping, this recipe is an easy way to get your pumpkin fix. Adding canned pumpkin puree and baking spices to a chocolate base creates a creamy pumpkin flavored hot chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Suggested toppings

Makes 4 servings

Directions

In a saucepan over the stove or campfire add the milk, canned pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract over medium low heat. Mix together and bring to a low simmer stirring frequently so the spices won’t burn on the bottom. Don’t let it boil! Let simmer for 2 minutes and remove from the heat. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until they’re fully melted. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon

Apple hot toddies

Apple Hot Toddy.

Apple Hot Toddy. Photo Credit: Sarah Cribari

Regular hot toddies are simply made with water, lemon juice, honey, and your spirit of choice. But adding apple cider to the mix makes this classic cocktail perfect for those chilly fall nights. You can also leave out the whiskey, brandy, or bourbon entirely to make an alcohol-free version of the drink that’s a nice spiced cider.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 oz whiskey, bourbon, or brandy (optional)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Makes 2 servings

Directions

Combine apple cider, honey, cinnamon sticks, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into 2 mugs. Top each mug with an ounce of whiskey, brandy, or bourbon and garnish with the cinnamon sticks and a slice of lemon. Or leave out the alcohol for a warm spiced cider with a lemony twist.

Gingerbread lattes

Gingerbread Latte

Gingerbread Latte. Photo Credit: Sarah Cribari

Nothing says the holidays are coming like the taste of warm gingerbread. If you don’t mind bringing some baking spices on your trip, this recipe is a tasty way to add some holiday cheer to your morning coffee. And if you’re glamping with a milk frother, you can froth the milk to take this drink to the next level. But even without a frother, we love making this drink on the stove to upgrade our morning coffee.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 TBSP molasses
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of strong black coffee OR 2 shots of espresso

Suggested toppings

  • Whipped cream
  • Ground nutmeg

Makes 2 servings

Directions

Mix milk, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, sugar, molasses, and vanilla extract in a saucepan over medium and bring to a low simmer. Stir frequently to make sure the spices don’t burn on the bottom of the pan, and don’t let the milk boil. Remove from heat and let cool for 3 minutes. Pour the coffee evenly into mugs and top with the warm milk mixture. Garnish with whipped cream and a pinch of ground nutmeg on top.









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