After a long day of backpacking, nothing tops off my conquests (or masks my aches and pains) better than a nip of my favorite alcoholic beverage. Now I realize that some of the more dedicated ‘minimalists’ might chastise me for talking about this, but that doesn’t bother me a bit. Nothing lifts my spirits more at the end of the day than a tasty drink and that is why I make the effort to pack it in. Here is a short list of what I often take and how I carry it in:
Tequila is easily one of my favorite beverages to take, especially if I plan to summit a 14er. A shot of tequila on top of a mountain is just plain glorious! One of my personal favorites is Corralejo Tequila Reposado Triple Distilled (round blue bottle). This is super smooth and the taste is amazing. I have found that the best way to carry this drink is by using a small 16 oz. Nalgene bottle. The only negative to carrying liquor in a plastic bottle is the residual taste that lasts after you are done with using it to carry liquor. Just plan on using a lot of soap and water.
As far as American whiskeys go, Single Barrel Jack Daniels is perfect for the trail! Personally, I usually lean towards a single malt Scotch like a Glenfiddich 12 Year. Once again, a Nalgene bottle is the best choice for carrying this liquor into the backcountry.
Over the years, I have carried a lot of wine on backpacking trips. Most of the time I would carry ‘box wine’ in the bag and discard the cardboard exterior. There were a few occasions when these bags would puncture and the wine would leak, not good. Recently, I discovered the Platypus PlatyPreserve Wine bags. These will carry one bottle of wine (800 ml) and the chances of leaking are significantly reduced because of the high-grade materials that are used to make these bags. The reason I prefer these bags to the Nalgene bottles is oxygen. Too much contact with oxygen will spoil a good wine. A flexible bag allows you to push excess air out, and ultimately, save your wine.
Always remember: pack out what you pack in!