The Liquor Cabinet

What to pack in your long weekend esky

Heading to the great outdoors? To keep things simple, sustainable and delicious, fill your esky with these top drinks that won’t break the bank.

long weekend camping liquorland

Autumn long weekends allow plenty of scope for outdoor entertaining. Whether you go for a picnic in the park, a family barbecue, a lakeside camping trip or a romantic escape to a mountain cabin, we’ve got you covered. Beer is an obvious choice for your esky, but you can cover all your bases by throwing in classy premixed drinks and eco-friendly wine options in flat bottles that save on esky space. Need inspiration? Read on before you head off.

The best beers to take away

It’s a rare Australian esky that doesn’t have beer. Switch things up by trying something new, so you can relax after afternoon adventures like kayaking or hiking and enjoy some mid-strength brews for sipping by the campfire.


Travla Mid Strength Lager is a new homegrown beer inspired by road trips taken by friends and co-founders, actor Travis Fimmel (Vikings’ Ragnar Lothbrok) and MasterChef Australia judge Andy Allen. Mildly fruity with a smooth bitterness, it’s also low in carbs, calories and ABV. Now that’s worth raising a toast to – cheers (or as a Viking would say, skål!)! Need long weekend barbecue ideas? Pair it with a plate of juicy herbed BBQ prawns.


For those who like their beer barely bitter, Great Northern Super Crisp Lager Block Can is an inspired choice. Purpose-brewed in Queensland for sunny days in the great outdoors, the taste is light, crisp and refreshing, while an ABV of 3.5% makes it ultimately sessionable.


When it comes to sunset there is no going past a smooth, dry, golden-hued Corona. Serve traditional-style with a wedge of lemon or lime, or try a Corona Sunrise – a cocktail-in-a-bottle that’s become an Instagram hit. Simply take a few sips, then add a dash of tequila, orange juice and grenadineCorona goes particularly well with fresh fish and ceviche so it’s the perfect pick if you’re planning a little fishing, but it will go just as well with easy-to-pack chips and dips.

Easy premixes for the esky

It’s always fun to play bartender, but hauling around bottles of spirits and mixers sounds like hard work for a weekend getaway. Choose a selection of premixes instead and enjoy a stylish bar experience straight from your esky. Wonderfully versatile, well-chilled premixes can be enjoyed straight from the can. But if you are more glamper than camper, break out the picnic glasses, add ice and finish with a garnish for an instant cocktail.


If there’s one drink guaranteed to get you in the holiday mood, it’s a margarita. Forget the blending and shaking, and crack open an icy can of Jose Cuervo Sparkling Margarita. Blended with triple sec and zesty lime, it tastes great alone, but why not spice things up with a chilli salt rim. Pair it with quick and easy Mexican food like guacamole or beef tacos.


Prefer vodka? Known for its handcrafted vodka made with pure alpine spring water, Billson’s has an enticing range of premixes, blending triple-distilled vodka and local soda with flavours like Creamy Soda and Fruit Tangle. Try the new kid on the block, Billson’s Sour Blueberry Vodka Mixed Drink. And if your long weekend escape is taking you anywhere near Beechworth in Victoria, drop by Billson’s Brewery for a tasting.


Looking for something low in sugar and calories? Strongbow Ultra Apple has the taste we know and love in Strongbowcider, but only 90 calories so you won’t feel guilty pairing it with a good, creamy cheese like camembert. Make it extra special and pop it in the camp oven for a delicious baked camembert with roasted cherry.

Your weekend-away wine list

Heading for the hills? Fresh air and scenic views call for wine, and a picnic basket with a selection of cheese, charcuterie, crackers and grapes. If you’re planning on hiking, swap the esky for a wine cooler bag, and add a bottle of lightweight Taylors One Small Step Eco Bottle Chardonnay. Expect flavours of peach, lemony citrus and a subtle hint of pineapple in this tasty and easy drinking wine, presented in a space-efficient flat bottle made of 100% recycled and recyclable PET. Make sure red drinkers are catered for too, with a spicy and satisfying Taylors One Small Step Eco Bottle Shiraz or a fruity and velvety-soft Banrock Station Eco Bottle Pinot Noir – both in flat eco bottles to maximise real estate in the cooler bag.


For something sparkling, look to King Valley in Victoria’s high country, which is renowned for its prosecco. Tangy and uplifting, a Pizzini Prosecco Can bursts with aromas of apple and sherbet. Bubbles in a can? Yes you can! These beautifully designed single-serve cans are just the thing when you don’t want to carry (or open) a whole bottle.


And don’t look past the wine cask. The camping go-to of the ’80s is back and it’s better than ever – eco-friendly, easy to transport and exceptional value. Try crisp and clean De Bortoli Premium Semillon Sauvignon Blanc. Remarkably easy-drinking and food-friendly, it will go just as well with a seafood barbecue as a simple chicken salad or cheese board

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