How To Drink at a Festival

Not a warm can of cider in sight...

Never been to a festival? Planning your 10th trip to Wilderness? After a 2020 hiatus because of you know what, some of the UK's most iconic music festivals planning a return for 2021. So you can prepare, we've got the best ways to get your booze on while still keeping it classy. It’s all about the prep work, the ingredients and never leaving your tent without it… you'll never drink 6 quid warm cider again.


Some festivals are into them, some festivals aren't, but the great thing about a hip flask is you can slip it in your pocket/take it into tents without the big guys seeing it! All you gotta to do is choose your poison.  

Sloe Gin: BarChick’s been drinking Sipsmith’s Sloe Gin since it first surfaced! It’s a concoction of their London Dry Gin and handpicked wild sloe berries. So if you’re going to be drinking in the fields, a berry-infused gin is just what we’d order for you.

Whisky: It’ll do the trick. Warming when the sun goes down and most importantly it’s the ideal chaser to every beer you have! If you’re into your bourbon then go for the Four Roses.

Rum: Rum and parties go hand in hand, but instead of mixing it with Coca Cola in the tent, pour it straight into your hip flask and take it out for the night. We suggest Havana Club 7 Year Old, it’s punchy enough for you to not drink it all at once and it tastes like Cuba (where it’s made)… and if that ain’t a party then we don’t know what is.

Tequila: The ultimate wingman when the going gets tough. We’ve always found that out of all the spirits this one is a sure-fire pick-me-up if you find yourself lagging behind. If the fancy dress is starting to lose its laughs, a bit of tequila in your hipflask should help. Go for Ocho, it’s big on the agave meaning its purity shouldn’t lead to too nasty a hangover.


It's cheaper than the bar, you'll never have to queue and it’s a rain safe place to shelter when required. If you're capable of getting a tent up then you are more than able to fix up some of these.


Pronounced cal-ee-MO-cho, and also known as the Poor Man’s Cuba Libre, the Kalimotxo is basically just a sloshy mix of red wine and cola, if you get any weird looks when knocking back a plastic cup of this you can assure your friends it’s a Basque-country classic. If you close your eyes it could almost be sangria, only without all the fussy chopping and mixing.

How to make it: Fill a cup with ice, combine equal parts red wine (the cheaper the better) and cola and squeeze in some lemon (or not)


Forget the vintage glasses or shaggy beard, nothing says hipster like the drink that Brooklyn invented; the Pickleback. But don’t let that turn you off, the combination of a shot of whisky, followed by a shot of pickle brine is so perfectly balanced that you’ll be quickly lining up for more. Only you won’t actually need to line up as you’ll be making them in your tent, easy peasy!

How to make it: pour a shot of whisky (any will do but Jameson is the best) and another shot of pickle brine (sure you could make your own, but The Pickle House's pre-made juice just nails it). Drink, repeat.

Image by Julies Eats & Treats

Tommy’s Margaritas

The modern-day alternative to the sugar filled original, the Tommy’s is super easy to make, and it’s pretty much the most summery drink in existence. This one takes a little homework before hand, but you’ll be glad you did it. Just pack some limes in your bag, along with a bottle of tequila and your homemade agave simple-syrup. Make sure you grab one of those Mexican elbow style citrus juicers too.

How to make it: you could shake it in a shaker with ice, but you’ll get the same result by just pouring 45ml tequila into a cup, throw in a handful of ice (you’ll need to take a trip over to the bar for this one), squeeze in your lime and stir in the agave simple-syrup that you made before (by stirring together a cup of agave nectar and a cup of hot water over a stove, then pouring into a bottle when dissolved).

Bloody Marys

Trust us, you’ll be glad you prepared for these when it cures your first-morning hangover. Pack some Tetra Pak tomato juice in your bag, and a bottle or two of vodka, along with some single-serve packs of Little Devil’s Bloody Spices. No need for fussing with all the many ingredients that go into the perfect Bloody Mary mix, these guys have done all that for you!

How to make it: Mix one sachet of Bloody Spice with a shot of vodka, and some tomato juice. Garnish with celery and lime if you can be bothered.


Get yourself sorted before you leave home by throwing together a couple of big bottles of tasty concoctions. For this to work avoid drinks involving fresh fruit juice and either make a nice strong cocktail that will last, or prep the boozy base of a fruity cocktail and get in the juice and ice when you're there!

Bourbon Old Fashioned

You're probably thinking no way, not an Old Fashioned that's way too complicated for a field!? But we went and spoke to Gareth Evans (Winner of World Class GB 2013) to find out how to make it happen. His advice is that when you stir something like an Old Fashioned over ice you generally add about 25ml - 30ml water through dilution so,  to get it in a bottle, you just need the right ingredients and our speciality; "some ropey maths". 

Fill a 700ml bottle with 420ml Bulleit Bourbon
210ml water
70ml sugar syrup
21 dashes Angostura bitters
7 dashes orange bitters and voila.


Gareth says, "Keep it on ice if you can, but otherwise pour 100ml of your mix over fresh ice in a low glass with a twist of orange zest". Now THAT is how you make an Old Fashioned at a festival!


Whatever your bottle size this one’s easy, just fill it with equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. Negronis taste better with ice, so try and track some down when you get there, and a twist of orange peel will make you look like a pro!

Chamomile Gimlets

This one will REALLY impress your neighbours. Pour your preferred measure of gin into a large bottle, with some lemon juice, a glug of sugar syrup, a few mint sprigs and a chamomile tea bag. When you get there pour it into some cups and top with a splash of soda, ice would be good if you can, but either way, it works!


Get that Lighter on a leash – It costs less than a fiver off ebay and it will avoid you making lighter signs at every passer-by when you need one. It’s also a magnet for new mates, if you need some.

Giant Hip Flask – because there’s a big old festival out there and you don’t want to be high and dry.

Umbrella with cup holders – we’ve got you covered even if it’s p*ssing it down. Order yourself an umbrella but make sure it has some cup holders. Why have a beer when you can hold two AND stay dry.


  • Watch out for the Coconut water stand: coconuts keep you re-hydrated like no other and they look more tropical than a bottle of water. We choose Rebel Kitchen if you're asking.
  • Pace yourself. You don't wanna miss the headliner cos you're passed out in your tent, so stock up on some interesting Low/No ABV spirits and alternative. These are BarChick's faves. 
  • If you can't be arsed with prepping your own cocktails, you can't go wrong with a case of tinnies. So grab a cool box and a few of these and crack on.
  • If all else fails, date one of the performers or musicians - they tend to have access to the "clean" bogs and the VIP bars.