On hot days, it can be a struggle to keep everyone in camp hydrated. On a typical morning, kids are scattered to the crafts barn, the lake, the field for an ultimate frisbee game, and the hammock. Although everyone has a water bottle, not everyone is good at remembering to carry it with them and drink from it! Therefore, we try to pack in plenty of fluids at meals and one of our secret weapons is Red Drink.

Red Drink (also known as campers’ tears, bug juice, or mystery beverage) is a secret combination of ingredients with one crucial factor: it must always be red. Farm & Wilderness cooks learned years ago that campers will drink anything out of a pitcher with a brilliant red color. I will now reveal the (never before seen in print) recipe for Red Drink as served at Saltash Mountain Camp.

Red Drink

Bring to a simmer 2 boxes of Raspberry herbal tea bags (I use Celestial Seasonings, 20 tea bags per box.) in a small amount of water. Leave the tea bags in. This is your tea concentrate. Put in fridge to cool.

When you’re ready to serve, press liquid from tea bags and compost them. Divide the concentrate between two five-gallon buckets. Add any leftover juice you might have (not orange or pineapple though, cloudy juice is far less appealing) to both buckets. Now add a quart of apple juice concentrate and a great deal of icy cold water to each bucket.  Scoop into pitchers and garnish with a sprig of lemon balm or a thinly sliced lime. (Or not, if things are getting hectic in the kitchen.)

Drink and enjoy your newly hydrated state! This recipe serves 60-90 depending on the weather.


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