The summer months beg for cold and refreshing cocktails, which many people believe can only be achieved by using vodka or gin with fresh juices and herbs. This is only half-true; refreshing summertime cocktails are NOT just made with clear spirits! In fact, some of the best summer drinks that I have ever had the pleasure of sipping on have been made with brown spirits. I may be a bit biased as a brown spirits lover, but I find it important to give credit where credit is due.
Since your summer cocktails don’t have to be limited to clear spirits, this is a great opportunity to get to experimenting with bourbons and whiskeys and any other flavors that you like to mix them with. For me, a good, smoky bourbon or whiskey is always really well complemented by the addition of a little bit of citrus like orange or lemon juice. That mixture of warmth and richness in the whiskey with the light and crisp bite of citrus juice is truly a great combination.
Photo courtesy of thp365 via Flickr/cc
One crucial thing to remember about whiskey cocktails in the summer is to keep those drinks nice and icy. While some may disagree with what I’m about to say, I am a firm believer that cocktails, especially those with brown spirits, greatly benefit from the addition of water. Not only will that ice keep your cocktail cold, but it will open up the different flavor notes in the spirit and really let it shine.
Below are some of my favorite summertime whiskey and bourbon cocktails. Some are old classics that work all year round, others are absolutely perfect for sipping on the back porch in the sunshine. Cheers and enjoy!
Have any warm weather whiskey cocktails to share? Let us know what they are in the comments section!
Courtesy of AllRecipes.com
¼ cup water
¼ cup white sugar
1 Tbsp roughly chopped mint leaves
½ cup Kentucky Bourbon (We recommend Maker's Mark)
Fresh mint leaves for garnish
In a saucepan over high heat, combine the water, sugar and mint leaves until the sugar has completely dissolved. Allow the syrup to cool, then strain through a sieve and discard the mint leaves. Fill a julep cup with crushed ice and bourbon, and top with the mint syrup. Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint and a straw.
Courtesy of Liquor.com
2 oz Scotch (We recommend The Macallan 10 Year Old Scotch Whisky)
Fill a Collins glass with ice. Add in Scotch, and fill the rest of the glass with equal parts ginger ale and club soda.
Courtesy of Liquor.com, created by Charlotte Voisey
Tart ‘n Sand
4 Luxardo Marasca Cherries
¾ Glenfiddich 12-year-old Scotch Whisky
¾ oz Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
¾ oz Lillet Rouge
½ oz Pink Grapefruit juice
¼ oz Fresh lemon juice
2 dashes Orange bitters
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cherries. Fill with ice, and add the remainder of the ingredients. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange slice.
Courtesy of Liquor.com
1 Tsp club soda
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 oz St. Germain
2 oz Bourbon (We recommend Basil Hayden's)
In an Old Fashioned glass, combine all the ingredients. Fill with ice and and stir. Garnish with an orange peel.
Courtesy of Chow.com
Apricot Whiskey Smash
2 medium apricots, pitted and quartered
3 medium fresh mint leaves
1 oz Cointreau
¼- ½ oz simple syrup
⅛ medium lemon
2 oz Rye Whiskey (We recommend Bulleit Rye)
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the apricots, mint leaves, cointreau and simple syrup. Muddle until the apricots are broken up, but not pulverized. Add in the whiskey and the juice of the lemon, and fill the rest of the way with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
Courtesy of Chow.com
Basil and Rye
3 large basil leaves
1 Tbsp granulated sugar, simple syrup or agave nectar
½ oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ oz Rye (We recommend Bulleit Rye)
In a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, muddle the basil, sugar and lemon juice until the basil is broken up. Add in the rye and more ice and shake until condensation starts to form on the shaker. Strain into a cocktail glass.
Courtesy of Liquor.com, created by Dale DeGroff
Hawaiian Stone Sour
1 ½ oz Bourbon (We recommend Maker's 46)
¾ oz Lemon juice
¾ oz simple syrup
1 oz unsweetened Pineapple juice
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all the ingredients. Shake vigorously and strain into an old fashioned glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cherry.