Wade Cothran | Aug 20, 2020
5 of the Best Whiskey Cocktails We’ve Tried
If we had to choose our favorite time of year, it would probably be the point when Spring blossoms into Summer. It’s the time of year when the world truly wakes up from the colder months, shakes itself off, and starts to revel in the bright skies and the joy and vibrancy.
In most normal years, this would mean long walks outdoors, drinks with friends at our favorite rooftop bars, and generally celebrating the hot weather. But let’s face it, 2020 hasn’t exactly gone that way, has it?
There’s no shortage of cruel irony behind the fact that the Coronavirus pandemic has stuck most of the world indoors and in lockdown, just as the good weather has started to emerge. However, wellbeing and self-care always come first, meaning most of us have been sitting at home, wondering what to do with ourselves as we watch summer bloom from our windows. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice all of the joys of the season, though.
It’s all too easy to think of whiskey as a fall or winter drink. After all, with its spicy, smoky depth and warming sweetness, it’s the perfect spirit to sip in front of a roaring fire in the middle of December. However, with the right mixers and a keen eye for flavor combinations, there are plenty of gorgeous spring and summer cocktails to mix up for your time spent in quarantine. In fact, we’d even go as far as to say that this period spent at home is the ideal opportunity to bring some spring and summer flavors into your whiskey cocktail repertoire. It's perfect for exploring the hidden flavor profiles in your favorite whiskeys.
With that more positive note in mind, let’s look at some spring/summer crossover cocktail recipes that bring out the best in your whiskeys as you enjoy the sun beating down on your garden, balcony, or through your window. Cheers to that!
The title of this perfect spring/summer whiskey cocktail should be more than enough to justify its place on this list. Chances are we all feel like we need as much medicine as we can get right now! This cocktail isn’t recommended for warding off viruses but there’s no doubt about the fact that it has what we need to shake off oncoming summer colds and raise our spirits. It has a warmth that comes through from the addition of ginger, and the sharpness of the citrus notes works perfectly with a good Scotch. This whiskey cocktail is absolutely ideal for those late summer afternoons.
- ¾ oz ginger syrup
- ¾ oz lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- ½ oz Islay Scotch or other Single Malt
- 1 ½ oz blended Scotch
- 1 piece of candied ginger
- 4 oz crushed ice
- Orange twist, to garnish
Simply pop all of the ingredients in your blender (not the garnish, obviously), and give it all a good whizz until it’s nice and thick and creamy. Pour into your BruMate glass and garnish with an orange twist to finish.
Summer is when we leave behind the heavy foods of winter and move our palate towards juicier, fruitier, and lighter flavors. The Underdog is a bonafide modern classic and a whiskey cocktail that brings together the flawless taste combination of strawberry and grapefruit. Once you’ve mastered this one, you won’t even care about not being able to go to the bars.
- 2 dashes of bitters
- ¾ oz lemon juice
- ¾ strawberry syrup
- 1 oz grapefruit juice
- 2 oz Bourbon
For the Strawberry Syrup
Bring together 1 cup of hot water, a pint of fresh and juicy strawberries, and two dried cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan. Bring up to a simmer and boil gently together for 15 minutes. Then, strain and stir in a cup of household sugar.
Give the ingredients a vigorous shake with plenty of ice, then double strain into a glass filled with ice. Finish with a grapefruit twist and sip slowly.
When it comes to warm-weather cocktails, the mint julep is an all-time favorite down in Old Kentucky. This fresh and zesty reimagining of the classic was dreamt up in a Sydney bar (hence the name) and gives the cocktail a beautifully aromatic twist that really embodies the flavors of this time of year.
- ½ oz Zirbenz Stone Pine liqueur or similar
- ½ oz raspberry liqueur
- 2 oz Bourbon (we recommend Four Roses)
- 8 fresh mint leaves
Build together all the ingredients in a glass. Add plenty of crushed ice, stir well, then finish with a garnish of fresh mint.
Honey is a magical ingredient and one which has been loved for thousands of years. It’s got the right burst of sweetness and mellow flavor that makes it perfect for a floral spring/summer cocktail that never fails to hit the spot. The Gold Rush is a nice twist on the classic Whiskey Sour and uses honey to bring out the depth of sweetness in a quality bourbon. If you can get your hands on some floral honey - heather or acacia honey is always a winner - then you’ll be able to take the seasonal flavors up to a whole new level!
For the Honey Syrup
Combine 2 parts honey with 1 part boiled water. Bring up to a simmer and leave to steep, then allow to cool in the fridge.
For the Cocktail
Shake all of the ingredients together with plenty of ice, then strain into a glass over a big cube of ice for the ultimate refreshment.
Whiskey Smash & Grab
This stunning and colorful cocktail is an old-time classic from New Orleans, where they really know their way around a quality whiskey cocktail - especially one like this, which packs in the vibrancy, energy, and flavors of festival season. You’re going to love it - the smash & grab is versatile and delicious and works great with a well-spiced rum if you fancy something a little different.
- 1 ½ oz Bourbon
- ½ oz Blue Curacao
- ½ oz mint syrup
- ¾ oz lemon juice
- Mint sprig, for garnish
For the mint syrup
Simply gather two cups of fresh mint - leaves and stems together, please - and steep in 2 cups of boiled water for around 15 minutes, before straining. While the liquid is still hot, pour in three cups of household sugar, and stir to dissolve before allowing it to cool.
For the Cocktail
Shake all of the ingredients together along with plenty of ice, and strain over a BruMate glass filled loosely with crushed ice. Don’t forget to garnish with more fresh mint leaves!
That’s it - five beautiful cocktails for a vibrant spring/summer season spent indoors. Stay safe, everybody!