With its range of oaky, smoky, strong and complex flavors, whiskey is often pigeonholed as an autumn or winter sipping spirit. While ideal for boozy beverages such as the Hot Toddy, Old Fashioned and Manhattan, there are many whiskey cocktails that are light-tasting, easy-drinking, warm-weather friendly and even fruity.
In other words, don’t leave whiskey on the bottom shelf this summer. Instead, try out these eight recipes that prove whiskey is the spirit of any season.
This Mint Julep riff takes the Kentucky Derby classic and cranks up the festive flavors: Bourbon, rum, two types of bitters, rose water, mint simple syrup, and liqueur are combined in a cup with crushed ice. Top with Cava to make it extra festive.
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This easy-to-make, easy-to-drink, four-ingredient cocktail mixes whiskey with the holy trinity of summer refreshment: lemon juice, ginger, and soda water. Sip this on a sunny day.
If you’re out of simple syrup, this Southern-inspired cocktail might be your jam. Combine bourbon, lemon juice, raspberries, and a preserved fruit of your choice to create a recipe that’s as good with toast as it is for dessert.
To make this bright and fruity take on the Sazerac, combine rye, orange and Peychaud’s bitters, and Pernod, and transport yourself to an outdoor bar on Bourbon Street. This one is light enough to sip all day long.
This variation of the classic Gold Rush cocktail combines pineapple with bourbon, honey syrup, lemon juice, and grapefruit bitters. It’s sweet, tangy, and sure to help you through the next heatwave.
This recipe from Manhattan cocktail bar The Cabinet proves that rye is always in season. Rye is fat-washed and combined with raspberry brandy, Giffard Framboise, lime juice, honey syrup, and Angostura bitters. Garnish with a speared raspberry for an extra summery touch.
Bourbon, ginger beer, lemon juice, and strawberry syrup co-star in this easy-to-make libation inspired by bartender Kent Westmoreland’s creation at New Orleans’ Lobby Bar in the Windsor Court Hotel. The result is balanced and refreshing.
After a long day in the sun, cool off with this cocktail combining bourbon, lemon juice, muddled peach, and — get this — peach ice cubes. Shake, and top with a fresh grind of black pepper and pineapple juice for a tropical, slightly spiced twist.