Warm Weather Whiskey Cocktails

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in your favorite brown spirits


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!

Mint Julep

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)
Ginger Ale
Club Soda

Fill a Collins glass with ice. Add in Scotch, and fill the rest of the glass with equal parts ginger ale and club soda.

Tart ‘n Sand

Courtesy of Liquor.com, created by Charlotte Voisey

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.

Traditional Elderfashion

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.

Apricot Whiskey Smash

Courtesy of Chow.com

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.

Basil and Rye

Courtesy of Chow.com

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.

Hawaiian Stone Sour

Courtesy of Liquor.com, created by Dale DeGroff

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.


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  • Snooth User: leffing
    329629 57

    If you can't get fresh mint leaves, I've found (purists read no farther) that Mojito mix gives a good result.

    Jul 24, 2012 at 2:19 PM

  • Snooth User: leffing
    329629 57

    Tried the Elderfashion last night-very good. It offers a model for a number of experiments using liqueurs for variants on the old fashioned. Proportions and additional ingredients (bitters in particular) offer many happy hours of experimentation, especially if you have a large larder of liqueurs.

    Jul 25, 2012 at 2:35 PM

  • Snooth User: vinodoc
    230507 192

    Are you sure you mean 1/2 cup (i.e., 4 oz ) of Bourbon per drink for the Julep recipe?

    Jul 26, 2012 at 10:16 AM

  • Snooth User: stlblues
    1123476 20

    You're going to waste 10-year-old scotch with both club soda AND ginger ale (presbyterian)?? You might as well use cheap stuff!

    Jul 31, 2012 at 11:01 AM

  • Snooth User: jendo23
    2191688 11

    I am play all night this jumble words solver that is a https://jumblesolver.online very interesting game.

    Apr 01, 2018 at 1:53 AM

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