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Tasty end of summer single malt whiskey cocktails

Delicious end of summer single malt whiskey cocktails

Summer may be coming to a close but there’s still time to enjoy great cocktails before the weather turns colder. If you’re looking for drink inspiration, look no further than single malt whiskey. Although single malt whiskey is not typically associated with quality cocktails, Erik Delanoy, a New York based mixologist tells Distiller.com that that is an unfortunate oversight. “For nearly the entirety of its existence, single malt whiskey has been relegated to being enjoyed neat or on the rocks,” he says. “Its use in cocktails was viewed by many purists as taboo or even a bastardization, as they are worried it taints the purity of such a highly revered spirit.” The trick, according to Delanoy, is to find ways to magnify and complement its deep complexities, rather than drown them out. These single (malt) and ready to mingle recipes are begging for a pour and make for excellent long weekend libations.  

Rob Roy

The choice of single malt whiskey is what separates a Rob Roy from a Manhattan cocktail. The simplicity of the drink is what allows the whiskey to shine through so break out your premium whiskey for one of these drinks. Might we suggest this recipe for any weekend festivities?

  • 1 ½ oz. single malt whiskey
  • ¾ oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1 to 2 dashes of Angostura bitters (to taste)
  • Garnish: maraschino cherry

Directions: In a mixing glass full of ice, pour in the whiskey, vermouth and bitters. Stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry. 

Blue Blazer

If you’re going to attempt the Blue Blazer, be aware this popular recipe involves fire. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Allegedly, Jerry Thomas created this drink back in the 1800s. And apparently it’s still lit. Thirsty whiskey fans enjoy the smoky, charred nuances the fire brings out of the whiskey. 

  • 2 oz. single malt whiskey
  • 1 ½ oz. boiling water
  • Sugar to taste (for sweetening)
  • Lemon peel as garnish

Directions: Pour the whiskey, boiling water and sugar into a heat-resistant silver-plated or pewter mug with a handle. Light the mix on fire. While still ablaze, roll the mix into an identical mug and back again four or five times. Pour the mix into another heat-resistant cup and then put one of the mugs over the top to extinguish the flames. Add a lemon peel as garnish. 

Rusty Nail

The Rusty Nail is the ultimate single malt cocktail. It’s a very simple mix of your favorite whiskey and Drambuie on the rocks. The recipe is meant to be savored; enjoy this slow-sipping, sophisticated libation after dinner during one of the last lazy days of summer. 

  • 1 ½ oz. single malt whiskey
  • ¾ oz. Drambuie

Directions: Fill an old fashioned or rocks glass with ice. Combine the whiskey and Drambuie and stir well. The Rusty Nail is often ungarnished but some people enjoy a lemon twist as garnish. 

Blood & Sand

The Blood & Sand is another whiskey classic to add to your repertoire. Inspired by the movie Blood and Sand, this cocktail combines single malt whiskey with a touch of sweet citrus. If you have any left over summer harvest, using fresh-squeeze orange juice is definitely recommended. 

  • ¾ oz. single malt whiskey
  • ¾ oz. cherry brandy (or Cherry Heering as substitute)
  • ¾ oz. sweet vermouth
  • ¾ oz. orange juice
  • Orange peel as an optional garnish

Directions: Pour the whiskey, brandy, vermouth and orange juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel. 

Penicillin

Single malt whiskey combined with the always-delicious combination of citrus, honey and ginger? Yes. Please. The Penicillin recipe was originally a riff on the classic Gold Rush. Suffice it to say it has risen to international fame and become a whiskey drink classic. With this recipe, summer can go out with a sip and a bang. 

  • 2 oz. single malt whiskey
  • ¾ oz. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • ¾ oz. honey-ginger syrup*
  • Garnish: candied ginger

Directions: Add the whiskey, juice and syrup into a shaker with ice and shake hard. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a piece of candied ginger. 

*For the honey-ginger syrup: combine 1 cup honey, 1 6-inch piece of peeled and thinly sliced ginger and 1 cup of water in a saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Place in the refrigerator to steep overnight. Strain with a cheesecloth.