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The 5 best summer whiskey drinks

The 5 best summer whiskey drinks

Newsflash: brown spirit cocktails aren’t just for colder months. But as a true whiskey aficionado, you already knew that. No matter the type, using a brown liquor as tasty as bourbon forms the base of a super refreshing summer cocktail. Whiskey ambassador Doug Kragel told Liquor.com that “simple pours” in the summertime are incredibly popular. “The great thing is that there are so many fantastic mixologists coming out with whiskey cocktails that are a little lighter,” he says. “Whiskey goes incredibly well with citrus, a perfect summer ingredient.” If you’re looking for a recipe that doesn’t sacrifice the bold flavor of your favorite whiskey, these 5 whiskey drinks do the trick. 

Keeneland Breeze

The Keeneland Breeze just might give an Old Fashioned a run for its money. Bourbon and orange pair together beautifully in this recipe which calls for a splash of orange liqueur and a spicy, dry ginger ale finish. Keep this one coming all summer long.  

  • 1 ¼ oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. orange liqueur
  • Splash of ginger ale
  • Orange wedge as an optional garnish

Directions: Fill a rocks glass with ice. Combine the bourbon, orange liqueur and a squeeze of fresh orange and stir. Top with ginger ale and garnish with an orange wedge. 

Shandy Maker

Beer cocktails are an ideal warm weather cooler because of their surprisingly refreshing taste. The Shandy Maker is no exception. Weave together bourbon, a hoppy IPA, some citrus and muddled fresh marjoram for a tasty medley of summery flavors. 

  • 1 ¾ oz. bourbon
  • ¾ oz. grapefruit juice
  • ¼ oz. lemon juice
  • ¼ oz. simple syrup
  • 3 oz. citrus-flavored IPA
  • Fresh marjoram
  • Optional garnish: grapefruit peel

Directions: Muddle the marjoram. Add all ingredients together, except for the beer and shake. Strain into a pint glass and add ice. Top with the beer and add the optional grapefruit peel as a garnish.  

Evening Shade

The best part of summertime boozing? All the fruits and vegetables that can add a zest of freshness to a mid-year heat wave. This summery concoction combines peach puree, cucumber and whiskey. 

  • 1 ½ oz. corn whiskey
  • ½ oz. lime juice
  • 2 oz. peach puree
  • 3 slices cucumber
  • ¾ oz. ginger liqueur
  • ½ oz. pomegranate liqueur or juice
  • 2 sprigs lemon balm

Directions: Muddle lime juice and cucumber in a cocktail shaker. Add peach puree, whiskey, liqueurs and ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with lemon balm. 

Kentucky Buck

Did you know that a classic Moscow Mule belongs to a family of drinks called “Bucks?” These drinks all call for ginger beer plus a spirit and citrus. It’s a category that includes this fruity refresher as well. Elevate your cocktail by making your ginger beer from scratch.

  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 2 oz. Angostura bitters
  • 2 oz. ginger beer
  • ¾ oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • 1 chopped strawberry
  • Optional strawberry for garnish

Directions: Muddle chopped strawberry, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add bourbon, bitters and ice. Shake and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with ginger beer and garnish with strawberry slice.

If You Like Piña Colada 

Get carried away to a tropical location this summer and experiment with some lesser-known spirits for this exotic piña colada-esque booze. 

  • ½ oz. rye whiskey
  • ¾ oz. pineapple juice
  • ½ oz. lime juice
  • ½ oz. coconut syrup
  • ½ oz. Green Chartreuse
  • ½ oz. Linie aquavit
  • ¼ oz. Velvet Falernum
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Pineapple to garnish

Directions: Combine pineapple juice, syrup, lime juice, chartreuse, aquavit, rye and velvet falernum in shaker and stir. Strain into a hurricane-style glass filled with ice. Top with bitters and garnish with pineapple.