Nothing could be better than enjoying a fruity or spicy dram in the summer. The warmth makes the flavour shine.
Summer is the season that calls for cocktails. These are perfect for making at home to impress friends, or ordering at a bar.
1. The El CaminoA mix of Whisky and Mezcal, a Mexican spirit made from the Agave plant, this is a fresh cocktail for those hot summer nights.
Most recipes recommend a Rye Whiskey, so we’re going to suggest a Bulleit Rye, which is packed with flavour.
Ingredients:- 1 part Mezcal
- 1 part Bulleit Rye Whiskey
- 1 Tbsp Benedictine
- 4 dashes Paychaud’s Bitters
- Orange peel to garnish
How to?Build the drink in a rocks glass over ice, stirring for thirty seconds with each ingredient that it added. The Paychauds and Benedictine really bring out the spices and warmth of the Mezcal which adds a whole other level of flavour to the Rye.
2. Peated HighballA Highball is a very common Whisky cocktail, but its art is in its simplicity. Served over a sphere of ice and with only two ingredients, it’s as easy going as possible. That’s what makes it so refreshing.
There is plenty of Highball recipes out there but we suggested going for Ailsa Bay Single Malt, which is sweet and peaty. The sweetness is full of fruits and vanilla and the peated flavours are earthy and smoky. The warmth is perfect with the saccharine notes.
Ingredients:- 2 parts Ailsa Bay Single Malt
- 3 parts club soda
- Lemon to garnish
How to?Simple; tall glass, pack it with ice, add the Whisky first - that’s important - and stir for 30 seconds, then add more ice and finally add the soda to the brim.
3. O’SherryMade with Irish Whiskey, this cocktail, courtesy of Tullamore D.E.W., combines Whiskey and Sherry.
The spice and the heat form the Whiskey are perfect companions. Sherry is already a major part of the Whiskey story, with many Sherry casks being used to mature malt.
This cocktail brings the two together in a sweet, dessert like partnership. This is the recipe, as suggested by Tullamore D.E.W. (with a few suggestions from us).
Ingredients:- 50ml Tullamore D.E.W. Original Irish Whiskey (or your favourite Irish dram)
- 10ml Vermouth
- 10ml Sherry (a little more than originally suggested)
- 2 dashes chocolate bitters
How to?As with El Camino, gently build this one in a rocks glass of your choice, slowly but surely, lots of stirring and lots of patience.
4. Brown DerbyAn excellently sweet cocktail, the Brown Derby is perfect for enjoying alongside summer fruits on a cool evening. It is named for a chain of restaurants in California that opened in the early 1920s and celebrates America’s love of Bourbon.
There are lots of ways to make the Brown Derby and some recipes suggest using Maple Syrup instead of honey, but we much prefer it with honey. Here’s how we do it.
Ingredients:- 50ml Widow Jane 10 Year Old Bourbon
- 40ml pink grapefruit juice
- 10ml honey
How to?The honey and grapefruit add a fruity, earthy sweetness that really brings out the deeper notes in the Widow Jane. Perfect for summer.
5. Whisky SmashPacked with mint and garnished with lemon, this is a cooling, refreshing cocktail with big flavours.
It is usually made with a Bourbon, being an American cocktail, but we suggest trying it with Auchentoshan American Oak. This dram has been matured in first fill American oak casks and has a wonderfully sweet flavour profile, with lots of citrus notes, making it the perfect Scotch for a Whisky Smash.
Ingredients:- 10 mint leaves
- 70ml Auchentoshan American Oak
- 30ml fresh lemon juice
- 20ml simple syrup
How to?For this one, fill a mixing tin with all the ingredients and shake hard for 45 seconds then strain over ice in a coupe glass. Muddle the mint and lemon together before adding the other ingredients to really encourage their flavours to come out.
Have you tried any of these? Share in the comments below.