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.

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!

Click here for recipes for the Mint Julep, Tart N' Sand, and more. 

— Sara Kay, The Spir.it