SeaRick1 / shutterstock

Entertaining
The 13 Best Whiskey Cocktails for Summer Sipping

By

Whiskey isn’t a seasonal indulgence. Your favorite bottles don’t have to go into hibernation just because warm weather has arrived. But as you shed your winter coat, ditch the thick, comforting drinks of December, and go for something more refreshing. Summer drinking necessitates fresh produce, long bubbly sippers and sweet refreshers that are perfect for long, balmy afternoons, and whiskey cocktails can get the job done when mixed with the right ingredients. Here, 10 of our favorite whiskey drinks to sip from June through September.

Matthew Kelly / Supercall
Back in the 19th century, when adding a bit of lime juice to a spirit was a huge innovation, the Bourbon Rickey blew everyone’s mind. But the mix of sweet bourbon, citrus and soda is nothing to scoff at, even today. The bubbly, tart mix gives the whiskey just the right amount of zip to sip it in the warmer months.

The Essentials

bourbon
lime
club soda
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
This ginger-spiked refresher gets it’s name from the long spiral lemon peel twisted inside the glass. Making the garnish takes a bit of practice, but because the drink is so simple to make,  you can dedicate all of your time to perfecting your technique.

The Essentials

bourbon
bitters
ginger ale
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
The Blinker was totally forgotten for three-quarters of a century, until it was resurrected in a cocktail book by Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh. Peppery rye and grapefruit juice give the drink a dry tartness, while homemade raspberry syrup adds just the right amount of sweet. It’s a peculiar number worth adding to your summer bucket list.

The Essentials

rye whiskey
grapefruit juice
raspberry syrup
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
If springtime in Ireland was made into a cocktail, it would be this bright, floral number. The green fruit flavors of Powers Irish whiskey meld perfectly with sage, citrus and ever-versatile elderflower liqueur. But as jubilant spring fades into the long hot days of summer, the drink needs a little something extra to give it personality—a salted, deep-fried sage leaf does the trick.

The Essentials

Irish Whiskey
Honey-Sage Syrup
St-Germain
PATRICK SPEARS / SUPERCALL
Scotch is probably the last spirit you think to sip in the summer, especially if it’s mixed with Irish whiskey. But the Cameron’s Kick is void of any ingredients that might weigh down the boozy blend, as it’s complemented only by dry, nutty orgeat and a hit of lemon. It’s undoubtedly an out of the box choice for a summer evening on the patio, but one you won’t soon forget.

The Essentials

Blended Scotch
Irish Whiskey
Orgeat
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
Tea, strawberries, bourbon, friends, punch—these are the quintessential building blocks of a summer party. When the beautiful weather demands a gathering but you don’t have a quorum to justify a huge gallon-sized punch, consider the humble fish bowl as the perfect compromise. This summery rendition highlights the flavor of strawberries with Peychaud’s bitters, bright lemon, honey and tea-infused bourbon.

The Essentials

black tea bourbon
Strawberry syrup
Lemon Juice
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
Consider this your summer fling with an unconventional sweetener. Fig jam is an easy way to incorporate the summer fruit without taking the time to infuse a spirit, so you can enjoy your sweet libation right away. Stir it up and sip it carefree.

The Essentials

bourbon
fig jam
bitters
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
In case there was any confusion, the Kentucky Derby marks that spring has officially sprung and it’s time to drink outside. But the event’s infamous traditional tipple is too often forgotten after the day has passed. Don’t put away your tin cups when the ponies cross the finish line. Sugary, minty bourbon buried beneath crushed ice is just as refreshing in August as it is in May.

The Essentials

Bourbon
Simple Syrup
mint
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
This Sazerac is the perfect transition from hot whiskey drinks to lighter libations, as spice-heavy rye, aquavit and Kummel will shock you awake to the floral bounty blooming around you. While this tipple is perfect for passing the time during spring showers, you should keep drinking it well into June.

The Essentials

Rye Whiskey
Aquavit
Absinthe
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
There is no wrong season for this eternal classic. Drink a cold one in the dead of a July heatwave and see for yourself.

The Essentials

Whiskey
bitters
sugar cube
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
A Smash is made with crushed ice, fruit, herbs, a sweetener and a base spirit. Smashes are in every way what you need to be happy in the middle of a hot summer day. Invented (or, at least, first documented) by Jerry Thomas in 1887, the Whiskey Smash is like a cross between a Mint Julep and a Whiskey Sour. A refreshing sprig of fresh mint pairs perfectly with tart lemon juice and spicy rye, and the slowly melting ice keeps the cocktail cool as a tiki drink as you sip.

The Essentials

Rye
lemon juice
mint
Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
Here’s a cocktail perfect for sipping in a rocking chair on the porch as the fireflies buzz around you. It’s summer, which means ‘tis the season to take advantage of fresh fruit and berries. Find the plumpest blackberries you can and muddle them up into Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade.

The Essentials

Bourbon
Blackberries
Lemon Juice
Patrick Spears / Supercall
You wouldn’t know it from the name, but the Brown Derby is one of the most refreshing whiskey cocktails around. It was created on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, where it’s always summer. The Brown Derby gets its kick from bourbon, brightness from grapefruit juice and sweetness from honey syrup.

The Essentials

Bourbon
Grapefruit Juice
Honey Syrup

Published on

More From Around The Web