I am far from a cocktail connoisseur. Usually the drink I’m mixing is whiskey in a glass maybe with a splash of water. But from time to time you want to step your mixing game up. Maybe you have people coming over who you know won’t be as receptive to just a glass of whiskey or maybe you’re just in the mood for something new. As a lot of these are going to be on ice in some way it’s also just a good way to beat the summer heat too. Regardless here are some drinks we’ve been mixing lately.
Rosemary Peach Maple Leaf Cocktail
I don’t know why but adding peach to my whiskey seems like a summer thing to me. I also love maple in almost anything. I did grow up in Vermont after all. Just to make it complete I added the Whistle Pig Rye might as well just change the name of this cocktail to the Vermonter. The rosemary adds something surprising to this (an earthy herbal note).
As an aside, I have noticed almost everyone on the web wants you to make your own syrups. I did it so I could make this and it turned out pretty well but I will say sometimes when I want a drink it’s not something I've planned for a ton of time in advance and I'm not really trying to take all night to do it. So a lot of the other drinks are something I can just throw some simple syrup in if that’s what I want. The nice thing about making the more complicated ones though of course is that once it’s been made (assuming you made enough) just chill it in the fridge and have it ready for the next time you want it.
The first time I made this with the last bit of Whistle Pig’s straight rye I had and the other with Bulleit rye. Both times turned out really well. Depending on your budget the Bulleit may be a little more practical.
Peach Bourbon Lemonade Popsicles
Not exactly a drink per se but hey it’s hot outside and I have the peaches from the previous drink so what am I going to do with them? This is pretty decent if you have the popsicle molds. I will say that it seems like no matter how well you mix it the bourbon seems to settle to the bottom of the popsicle. You get kind of hit with it on the first try and it’s less and less strong from there on. The sweetness in this is much more overpowering than it is in the cocktail above but that's to be expected.
As stated earlier I'm a big fan of simple though and so you’ll find a couple classics on here. A whiskey sour is really easy to make and most people will like it. I usually use the Bulleit with this one too but really I like swapping things in an out too and just trying to see how they come out different.
Who doesn’t like to sit out on a hot day and enjoy a minty drink in a chilled silver cup? It’s really simple to make which is probably why you find it on a lot of distillery tours where they’re trying to match it with their particular whiskey. VA Distillery Company was making a julep variation with their single malt whisky, for instance, when I visited there last year.
Look, is it technically a summer drink? I don’t know. Probably not. But do you really need an excuse to have an old fashioned on your list? It’s simple to make and it’s on ice. Don Draper would drink it any time any where I'm pretty sure.
I like my old fashioned kind of, well, you know, old fashioned. So I don’t usually change things up too much or get too overly extravagant with it but if you really need a new fashioned old fashioned because you’re just feeling like it try the mixed berry and fig old fashioned below. It’s pretty good. If you’re into that whole thing.
Finally, last but certainly not least, comes a suggestion from Colonel Steve Akley courtesy of Instagram. Head on over and lend a follow or a like and let them know if you tried it and liked it here. Since I don't have a link to the recipe I'll just give it to you here.
In a gallon sized container (like buckets they sell cheap ice cream in or as I used just a big metal pot) mix the following ingredients:
1 Can of frozen lemonade concentrate
1 Can orange juice concentrate
3 Cans of water (just like you would do if you were making juice from concentrate)
1 Can of bourbon (With all the sugar I didn't want to use my Blantons I had at home so I popped over to the liquor store with the intention of purchasing some Jim Beam or Jack Daniels but ended up grabbing Old Forester because it was pretty much the same price and I still like it neat if I want what's left over)
1 Additional Can of Water
3 Teaspoons of unsweetened Lipton instant iced tea.
After mixing place in freezer overnight and enjoy
Note: For some reason I expected that the bourbon would prevent the four cans of water from freezing and I'd just be able to scoop out a slushy with a ladle. That's on me. What was I thinking? This was definitely frozen solid. However it was pretty easy to scrape/shave the icy, sno coney goodness off and scoop it into a cup and it is quite good. It does taste somewhat similar to the Peach Bourbon Lemonade popsicles just more citrusy (obviously you replaced the peach with OJ).
Well there you go. There are our six summer cocktails we're mixing up right now. If you try them and like them or if you have some of your own that you'd like to suggest so we can give them a try please leave a comment.