Top 5 best whisky cocktails for the summer

I love a dram of whisky.  You probably expected me to say that.  But with the dry heat of Summer turned up to 11, I find myself wanting something cooler as I sit in the garden soaking up the last of the day's sun.  And while I like whisky on the rocks, an whiskey sour, or a Highball as much as the next person, having been in lockdown for months I'm missing the cocktail bars of London. I'm in the mood for something unusual this summer.  Something unique.  And above all, something delicious.

In this article we've drawn up our top 5 best whisky cocktails for the summer - and there's not a Highball or Old Fashioned in sight! We've given you a rough outline for the kind of whisky we'd recommend, but naturally you can use any whiskies you like - so, happy experimenting!

Best Whisky Cocktails: Highland Scotch

A Highland Pina Colada

Who doesn't like a Pina Colada when on a tropical summer holiday? Its basically compulsory right? Well here's our Highland twist on this classic cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 60ml Highland scotch
  • 60ml coconut cream (find this here)
  • 90ml fresh pineapple juice
  • 20ml fresh lime juice
  • 3 dashes of Angostura bitters (find this here)
  • Splash of Highland spring water (find this here)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Ice

Method

  1. Add the ingredients together in a blender
  2. Blend together until smooth
  3. Pour into a chilled hurricane glass (or other tall glass) with plenty of ice
  4. Garnish with a pineapple wedge
  5. For bonus marks, add umbrella

Best Whisky Cocktails: Apple Cooler

Apple Valley Cooler

A cold, crisp pint of cider can really hit the spot on a hot, dry, summer's afternoon.  This delicious whisky cocktail builds on that set of flavours.

Ingredients

  • 60ml of a light, Speyside, whisky
  • 15ml fresh lemon juice
  • 10ml real maple syrup
  • 60ml fresh apple cider
  • Ice

Method

  1. Add lemon juice, maple syrup, and whisky to a shaker with ice
  2. Shake briefly to combine and chill
  3. Strain over fresh ice into a chilled rocks glass
  4. Top with apple cider, and stir to combine
  5. Garnish with apple slices

Best Whiskey Cocktails

Giro d'Italia

A fusion of the warm Italian countryside, with the hot tin warehouses of America. Delicious, unusual, and a great whisky cocktail for the summer. 

Ingredients

  • 60ml of bourbon
  • 20ml fresh lemon juice
  • 20ml agave syrup (you can buy agave syrup online, or you could use runny honey instead)
  • 2 cherry tomatoes
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • Ice

Method

  1. Muddle (mix) tomatoes and four basil leaves.
  2. Add the whiskey, lemon juice and agave syrup 
  3. Shake well over ice.
  4. Strain into a chilled rocks glass with fresh ice.
  5. Garnish with a basil leaf

Best Whisky Cocktails: Mint Julep

Strawberry Jalapeño Mint Julep

A twist on the classic mint julep, this adds strawberries for an extra bit of summer sunshine, and Jalapeños for an extra kick.

Ingredients

  • 60ml of whisky with a spicy note 
  • Half a cup of water
  • Half a cup of sugar
  • 2 jalapeños, halved
  • Red jalapeño, sliced, for garnish
  • A handful of chopped strawberries 
  • Strawberries for garnish
  • 8 fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • Soda water
  • Ice 

Method

  1. Heat a small saucepan over a medium heat
  2. Add the water, sugar, and jalapeños.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  5. When cool, discard jalapeños.
  6. Muddle (mix) strawberries and mint in a chilled cocktail glass.
  7. Add your whisky and 1 tablespoon of the jalapeño sugar syrup you created
  8. Fill with ice and top off with soda water
  9. Garnish with mint, a strawberry, and red jalapeño slices

Best Whisky Cocktails: Blood and Sand

Blood and sand

This is a classy, fruity and delicious whisky cocktail that would be great for Friday evening celebrations during summer.

Ingredients

  • 25ml of a fruity scotch
  • 25ml cherry brandy (find this here)
  • 25ml sweet vermouth (find this here)
  • 25ml good quality orange juice
  • Orange peel for garnish 
  • Ice

Method

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice
  2. Add your scotch, cherry brandy, and sweet vermouth, and orange juice
  3. Shake very well for a good amount of time
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass 

Enjoy your whisky cocktails this summer

I hope you enjoy these whisky cocktails, and do let me know in the comments if you make any of them - or indeed if you have any other great cocktail recipes to share, I'd love to hear them!

Cheers, Ed

Sources and references:

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