The Best Summer Cocktails: Whiskey

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Welcome to our summer drinks guide. We’ve pored over hundreds of recipes to select the best cocktails of the 2015 season. The recipes are broken down by category: vodka, gin, rum, tequila, whiskey, and beer.

We hope you enjoy our selections and get a few ideas for your summer drinks program.

These are the best whiskey cocktails:

Dark Batch Sour

2 parts Alberta Rye Dark Batch whisky
¾ part Lemon juice
½ part Pear liqueur
½ part Simple syrup
¼ part Allspice liqueur

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake, serve up or on the rocks and garnish with a lemon peel.

The mixologists at Beam created this recipe.

Herbaceous Julep

1 ¹⁄5 oz. Buffalo Trace bourbon
¾ oz. Cynar liqueur
½ oz. Rich simple syrup
¼ oz. Fresh lemon juice
4 Mint leaves, mulled

Add all the ingredients in a shaker. Fine strain and pour into a coupe glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Ray Anguiano of Atwood Restaurant in Chicago created this recipe.

All That Jasmine

All That Jasmine by Carlos Larios

All That Jasmine

1 oz. Bourbon whiskey
½ oz. Jasmine liqueur
2 dashes Peach bitters
Unsweetened tea

Combine bourbon, liqueur and bitters in Collins glass and stir. Top with tea and garnish with a lemon slice.

Mixologist Dan Marohnic created this recipe for Itsy Bitsy: Ramen and Whisky in Las Vegas.

Fire In The Sky

1 ½ oz. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire whiskey
1 oz. Apple juice
Ginger beer
Apple slices for garnish

Shake whiskey with apple juice and ice. Strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass. Top with a mild ginger beer. Garnish with apple slices.

The mixologists at Jack Daniel’s created this recipe.

Thyme & Lemoncello Fizz

¾ oz. Bourbon
¾ oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur
2 oz. The Perfect Purée Thyme & Citrus Blend
½ oz. The Perfect Purée Meyer Lemon Concentrate
Ginger ale

Combine ingredients (except ginger ale) in a mixing glass and shake vigorously with ice. Pour into rocks glass with fresh ice and top with ginger ale. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and lemon peel.

Mixologist Manny Hinojosa created this recipe.

Green With Envy

Thyme & Lemonchello FIzz 5-2

Thyme & Lemoncello Fizz

1 ½ oz. Gentleman Jack Tennessee whiskey
½ oz. Agave nectar
¼ oz. Ginger liqueur or syrup
¼ oz. Fresh lemon juice
2 oz. Strong green tea

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add all ingredients. Shake well and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with pleated orange slices.  For a tall drink, strain over ice-filled Collins glass.

The mixologists at Jack Daniel’s created this recipe.

Peaches on the Town

2 oz. Makers Mark bourbon
½ oz. Peche de Vigne liqueur
½ oz. Sweet vermouth
2 dashes Creole bitters

Combine ingredients and stir. Serve straight up or on the rocks and garnish with a brûléed peach slice.

The mixologists at Emeril’s Delmonico in New Orleans created this recipe.

Lavender Cooler


Lavender Cooler

1 ¼ oz. Russell’s 6 Year Old rye
¼ oz. Creme Yvette liqeuer
Boyland’s ginger ale
2 dashes Lavender bitters

Coat half the rim of highball glass with Maldon salt. Combine all ingredients except Perrier and ginger ale over ice. Fill half the remainder with Perrier and the other half with Boylan’s ginger ale. Garnish with a dried lavender stalk.

Mixologist Masahiro Urushido of Avroko Hospitality Group in New York created this recipe.

Canadian Cobbler

1 ½ oz. Tap 8 sherry finished Canadian rye whisky
1 oz. Pedro Ximénez sherry
¾ oz. Fresh lemon juice
½ oz. Simple syrup
1 Sliced strawberry

Muddle berry in mixing glass. Add rest of ingredients and ice and shake well. Strain into wine glass of fresh ice, garnish with strawberry slice and basil sprig.

The Cocktail Guru Jonathan Pogash created this recipe.

The Bourbon Cat

2 oz. Virgil Kaine ginger bourbon
½ oz. Lime juice
½ oz. Simple syrupHandful of mint leaves
Ginger beer

Place bourbon, juice and syrup in a shaker with mint, add ice and shake well. Pour into a Collins glass filled with ice, and top with ginger beer. Garnish with fresh mint sprig.

Mixologist Gil Bouhana created this recipe for Atwood Kitchen & Bar Room in New York.

Early Riser

Fire in the Sky

Fire In The Sky

1 ½ oz. Bourbon
½ oz. Cocchi Americano
½ oz. Peche de Vigne liqueur
¼ oz. Demerara syrup
1 Mint sprig

Add ingredients into a julep cup. Muddle the mint. Fill with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.

John Stanton at Sable Kitchen & Bar in Chicago created this recipe.

Last Train Home

2 oz. Heaven Hill bourbon
1 oz. Aperol
Dash Peychaud’s bitters
Baska Snaps Swedish-style bitter spirit for rinse

Rinse an Old Fashioned glass with Baska Snaps. Combine other ingredients and stir, strain into glass.

The mixologists at The Saint Catherine in New York created this recipe.

Crown Apple Fizz

1 ½ oz. Crown Royal Regal Apple whisky
¾ oz. Lemon juice
½ oz. Pineapple gum syrup
2 dashes Aromatic bitters
2 oz. Soda water (to top)

Add ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake it very hard and strain in a highball glass. Top with club soda.

The mixologists at Crown Royal created this recipe.

What I’m Drinking Now

Mae Jordan


Mae Jordan, general manager of Lee Lee’s Hot Kitchen in Charleston, SC

General manager of Lee Lee’s Hot Kitchen in Charleston, SC

With the temperatures rising in Charleston, I am craving light, refreshing, yet interesting drinks. I recently added a new cocktail to our menu called the Red Mongoose. My favorite ingredient in it—and really the inspiration behind it—is the hibiscus syrup. It brings a subtle floral element that is balanced with the cherry liqueur, lemon juice and bourbon.

The lemon juice is sweetened by the hibiscus syrup that brightens the bourbon and makes it perfect for the summertime: It’s almost like an adult fruit punch. The hibiscus syrup is made from dehydrated hibiscus flowers. Soaking the flowers in warm simple syrup for up to 48 hours allows the flavor and color to come out.

Four Roses Yellow Label makes a great base for bourbon cocktails. It has a spice and oak flavor that isn’t overpowering and rounds the floral, fruit and tart of the cocktail. This drink also pairs perfectly with some of the lighter fare we’ve added to the summer menu, such as our sesame noodle salad with poached shrimp.

The Red Mongoose

(Pictured as featured image)

2 oz. Four Roses bourbon
½ oz. Hibiscus syrup
½ oz. Cherry Herring
¾ oz. Lemon juice
Edible orchid

Fill a shaker with a scoop of ice, the above ingredients (minus orchid), shake hard, strain, serve over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with the orchid.

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