Celebrate National Scotch Day with These Lightened Up Whisky Cocktails

July

JP Fetherston, bartender at Columbia Room and Southern Efficiency, Washington, D.C.

Get your whisky on with cocktails that squash the notion that the brown spirit should only be sipped from a rocks glass in the middle of winter.

Many of us associate the liquor with crisp evenings and crackling fireplaces, so it may seem a little strange that National Scotch Day actually falls smack dab in the middle of summer. But au contraire, the July 27 contrived beverage holiday is a great time to take a break from the gin, tonic, rum and blenders for a little while and mix up some refreshing drinks that counter the sweltering heat.

Coctel de Tamayo - National Scotch Day 2016 cocktail recipes

Coctel de Tamayo

Recipe courtesy of JP Fetherston, bartender at Columbia Room and Southern Efficiency, Washington, D.C.; Photo by Bobby Spero

Modeled loosely around a Mai Tai, this tiki tipple was also inspired by Coctel de Tumbo, a Bolivian beverage made with tumbo (a banana-passionfruit), Singani (Pisco-like brandy from Bolivia), condensed milk, sugar and egg white. “This is certainly not a typical ‘Scotch drink’, but it has converted a lot of Scotch skeptics and the whisky plays a crucial role in the balance of the drink,” notes Fetherston. “It's a slow sipper - it's served over crushed ice - so we can easily imagine reclining somewhere comfortable in the shade from the hot sun and sipping away at this floral, fruity, boozy combination for hours.”

  • 1 ½ oz. Rujero Singani
  • ½ oz. Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky
  • ¾ oz. banana passionfruit purée
  • ¼ oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
  • ¼ oz. rich simple syrup (2:1 ratio of granulated sugar to water)
  • ¼ oz. Orgeat
  • ¼ oz. lime juice
  • 2 dashes Scrappy’s Black Lemon Bitters
  • Mint sprig and passion fruit cup with  bruléed passion fruit seeds, for garnish

Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake until chilled, and strain into a small Hurricane glass. Fill the glass with crushed ice and garnish with the mint, passion fruit cup, and seeds.

Summer Kiss

Recipe courtesy of Jamie Boudreau, Owner, Canon Whiskey and Bitters Emporium, Seattle, WA

“When using Scotch in the summer, I usually go for a lighter style with little to no peat notes – you don't want to use a typical Islay Scotch here,” says Boudreau. “Think blends or Speyside when mixing in the summer; Scotches with less oil and more floral notes.” Here, Cragganmore is mixed with delicate Lillet Rose, heady St. Germain and Crème de Violette, and topped with Champagne.

  • 1 oz. Cragganmore 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • 1 oz. Lillet Rose
  • ¼ oz. St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • Dash Crème de Violette Liqueur
  • Dash Angostura Bitters
  • 1 oz. chilled Champagne
  • Lemon twist, for garnish

Add first five ingredients to a cocktail glass, add ice, and stir until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass, top with Champagne, and garnish with the lemon twist.

Banksy Sour - National Scotch Day 2016 cocktail recipes

Banksy Sour

Recipe courtesy of Jamie Boudreau, Owner, Canon Whiskey and Bitters Emporium, Seattle, WA

“To help lighten things up even more [for summer Scotch cocktails], use egg white (which reduces the sensation of alcohol) or use less of the Scotch than you would in the winter and up the modifiers,” explains Boudreau. For the Banksy Sour, a moderate ounce-and-a-half of tea-infused whisky is mixed with herbal Becherovka. The stenciled Peychaud’s Bitters add a stunning touch, but you can also just dot the top of the drink with the bitters.

  • 1 ½ oz. Lemon/Ginger Tea-infused Bank Note Blended Scotch Whisky (see Note)
  • 1/2 oz. Becherovka Liqueur
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • Peychaud’s Bitters, for garnish

Add all ingredients except bitters to a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake hard, and strain into a coupe glass. Spray bitters through a Banksy stencil on top of cocktail.

For the Lemon/Ginger Tea-Infused Scotch:

Add a 750ml bottle of Scotch to a container with a tight-fitting lid. Add 2 to 3 lemon/ginger tea bags. Let steep until desired flavor is reached, then remove tea bags.

Funky Monkey - National Scotch Day 2016 cocktail recipes

Funky Monkey

Recipe courtesy of Avenue, Long Branch, NJPhoto by Amanda Anton

General manager and mixologist Thierry Carrier says Monkey Shoulder Scotch is smooth, and great for blending in summer drinks. For warm weather whisky drinks, he says to “focus on the type of Scotch you use. You want to use a very smooth Scotch and combine it with a few fresh and simple ingredients so the Scotch still stands out but isn’t overpowering." This four-ingredient libation does the trick.

  • 1 ½ oz. Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch
  • 1 ½ oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ oz. ginger syrup
  • ¼ oz. Lillet Blanc
  • Candied lemon, for garnish

Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice, and garnish with the candied lemon.

Cameron's Kick

Recipe created by Struan Ralph, Brand Ambassador, Glenfiddich

This drink hails from Harry Craddock’s classic 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book, and is a modified riff on the whiskey sour (fitting for summer because of all that refreshing citrus.) “It shakes things up by splitting the whisky between Scotch whisky and Irish whiskey, and then using orgeat, an almond-based syrup often used in tiki drinks, to add sweetness, body, and a touch of complexity,” explains Glenfiddich brand ambassador Allan Roth

  • 1 oz. Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • 1 oz. Tullamore DEW Whisky
  • ½ oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. orgeat
  • Lemon snap, for garnish

Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with the lemon.

Lost in Speyside - National Scotch Day 2016 cocktail recipes

Lost in Speyside

Recipe created by Charlotte Voisey, Portfolio Ambassador, William Grant & Sons

A few summers ago, a few Glenfiddich brand ambassadors got lost when taking a supposed ten-minute shortcut from the distillery to the hotel. An hour later, they found themselves lost amid some stray sheep and a peat bog before finally returning to the hotel in desperate need of a shower and a little pick-me-up. “An inventive summer refresher, the Lost in Speyside complements the pear notes in the Glenfiddich 12 with unfiltered apple juice and apple bitters,” explains Roth. Raspberry syrup adds sweetness and tang.

  • 3 oz. Glenfiddich 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • ½ oz. Small Hand Foods Raspberry Gum Syrup
  • 2 oz. unfiltered apple juice
  • ½ oz. honey syrup
  • 1 part fresh lemon juice (equal parts honey and warm water, stirred to combine)
  • Apple bitters, to taste
  • Fresh raspberries and apple slice, for garnish

Add all ingredients to a large block of ice in a punch bowl. Allow it to set for 20 minutes before serving. Serve it neat or over ice in punch glasses.

It's Bitter to Be Hoppy - National Scotch Day 2016 cocktail recipes

It’s Bitter to Be Hoppy

Recipe courtesy of Auchentoshan Whisky; Photo by Gabby Porter

Pull a few beers out of the cooler for this hop-tail, whose effervescence is a welcome respite from the summer heat. “American IPA is all about brash, American hop flavor – grapefruit, pine resin and tropical fruit are common flavors” says a rep for Auchentoshan Whisky. “In this drink, the bitterness of the IPA melds with the bitterness of Aperol, but is mellowed by brown sugar and caramel tones from the American oak.”

  • 1 ½ oz. Auchentoshan American Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • ½ oz. Aperol
  • ¼ oz. fresh grapefruit juice
  • 6 dashes lemon bitters
  • 2 ½ oz. chilled IPA
  • Lemon wheel, for garnish

Add first five ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice, and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass, and garnish with the lemon wheel.

Kelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits and lifestyle writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her website, www.kellymagyarics.com, or on  Twitter  and  Instagram  @kmagyarics.