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Warm-Weather Whiskey Cocktails

We love whiskey in all of its iterations, and find it makes a great base for all kinds of summer cocktails—mint juleps, fruity punches, even a grown-up twist on a Shirley Temple. Sip these drinks at barbecues, picnics, and get-togethers all summer long.

See all of the summery whiskey cocktails »

Warm-Weather Whiskey Cocktails

Alexis’ Bordeaux Sour

Inspired by a cocktail at New York’s Lafayette restaurant, this twist on a classic whiskey sour gets its fruity flavor and rosy color from muddled maraschino cherries and Lillet Rouge, the fruity red French apéritif wine enhanced with citrus and spices.

MAKES 1 COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS
1 oz. lemon juice
1 tbsp. maple syrup
2 maraschino cherries, plus more for garnish
2 oz. whiskey
1 oz. Lillet Rouge
1 egg white
5 dashes orange bitters
1 oz. seltzer

INSTRUCTIONS
Muddle lemon juice, maple syrup, and cherries in a cocktail shaker. Add whiskey, Lillet Rouge, egg white, bitters, and ice; shake vigorously and strain into an old fashioned glass filled with ice. Top with seltzer and garnish with a cherry.

See More: 12 Variations on the Gin and Tonic »

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Kentucky Buck

"Bucks" are a family of drinks that consist of ginger beer plus a spirit and citrus—a category that includes this fruity refresher as well as the classic Moscow Mule. There are plenty of good ginger beers on the market, but our favorite is one made from scratch using soda water and a syrup infused with ginger and black pepper.

MAKES 1 COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS
1 chopped strawberry
¾ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
2 oz. Wild Turkey bourbon
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 oz. ginger beer
Strawberry slice, for garnish

INGREDIENTS
Muddle chopped strawberry, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add bourbon, 2 dashes bitters, and ice. Shake and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with ginger beer; garnish with a strawberry slice.

See More: Classic Cocktail Recipes »

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The Kentucky Devil

This smooth, fiery bourbon and watermelon libation is sure to please any Leo: It’s bold and red like the heart, the body part ruled by this sign. It comes to us by way of astrologer/bartender Patricia Clark Hippolyte, who developed the drink for our Mixstrology series, which pairs each astrological sign with the perfect cocktail.

MAKES 1 COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS
1½ tsp. sugar
3 oz. seedless watermelon, cut into 1” cubes (about ½ cup)
2 oz. bourbon
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. adobo sauce
Edible gold flakes, as garnish (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
Place ½ tsp. sugar on a small plate; wet rim of cocktail glass and press it into sugar to coat rim. Combine watermelon, bourbon, lemon juice, adobo sauce, and remaining sugar in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled. Strain into the rimmed cocktail glass filled with ice. Garnish with gold flakes, if you like.

See More: Ginger Beer Cocktails »

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Elderflower Old Fashioned

Elderflower liqueur replaces the traditional sugar cube in this floral twist on an old favorite.

MAKES 1 COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS
2½ oz. bourbon
½ oz. St. Germain
2–3 dashes Angostura bitters
Strip of lemon zest, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS
Stir bourbon, St. Germain, and bitters in an ice-filled mixing glass or mixing tin until very chilled; strain into a rocks glass with a large cube of ice. Garnish with lemon zest.

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Strawberry Moonshine Julep

Moonshine, also known as white whiskey, takes the place of Bourbon in this summery interpretation of a julep. The crisp flavor of this clear spirit finds a tangy counterpoint in macerated strawberries, sweeter and juicier than berries used fresh. 

MAKES 1 COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS:
2 large ripe strawberries, washed, hulled and cut into ¼–inch pieces
2 tsp. sugar
3 leaves fresh mint
2 oz. moonshine or white whiskey, like Original Moonshine
½ oz. lemon juice
Sprig of mint, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Combine cut strawberries, sugar, mint leaves in a cocktail shaker. Stir and let stand until strawberries are macerated, up to 10 minutes. Add moonshine, lemon juice, and ice to fill the shaker, and shake vigorously for an additional minute. Pour out contents into mason jars, adding more ice as needed. Garnish with a sprig of mint.