When you think about Scotch Cocktails, you’re probably thinking about them in front of a roaring fire, where the taste of smoke and peat feel naturally at home.
But what if you held in your hand a Scotch Cocktail that was mixed with a bounty of summer flavours and you were instead lying by the pool, at a friends BBQ or dancing on a rooftop on a balmy summer night.
If you think of Scotch Cocktails as only winter fare, then you have most definitely underestimating these wonderful drams.
Scotch hasn’t traditionally been a go-to spirit for summer cocktails, but as more people allow it’s smokiness and warmth to play well with other summer ingredients that’s about to change.
As the humidity soars, you might be tempted to reach for a Gin or Tequila but put those bottles down a minute and let a nice blended Scotch show you what it can do.
You may think that Scotch is simply rich and spirit forward but it does have a playful, fruity side that works well to anchor countless bright and refreshing drinks. The best example of this, of course, is the modern classic drink, The Penicillin.
Created by NYC bartender Sam Ross, the drink creates a classic combination of summer flavours as it mixes Scotch, Lemon Juice & Ginger. As the simple yet balanced taste of this drink stepped onto the International stage, it has become the poster child for summer Scotch Cocktails.
Scotch, Lemon & Ginger can also be found in the Glasgow Mule, the This & That and The Last Laph, to name only a few. These Cocktails and others show that the unique flavour profile that created The Penicillin, as spurred a multitude of variations.
Yet it’s not just these flavours that have made Scotch Cocktails an all year Cocktail option. The very thing that makes us think that Scotch is purely a cold climate drink is the what makes it work so well in hot.
It’s easy to forget the smokiness of Scotch actually pairs well with a variety of herbs and fruit, which makes it the perfect base for a variety of summer and hot weather tastes. With flavour pairingss ranging from Coconut Water through to citrus and berries, the summer Scotch options are endless.
Now some might think that using a nice bottle of Scotch in any type of cocktail, let alone a sweet summer drink, boarders on sacrilege, but we’re not talking about using a rare single malt. Scotch Cocktails can be amazing. Don’t be scared to experiment with flavour. Scotch is not a fragile beast – it can take it.
Even the father of mixology himself, Jerry Thomas, had Scotch whiskey cocktails published in the first cocktail book in history, the Bar-Tender’s Guide (1862).
He knew, as we all should, that mixed with the right ingredients, Scotch is a spirit that can get the job done. If the occasion and the temperature demand a cooling drink, then get the Scotch to mix with the Summer drinking necessitates of fresh produce, long bubbly sippers and sweet refreshers that are perfect for long, balmy afternoons.
So whether you just fancy a twist on a classic Highball or you’re a seasoned mixologist looking for a new challenge, Cocktail with Scotch should be high on your must do’s this summer.
Just remember Scotch doesn’t need to be a seasonal indulgence that hibernates simply because the sun has come out.