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The Best Whiskey Cocktails for Summer

Old Tennessee Distilling Company / Old Tennessee  / The Best Whiskey Cocktails for Summer
Whiskey cocktail

The Best Whiskey Cocktails for Summer

What’s the perfect drink on a summer’s day? Nothing beats a whiskey cocktail to add a burst of fun and start the party. This summer, we’re prioritizing stress-free fun in the sun, so we’ve collected the best whiskey cocktails for summer that are quick and easy so you can get back to the party.

What Whiskey Should I Use in a Whiskey Cocktail?

Whatever whiskey you choose for your cocktail is ultimately up to your taste, but the flavor and maturity will impact the final result. For example, a smooth American Bourbon is a good choice if you’re looking for a drink with sweet caramel undertones. If you prefer a silky ride that packs a flavor punch, choose a well-aged whiskey with a higher alcohol proof; the higher the proof, the less diluted the flavor. 

When selecting a whiskey for your cocktails, it’s also important to remember that color and ingredients play a role. A whiskey that’s lighter in color will blend better with your mixers. The grains used in the whiskey distillation impact the color and flavor. Corn, rye, and barley produce different flavor results. Corn-based whiskey is generally sweeter, rye is spicier, and malted barley is dry. Old Tennessee Distilling Company prefers to make our whiskeys in the old-fashioned American style, with a corn mash base that is authentically distilled to provide a varied selection of premium whiskey. 

What Additions Are Good to Add to a Whiskey Cocktail? 

Mixers aside (those come later), take your whiskey cocktail to the next level by adding extra ingredients. Whether you add them for the look or the taste, including a selection of additional cocktail ingredients on your bar will impress your guests. 

So, what ingredients or toppings will work well in a whiskey cocktail?

Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and mint, aren’t just for your roast chicken; they pair excellently with a cocktail. Slices of citrus such as oranges, lemons, or grapefruit add zesty fruitiness to any whiskey cocktail. If the fruit seems too much, simply add the peel by itself. Think of other fruits that shout “Summer!” and throw them into the mix. Cucumber slices, strawberries, and watermelon play a role in the ultimate whiskey cocktails. 

Old Tennessee’s Rusty Nail

Our riff on an old classic, we’ve given the Rusty Nail a modern, Tennessee twist. 

  • 2 oz. Old Tennessee Distilling Company Premium Aged Whiskey
  • ¾ oz. Sid’s Select Butcher’s Bourbon 
  • A drizzle of honey (if desired)
  • A strip of lemon peel

Pour the whiskey and the bourbon over a few ice cubes in a tumbler. Follow with a slight drizzle of honey if desired. Stir gently and add the lemon peel before serving. 

A Whiskey Sour for Summer

Classy and refreshing, this one has it all.

  • 2 oz. of Butcher’s Bourbon
  • 0.75 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz. simple syrup
  • 3 dashes of bitters
  • Rosemary or lavender for garnish

Pour the bourbon over ice blocks in a tumbler, add the lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters, and stir to combine. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary or lavender. 

Old Tennessee Whiskey Ice Tea

Perfect after a long day in the sun.

  • 2 oz. Butcher’s Bourbon 
  • 0.75 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 oz. squeezed lemon juice
  • Unsweetened ice tea
  • Berries or peach slices for garnish

Combine all ingredients and pour over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with peach slices, berries, and mint. If you’re catering for a crowd, make this cocktail in a pitcher. 

Mint Julep

Channel the Kentucky Derby with this well-known whiskey cocktail. If you love a recipe that makes an impact with very few ingredients, this one’s for you. 

  • 2 oz. Butcher’s Bourbon
  • 0.25 oz. simple syrup
  • Mint leaves 
  • Crushed ice

In a glass, muddle the mint leaves with the syrup. Add the whiskey and pack the glass with crushed ice. Stir until the cup is frozen, and top with more ice and mint before serving. If you want to up the refreshment factor, add thinly sliced cucumber before packing the glass with ice. 

Whiskey and Cola 

Sometimes simpler is better, and this cocktail proves just that. 

  • 2 oz. Old Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Coca-Cola to top 
  • Lemon slices

Pour the bourbon over ice blocks in a tall glass, add the lemon slices, and top up with Coke. Enjoy!

So, you’ve sorted your whiskey cocktail menu for this summer! Visit us in Kodak, TN, to stock up on all your whiskey and bourbon favorites (and enjoy a $5 cocktail while you’re there!). We’re open seven days a week, so stop by to get the party started.



Kent Merritt

Gatlinburg native Kent Merrit oversees the behind-the-scenes operations at Old Tennessee Distilling Company. He has over 35 years of manufacturing and business management experience and is passionate about developing and promoting businesses with exceptional products and excellent customer service. He invites you to pop in at Old Tennessee Distilling Co. for a free tasting of moonshine and distilled spirits. "Take a moment, take a sip, and get a taste for Tennessee."

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