PHOTOS COURTESY OF JAMESON, SHUTTERSTOCK; DESIGN BY REBECCA HOSKINS
Why does once the temperature is consistently above 70 degrees whiskey take a back seat on your bar cart? For some reason, the spirit has earned a reputation for being a hardy cold weather drink…but it really is more versatile than that. With ice, the right mixers and a few strict rules, whiskey can be hung over your backyard barbecue as easily as it can be in front of a fireplace. Here’s what to keep in mind when pouring:
Know the ice cubes
There’s nothing wrong with adding ice to a whiskey cocktail, especially when it’s hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk. Conventional wisdom suggests that ice = diluted cocktails, but in the case of whiskey, that’s not quite true. In fact, a little water from melted ice can actually help enhance the flavors of whiskey in your cocktails. That said, there are a few rules to follow: for edgy cocktails like an Old Fashioned, always go for an extra large ice cube, rather than a handful of smaller ones or crushed ice, as these can melt if quickly they will throw away all the unbalanced drink. For juice-based cocktails, a shaker with ice is the answer (never shake sodas or soft drinks!). Finally, if your recipe calls for crushed ice, it’s probably for a reason: mint julep, for example, depends on that extra water from ice cubes to make the drink more enjoyable in hot weather.
Keep the mixers tart and fruity
If you’re mixing drinks for a hot summer day, focus on keeping the mixers refreshing and light, rather than complex. (Basically, leave the bitters on the bar cart until the temperature drops.) Jameson & ginger. A little lime, citrus soda and Jameson is all you need for an edgy take on whiskey. paloma, also. (Don’t skip the chamoy and tajin rim either, that little bit of heat will make this cocktail extra special.)
Don’t take it too seriously
Frose, boozy popsicles, frozen margaritas – summer is the time to have fun with your cocktails, whiskey based included. You may be thinking, “Wait! My freezer can’t be cold enough to freeze alcohol! “My sweet summer child, you are wrong. Yes, if you just put a bottle of Jameson in the average freezer you would only have very cold whiskey, but if you mix that whiskey with enough juice and non-alcoholic liquids you will lower the ABV enough for the freeze. . The sweet spot for a solid gel rather than slush is 5-10% ABV, which roughly translates to 5 ounces of juice to 1 ounce of whiskey. The amount of sugar can also raise the freezing point, as you see in this Jameson Lemonade Ice Cream Recipe. Just be sure to give it an entire night to rest in the freezer.
Go with a younger whiskey
A backyard barbecue is not the place for the precious 18-year-old bottles in your whiskey collection, especially if you plan to use it for cocktails. These are best sipped neat or used in a cocktail where the flavors can really shine (like an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan.) Instead, look for younger whiskeys that are a little paler in color, which won’t overpower not the other lighter ingredients. you might be using to mix. Jameson Irish Whiskey, for example, is at least four years old, but it’s triple distilled for a smooth, mellow nose that’s accented by the blenders, rather than overpowered by them.
Put the bottle in the fridge
Whiskey snobs will tell you to avoid chilling a bottle at all costs, as whiskey is usually served at room temperature to get all the complex notes and flavors, or over ice (as we mentioned earlier). That said, if you have a house full of guests coming over and you forgot to make extra cubes, chilling it for 15 minutes isn’t going to destroy the drinking experience. This short time in the fridge will make it a little more refreshing to add to cocktails, without numbing all the flavors. Don’t put the bottle in the freezer though: it’s just too hard and will probably require you to wait a while for it to warm up, otherwise all you’ll taste will be alcohol.
Try an ice cold version of Irish coffee
In the summer, rules like “no cocktails before 5 pm” simply don’t exist. Instead of indulging in mimosas or Bloody Marys at brunch, switch things up with a iced version of Irish coffee. Mixing Jameson Cold Brew (which combines the vanilla notes and coffee beans of Jameson whiskey) with real cold brew and a little whipped cream is the kind of pick-me-up we love most at a summer Sunday brunch. . The same Jameson Cold Brew brings an unexpected twist to a whiskey cola highballalso perfect for sipping on a lazy summer afternoon.
Add seasonal ingredients
You wouldn’t make a watermelon feta salad in the dead of winter because watermelon is out of season, which means it’s traveled a very long distance to end up in your grocery store. Apply the same knowledge to your summer cocktails and lean into ingredients that are at their peak now. Strawberries, for example, are a great addition to a classic mule. Herbs like mint and basil also complement the slightly spicy notes of Jameson Irish Whiskey, and you can grow them right on your balcony or windowsill. And the next time someone tells you they’re saving whiskey cocktails for the colder months? Mix them with one of these versatile and refreshing options and change your mind.