When it comes to drinking cocktails in the summer, there are many spirits that come up again and again. Tequila? Absolutely, pass us a margarita. Rum? Of course — who doesn’t love a good mojito on a hot summer day? But bourbon? That’s often left to the wayside until the leaves start to change in the fall.
After all, bourbon has a warm and toasty quality we want when the weather starts to get cool. But come summer, it’s often gin, vodka, and tequila that take center stage. This is a mistake. As Maker’s Mark COO Rob Samuels explains, “There’s versatility to brown spirits and brown spirit cocktails. Take the julep or highball. Both are great cocktails that feature refreshing ingredients: mint and club soda, respectively. It also doesn’t hurt that bourbon pairs deliciously with some of summer’s best foods, such as barbecue ribs and grilled peaches.”
As Samuel says, it’s the other ingredients in a cocktail that bring bourbon into the summer season — and when done right, the spirit can be incredibly refreshing without sacrificing its inherently bold and warming flavors. As bourbon enthusiasts ourselves, we’re always on the hunt for that perfect whiskey cocktail that will take us through the dog days of summer and, if you ask us, we have it. Enter the Elderflower Old Fashioned. With the addition of elderflower-based St. Germain liqueur, this version of the Old Fashioned takes on a lighter feel than the original, while bringing out depth and complexity in the floral-forward liqueur. Make it now and we guarantee you’ll be drinking it until the first day of autumn… and probably even longer.
ELDERFLOWER OLD FASHIONED
2 1/2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce St. Germain
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Lemon twist, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker with ice, stir together bourbon, St. Germain, and bitters until chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Photo credit: Jager Weatherby for Cocktail Builder