Easy-Drinking Whiskey Cocktails to Toast the End of Summer

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Summer comes to an end at different times in different places—and at different times for different people. Seasonal transitions can pose some problems, particularly when trying to slap together a no-hassle cocktail or two. So we did the work for you with three easy whiskey cocktails.

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Here are three supremely flexible drinks for every part of the final summer days (and nights). With just a few ingredients, a single glass, and a stir or a smash, you can welcome the cooler weather with a refreshing toast.

Maker's Mark WatermelonBasilJulep
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For the “Bonus” Dog Days: The Summer Garden

Takuma Watanabe of Angel’s Share in New York City has a delicious concoction of bourbon and things you wish were coming right out of your own garden. The best part of the recipe is how absurdly easy it is to make: All you’re doing is adding the ingredients to the likes of a mason jar, smashing them up, and topping with some soda water. It’s perfect for those oddball warm Sundays or that last beach trip of the season.

1.5 parts bourbon (recommended: Maker’s Mark)
3 one-inch Watermelon Cubes
4 basil leaves
.5 part simple syrup
Club soda

Add all ingredients into a mason jar (except soda). Muddle. Add ice and top with soda water at the beach.

The Spire Cocktail Recipe
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For the Sunny Start of Football Season: The Spire

Not content with more than 100,000 mint julep sales annually, the Woodford folks commissioned a new cocktail to be served at Churchill Downs during the Kentucky Derby that (it must be said) may be a better drink. Bourbon balances out two refreshing and tart summer staples: lemonade and cranberry juice. It’s delicious poolside, or just in the shade before the sweaters must come out.


1.5 parts Woodford Reserve bourbon
2 parts lemonade
1 part cranberry juice
Crushed Ice
Lemon peel for a lemon twist to garnish

In a glass mix Woodford Reserve, lemonade, and cranberry juice with a bar spoon. Add liquid mixture into a copper cup, add crushed ice to the top of the glass, and serve with a lemon twist.

The Ball Jar Penicillin Cocktail
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For Cooler Nights: The Ball Jar Penicillin

Smokey scotch and spicy ginger make this classic take on a whiskey lemonade pop. Laphroaig is the go-to standard for these drinks, which is appropriate, given its depth of seaside flavors and its briny character. What’s great about the penicillin served this way is that it’s infinitely forgiving. Melting ice will balance any harsh edges, and you can always give it a quick glug of whisky when it starts to feel weak.


To Make 1 Batch (5-6 cocktails) in a Ball Jar (no tools required)

2 – 2.5 parts Laphroaig 10 Year
1 part honey ginger syrup
1 part bottle lemon juice

Add Laphroaig to a 32 oz Ball Jar, then add syrup and juice. Stir. Add ice, or simply pour into single-serving glasses over fresh ice. Garnish as above.

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