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3 Must-Have Ingredients for the Most Refreshing Summer Cocktails

Hot summers are the perfect time to enjoy refreshing cocktails full of vibrant color and a fusion of flavors.

With the diversity in summer fruits, herbs, and florals available, you can create something exotic and delicious without a long list of ingredients. When you have our three must-have items on hand, you can transform any alcohol, including whiskey and bourbon, into a refreshing summer cocktail filled with flavor and color.

Our 3 Must-Have Ingredients

The following three simple ingredients can be used separately or combined to create summer cocktails with complex flavor profiles that are almost too beautiful to drink!

1. Soda Water

Soda water is a must-have ingredient for summer cocktails as it contains no salt or sugar, has zero calories, and provides just the right amount of fizz.

2. Fruit

Fruits are abundant in summer, and there’s no better way to enjoy them than adding them to your cocktail. Beyond garnishes, they can become juices or syrups or added whole, smashed, or in pieces.

You can use just about any fruit to achieve a unique flavor profile. For example, try grilling pineapple chunks to add a rich, caramel flavor to your cocktails.

3. Edible Florals

Flowers make beautiful garnishes that are also edible. Orchids, nasturtium, and lavender are commonly used. But, for something different, try bee balm, linden, clover, elderflowers, cornflowers, or fuchsias. Each flower complements particular spirits, or try an assortment for a burst of summer color and flavors.

 

Summer Cocktail Recipes

With our three must-have ingredients for refreshing summer cocktails, you’re ready to create cocktail masterpieces providing visual appeal and taste explosions.

Blueberry Whiskey Smash

A blueberry whiskey smash resembles a julep with whiskey, sugar, and mint. But it starts with a simple blueberry syrup that’s effortless to make.

  • Bring half a cup of water and half a cup of sugar to a low simmer. Add a cup of blueberries and simmer for another 20-30 minutes. Strain the berries and allow the syrup to cool.
  • Put one-quarter of a lemon and three spearmint sprigs into a cocktail shaker. Muddle carefully, as spearmint is delicate.
  • Add one-and-a-half ounces of a quality whiskey and one ounce of the cooled blueberry syrup. Top with ice and shake for 25 seconds before garnishing with blueberries, spearmint leaves, and a mix of linden flowers and cornflowers.

Linden flowers add a sweet honey flavor, and the cornflowers taste like fresh cucumbers. These notes complement the smooth warmth of whiskey.

Sparkling Bourbon Gingerade

Ginger is a soothing and spicy addition to bourbon and soda water, and this simple gingerade will have you coming back for more.

  • Combine one teaspoon of finely grated fresh ginger, two tablespoons of agave syrup, the juice of two lemons, and three ounces of quality bourbon in a pitcher.
  • Strain into glasses, add ice, and top with soda water, lemon wedges, and an edible garnish of nasturtiums and bee balm flowers.

The bee balm flowers enhance the bourbon with their delicate citrus, oregano, and mint notes.

Sophisticated Cocktails with Classic Spirits

Our high-quality bourbon and whiskey at Next Century Spirits blend perfectly with summer’s fresh flavors and colors. Follow us on Instagram and share your favorite summer cocktails.

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