SHEFFIELD — Although summer doesn't officially start until June 20, Mother Nature apparently doesn't care, sending hot steamy weather to The Berkshires these past few days with temperatures in the low to mid-90s.
On days like these, everyone seeks out their somewhat-cooler-but-not-really spot in the shade or on a porch, a cool drink in their hand. With that in mind, Berkshire Mountain Distillers has shared recipes for tall, cool summery drinks, featuring its craft gins, vodka, rum and whiskeys. Mix one up and welcome summer with an icy salute.
Berkshire Mountain Distillers launched its Craft Brewers Whiskey Project in February, teaming up with regional craft breweries to produce a single-sourced craft brew distilled into a unique Berkshire Mountain Distillers whiskey.
This summer, look for newly released whiskeys made with brews from these craft breweries:
- Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown, N.Y.) — Three Philosophers Belgian Style Quadrupel Ale
- Captain Lawrence Brewing (Elmsford, N.Y.) — Liquid Gold Belgo-American Ale
- Smuttynose Brewing (Hampton, N.H.) — Really Old Brown Dog American Brown Ale
Try the Craft Brewers Whiskey Project Samuel Adams American Whiskey and mix up The Irish Maid. Or, Jack's Abby Smoke & Dagger Whiskey in The Mariner.
THE IRISH MAID
The Irish Maid, or Kentucky Maid depending on whether you use Irish whiskey or bourbon, is similar to a Whiskey Smash, which calls for muddling lemon wedges in a shaker before combining the remaining ingredients: whiskey, sugar, and mint. With its burst of aromatics and the cooling touch of cucumber, it makes a convincing case for whiskey as a summer drink.
2 ounces Craft Brewers Whiskey Project Samuel Adams American Whiskey
2 slices cucumber, cut into quarter-inch slices
1/2 ounce Saint Germain elderflower liqueur
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
Muddle cucumbers before adding the remaining ingredients into a shaker. Shake and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice (or a large cube or two) and garnish with a fresh slice of cucumber. Enjoy!
2 parts Jack's Abby Smoke & Dagger Whiskey
1/2 part cardamom syrup (available at the BMD store)
1/4 part pineapple juice
1/4 part lemon juice
Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shot glass. Stir until well chilled, twist a lemon peel over the glass, and use the peel as a garnish.
BASIL & BEES
(Courtesy SevenStrong, Northampton)
1 1/2 ounce Greylock Gin
1/2 ounce honey syrup*
1/2 ounce citric water**
2 dashes lavender bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Light a piece of dried lavender on fire and extinguish immediately so it begins smoking. Invert a cold coup glass over the one containing the cocktail and hold the burning lavender inside the glass allowing the smoke to hover above the drink. Garnish with one leaf of basil.
Heat up equal parts by weight water and honey until dissolved. Let cool.
Combine water with 2 percent of its weight of citric acid. Stir until dissolved.
GREEN TEA ARNOLD PALMER
1 1/2 ounces Greylock Gin
6 ounces green tea
4 ounces lemonade
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a collins glass with fresh ice.
Garnish with a mint crown/lemon wedge.
2 ounces Greylock Gin
1 ounce Rhubarb-mint syrup**
1 ounce lemon juice
Champagne or soda water
Mint crown or lemon twist.
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and strain into a flute and top with champagne or soda water. Garnish with mint crown or lemon twist.
** Rhubarb-mint syrup
In a small pot, combine 3/4 cup rhubarb, 1 sprig of mint, 1/2 cup sugar with 3/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer until slightly thickened and bright pink in color, about 20 minutes. Let the syrup cool then strain.
BERKSHIRE MOUNTAIN SQUALL
2 ounces Ragged Mountain Rum
2 dashes Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ Falernum Bitters
Premium quality ginger beer
Garnish with a lime wedge
Pour rum and bitters in a rocks glass over ice. Top with ginger beer, garnish with a lime wedge.
1 1/2 ounces Ragged Mountain Rum
1 slice fresh ginger
2 ounces pineapple juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1 dash Falernum bitters
Muddle a slice of ginger in the bottom of a shaker. Add the remaining ingredients with ice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice, garnish with a lime wedge.