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9 Light Whiskey Cocktails for Your Spring or Summer Reception

Delicious recipes for light, whiskey-based cocktails that will wow your friends and family.

9 Light Whiskey Cocktails for Your Spring or Summer Reception

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Photo: Courtesy of Manhattan Moonshine

When it comes to light cocktail recipes, the go-to liquor is typically vodka or tequila – whiskey is likely the last option to come to mind. However, there are creative ways to make a spring or summer mixed drink from this traditionally fall and winter beverage: what better way to add some extra originality to your cocktail hour or reception bar menu? The less time a whiskey is aged, the lighter, more hot-weather appropriate it becomes. Some brands, such as Manhattan Moonshine, age their product for less than an hour, creating an easy-to-drink liquor that can serve as an airy base for any cocktail.

See nine refreshing recipes below!

Lady Jane

Ingredients:
-  1 egg white

-  2 ounces Earl Grey tea-infused Manhattan Moonshine

-  ¾ ounce lavender simple syrup

-  ¾ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice

-  Lavender sprig for garnish

Preparation:
Add all ingredients, except the garnish, to a cocktail shaker and shake without ice. Open shaker, fill with ice, and shake once more.

Jasmine Blossoms

Ingredients:
-  1 small apricot, pit removed

-  1-1/2 ounces jasmine tea-infused Manhattan Moonshine

-  ½ ounce Salers

-  ½ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice

-  ¼ ounce simple syrup (1:1)

-  1 dash orange bitters (for example, Regan's Orange Bitters #6)

-  Mint leaf for garnish

Preparation:
Place apricot in a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add remaining ingredients, except for garnish, and fill shaker with ice.

Watermelon Tarragon Margarita

Ingredients:
-  ¼ cup watermelon chunks

-  1-1/2 ounces tarragon-infused Manhattan Moonshine

-  ¾ ounce limoncello (for example Ventura Limoncello)

-  ½ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice

-  Sprig of tarragon for garnish

Preparation:
Put watermelon into a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add remaining ingredients, except for the garnish, to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake and double strain into a cocktail glass.

Rose Margarita

Ingredients:
-  1 ½ oz. 100% agave blanco tequila

-  1 oz. fresh lime juice

-  3 red organic rose petals, washed

-  ¾ oz. rose syrup

-  ¾ oz. Combier or another liqueur d’orange

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients other than the rose petals in a shaker and shake hard over ice. Strain and pour over ice into a rocks glass and garnish with the rose petals. This cocktail can also be made blended by adding all ingredients to a blender with ice and then garnishing with a rose petal.

Aviation

Ingredients:
-  2 oz. Manhattan Moonshine

-  ½ oz. fresh lemon juice

-  ¼ oz. Luxardo maraschino liqueur

-  ¼ oz. Crème de Violette

Preparation:
Add all ingredients to a shaker over ice and shake hard, then strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

Springtime Old Fashioned

Ingredients:
-  2 1⁄2 oz. bourbon

-  ½ oz. St. Germain

-  2-3 dashes Angostura bitters

-  Strip of lemon zest, for garnish

Start by adding the Angostura bitters and lemon zest to a mixing glass and muddling. Then add the remaining ingredients, stir, and pour into a rocks glass over ice.

Ginger Rabbit

Ingredients:
-  ½ oz Star Anise and Black Tea Infused Simple Syrup*

-  1 slice fresh ginger

-  1 strip lemon peel

-  2 oz Manhattan Moonshine

-  ½ oz Crème Yvette

-  1 dash Angostura bitters 

*Star Anise And Black Tea Infused Simple Syrup (ingredients):

-  1 black tea bag

-  12 oz simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water), warm

-  6 Star anise pods, lightly crushed

Preparation:
To make the Star Anise and Black Tea Infused Simple Syrup, make 12 oz of simple syrup and add 6 Star anise pods, lightly crushed, and 1 black tea bag. Simmer for 15-20 minutes before straining.

To make cocktail, add ginger, lemon peel, and bitters to a shaker and muddle hard. Then add remaining ingredients to the shaker over ice and shake.  Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass over ice. 

Bees Knees

Ingredients:
-  2 oz Manhattan Moonshine

-  1 oz lemonade (2 parts lemon juice, 3 parts simple syrup, 4 parts water)

-  1 oz Honey Thyme Gastrique* 

*Honey Thyme Gastrique (ingredients):

-  1 part honey

-  1 part white vinegar

-  1 part thyme

Preparation:
To make the Honey Thyme Gastrique, add 1 part honey, 1 part white vinegar, and 1 part thyme to a pan and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, then strain.

To make cocktail, add ingredients to a shaker over ice and shake hard. Then strain into a cocktail coupe and garnish with thyme. 

Berry Breeze

Ingredients:
-  2 oz Manhattan Moonshine

-  4-5 blackberries

-  ¼ oz lime juice

-  Ginger beer

Preparation:
Add blackberries and lime juice to a shaker and muddle hard. Then add the lime juice and Manhattan Moonshine and shake hard over ice. Strain into a cocktail coupe, top with ginger beer, and garnish with blackberries.

Read through more mixed drink recipes: signature cocktails for all your wedding milestones, summer beverages for your bachelorette party, and tropical sips for your destination nuptials!

Photos courtesy of Manhattan Moonshine

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