Taste: Whiskey Cooler

Drink Features

Whiskey and lemonade is just about my favorite warm weather whiskey drink to throw together, but after an evening at my local watering hole chatting with the bartender about a classic liquor by the name of Rock and Rye I decided to up my whiskey cocktail game. If you aren’t up on your early 20th century medicinal liquors, Rock and Rye is the name for the magical elixir created when you combine rock candy and rye whiskey along with some fruit and bitter herbs and it was once thought to be a cure-all cold remedy. It’s damn tasty too, but it can be a bit hard to find these days so I set out to create a similar cocktail with more of a summery kick.

I started with some whiskey (bourbon or rye both work), then added some fresh lemonade with a bit of molasses sweetness from brown sugar, a pour of Grand Mariner for a hint of orange, a hearty shake of bitters, and finished it off with the tiniest pinch of salt to bring it all together. You may be tempted to take it easy on yourself and buy pre made lemonade, but don’t skimp out on the fresh stuff. The time it takes to squeeze the lemons is worth every, puckery sip. It probably won’t cure a cold, but it sure will take the edge off a hard day. Oh, and you’re probably going to want to make a pitcher of these to have on hand because it goes down so, so easy.

Whiskey Cooler
makes 2 drinks
A pinch of salt is the key ingredient here, don’t forget it.

1 cup brown sugar lemonade (recipe below)
1/4 cup bourbon
8 shakes orange bitters (or angostura)
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
pinch salt

Shake all ingredients with ice, then pour into glasses with lots of ice. Garnish with a lemon slice.

Brown Sugar Lemonade

2 cups water
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup brown sugar

Heat the sugar with 1 cup of the water until the sugar dissolves. Cool this mixture slightly and add the other ingredients. Serve over ice or add to a cocktail.

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