Summer is finally here…yay!

And with it the long days, warm nights, pool parties, and of course the happy hours are back. It’s time to start building your blocks to beat the heat with some tasty, cooling fixes - refresh our parched souls.

Scouring for a creative cocktail to enliven your summer, with an opportunity to play bartender? Light, classic summer cocktails sans the hang overs and slump are ideal for this season. What better than a tasty, invigorating fruit cocktail laced with a bit of booze! Summer fruits are the best bet to help you hydrate all summer long and make for flavourful drinks, such as the watermelon.

A vibrant, crunchy, water based fruit, packed with some great vitamins and makes for an excellent, boozy cocktail too that marries most of the spirits well. However, one of the most favoured one is whisky for sure. Providing warmth in winters and come summer, this spirit dons an impressive versatility, blending with the summer, fruity delights with great élan.

So scoop, juice and spike your cool watermelon with the warmth of a blended whisky such as Jameson Irish Whiskey. Draw the most out of this season while it’s still around. Be the cocktail maven in your next party and let your bartending skills loose to impress your guests with this simple and spicy watermelon whisky cocktail.

The Process

Rub the rim of an old-fashioned cocktail glass with a lime wedge dipped in some spicy salt – try flavoured salt like may be chipotle. Combine 60 ml whisky – try blended whisky such as Ballantines whisky, 60 ml fresh watermelon juice, 22 ml simple syrup, and 22 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice in an ice-filled cocktail shaker.

Shake it for about 30 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass to serve. Garnish with basil leaves.

Try this super summer cooler that marries the cooling, sweet watermelon juice with notes of citrus and salt - a quintessentially refreshing summer cocktail. Cheers to summer and the good times!


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The Cool and Classic: Presbyterian

The origins of the ‘Presbyterian’ raises an intriguing characteristic of this cocktail. The term is derived from the Greek word ‘Prebuteros’, meaning ‘ancient’ or ‘old’, and believed to have featured in the New Testament over 70 times. Its roots get traced to Scotland back in the late 1890s. The cocktail owes its epithet and implied austerity to the Presbyterian church-- a unique connection between scotch and the church! Initially a non-alcoholic beverage, the Presbyterian emerged more as a feminine drink of choice. In the 50s and 60s, men preferred to drink scotch neat. Now there is an alternate way of savouring it with the Presbyterian. Most cocktails involve umpteen ingredients. The presence of only three here makes this favourable for many. The addition of whisky has not only tamed the seriousness of scotch, but also enhanced it in a refreshing way, making it more of a casual drink. This simple scotch cocktail tastes unexpectedly delicious with blended or bourbon whiskies. Though using scotch whisky is believed to be the more traditional way to savour it, the use of bourbon especially unearths its crisp taste and smoothness. It holds up better even when diluted with soda.

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When you think of being up to date, do you ever think of 1916? Well, a century ago, there was a cocktail called Up to Date. Similar to the Manhattan, the Up to Date featured in Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 edition of Recipes for Mixed Drinks. Ensslin was the first to record good cocktail mixes, even earlier than the well-known Savoy Cocktail Book.Calling for equal parts of rye whiskey and sherry, this cocktail does not specify the type of rye whiskey or sherry used. If you prefer a drier and lighter flavor, pick a Manzanilla or Fino sherry. If you prefer a stronger palate, choose Oloroso or Amontillado sherry. Lustau’s Los Arcos Amontillado sherry, with its light tanginess, is perfect. The mellow flavor of a six-year-old Sazerac Rye Whiskey will do this drink justice.Ensslin also used just two dashes of Angostura bitters, which is somewhat difficult to measure. Bartenders say it approximates to about 4 ml or an eighth of a teaspoon. The clove notes of the Angostura adds a spiciness to the sweetness of the orange.

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