The sun is out and along with all too many guns out for my liking it’s the season for cocktails. That said, while we here at OT are partial to the occasional Pina Colada it’s not exactly the most gentlemanly of drinks. So, for something a little more masculine (and with a lot more of a kick) we’ve compiled some of our favourite whisky-based tipples – and there’s not a pineapple slice in sight. 

1. Double Maple Sour

Gentleman Jack - Gentleman Sour

With the oldest historical mention of a sour dating back to 1870, it’s part of cocktail myth by now. This version offers a bit more of a nuanced take than just straight up sugar syrup. Maple and bourbon is a match made in heaven.

  • Ingredients:
  • 50ml Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack
  • 25ml Lemon Juice
    25ml Maple Syrup
    2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
    Cubed Ice

  • Garnish:
    Twist of lemon
  • Glass: Tumbler

Method: As simple as it gets, just shake the ingredients together and strain over ice.

2. Classic Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned Cocktail

The Old Fashioned is one of those rare breeds that seems easier to make than it really is. Granted there are shortcuts, but this version is about as classic as it gets both in ingredients and method. It’s time well spent.

  • Ingredients:
  • 50ml Woodford Reserve Bourbon
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 Dashes Orange Bitters
  • 1 Bar Spoon Sugar
  • Orange Peel

  • Garnish:
    Twist of orange
  • Glass: Rocks glass (or short tumbler)

Method: Add 1 bar spoon of sugar into mixing glass with the bitters. Muddle to break down the sugar into a paste. Add the Woodford Reserve, fill the rest of the glass with ice and stir for at least 20 seconds. Pour over ice before zesting the glass with orange peel and adding a final twist.

3. Orcadian Cooler

Orcadian Cooler Highland Park

A serious dose of refreshment, this is a lighter cocktail with the summertime flavour of elderflower and a sharp dose of citrus. It’s also simple enough that you can customise it to your own tastebuds and start experimenting with different cordials.

  • Ingredients:
  • 50ml Highland Park 12yo
  • 20ml lemon juice
    20ml elderflower cordial
    Soda water to top

  • Garnish:
    Orange wheel
  • Glass: Highball

Method: Fill the glass with ice, pour in your Highland Park 12yo, add the lemon juice and cordial and top off with soda water. Garnish with an orange wheel on the side and you’re done.

4. Toki Highball

Toki Highball

Given that the only flavour in this classic highball is whisky, you want something smooth yet nuanced – which means Japanese. So, when you’re lounging on your sun terrace take a cue from Bill Murray: for relaxing times, make it Suntory time.

  • Ingredients:
  • 25ml Suntory Toki
  • 75ml soda water

  • Garnish:
    Blood orange twist
  • Glass: Highball

Method: A cocktail with two ingredients was never going to be difficult was it? Ice your glass, pour in the Suntory, stir with more ice then add the soda water. Garnish with a twist of blood orange to match the subtle notes of the whisky.

5. Elderflower and Mint Julep

Mint Julep

This classic prohibition-era tipple – like most from the 1920s – hits far harder than it’s refreshing flavours let on. Think of it like a more grown-up, whisky-based mojito and you won’t go far wrong. Just maybe stick to a couple at a time.

  • Ingredients:
  • 50ml Makers Mark
  • 12.5ml Elderflower Syrup
  • 6-8 mint leaves
  • Garnish:Mint sprig
  • Glass: Stainless steel cup

Method: Start by pouring whisky, syrup and mint directly into your glass and stir vigorously. Churn with crushed ice and top up with more. Zest a lemon in, add a final sprig of mint and enjoy.