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Summer sipping: the freshest cocktails for the holidays.

It’s time to wind up the year with poolside entertaining and end of year get-togethers. this year’s best summer drinks are stylish cocktails over ice, brightened up with fresh summer fruit and herbs.

Just right for the holiday season are the peachy fresh Bourbon Smash, berrylicious Bramble, tropical island Sage Collins, citrussy Out of this World and tangy Berry Punch cocktails, blended with fine American whiskey, Bourbon and distilled spirits.


Bourbon Smash

40ml Bourbon

3 Peach slices

10ml Fresh lemon juice

10ml Cinnamon syrup

8 Fresh mint leaves

Place the peach slices into a cocktail shaker and muddle them. Add the Bourbon, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup and mint leaves, then fill the shaker with cubed ice. Shake for 15 seconds, fine strain into the rocks glass, then fill it with cubed ice. Garnish with mint and dried peach.


30ml American Gin

20ml Fresh Lemon Juice

10ml Sugar syrup

10ml Crème de Mure blackberry liqueur (float)

Fresh blackberries, lemon wedge to garnish

Add the American gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker. Shake with cubed ice for 15 seconds and strain into a rocks glass. Fill the glass with crushed ice, float the Crème de Mure and garnish with blackberries and lemon. Serve drink with a straw.

Sage Collins

40ml Bourbon/American Rye whiskey

30ml Fresh lemon juice

20ml Pineapple Juice

5 Fresh sage leaves

100ml Lemonade

Sage Leaf, Dehydrated Pineapple to garnish

Add the American whiskey, lemon juice, pineapple juice and sage leaves into a shaker. Shake for 15 seconds, then strain the cocktail into a highball glass filled with cubed ice. Top the drink with lemonade and garnish with sage and pineapple.

Out of this World

25ml Bourbon

10ml Orange liqueur

20ml Fresh lime juice

20ml Grapefruit juice

10ml Orgeat Syrup

Mint Sprig, Grapefruit Wedge, and grated Tonka Bean to garnish

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with cubed ice and shake for 15 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass, fill with crushed ice, then garnish with mint, grapefruit and grated Tonka bean. Serve cocktail with straw.

Berry Punch

40ml American Gin

40ml Green tea

20ml Fresh lemon juice

20ml Raspberry Cordial

Mint Leaf and Nutmeg to garnish

Pre-brew green tea (1 tea bag to 1 cup for 4min - chill after brewed). Add all ingredients into a stirring glass and stir for 20 seconds. Strain the drink into a vintage tea up or rocks glass with a block of ice. Garnish with mint and grated nutmeg.

The right glasses can elevate your home cocktails, with different types of glasses originally designed to keep drinks cooler, concentrate their aroma, or make room for ample ice. But it’s the 2020s and all the old rules can be broken, so serve your drinks in any gorgeous glasses, as long as they’re Insta-worthy and feels good to hold and sip from.

What to garnish your drinks with? Bartenders point out that in most cases, the garnish is more than just a pretty decoration – its aroma and flavour tie the cocktail ingredients together and give the drink more depth. Orange zest enhances an Old Fashioned, for example, and a G&T wouldn’t be the same without a twist of lemon zest. But it’s your party and you can improvise if you want to: explore the abundant fruit aisles for colourful berries, gorgeous summer fruit and fresh herbs to add colour, aroma, flavour and flair to your cocktails.

Follow @usdistilledspiritssa on Instagram and @USwhiskeyZA on Facebook.


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