Refreshing, easy, and a great way to enjoy a fine bourbon on those warm days of summer, the Summer Breeze has it all. While this Maker's Mark drink may look like the average whiskey highball, it has a couple of twists that make it rather interesting.
It all begins with the muddling of a fresh orange with Cointreau, that fantastic orange liqueur which we find so useful in the bar. Once the citrus mix is done, the bourbon and ginger ale are added to top it off in fine, refreshing style.
- Muddle an orange slice and a splash of Cointreau in an old-fashioned glass.
- Add equal parts of bourbon and ginger ale.
- Stir gently.
- Top off with ice and serve
(Recipe from Maker's Mark Bourbon Whisky)
2 Tips for Making a Summer Breeze
You can make this drink taller by building it in a highball glass. In this case, it's not recommended to pour equal parts bourbon and soda because that would be too much whiskey.
Instead, pour a shot of bourbon, add ice, then fill the glass with about twice as much ginger ale.
Premium ingredients are key. The whiskey and liqueur suggestions are top-shelf spirits, so there is no reason why your ginger ale shouldn't be as well.
While popular ginger ales like Schweppes and Canada Dry are nice, you can easily step up to one of the specialty soda companies for most mixed drinks. Vernors is a favorite for many ginger ale fans and Q Ginger and Fever-Tree Ginger Ale are excellent choices as well.
How Strong Is the Summer Breeze?
The great thing about whiskey-soda drinks is that you can make them as strong as you like. If you're looking for a casual happy hour drink, you might add a little more soda. Then again, on those nights when whiskey is on your mind, you might back off a bit on the ginger ale and allow Maker's Mark to take center stage.
Let's look at how the Summer Breeze can weigh in when it comes to the alcohol content:
- Old-fashioned glass with 2 ounces each bourbon and soda: 19 percent ABV (38 proof)
- Highball glass with 2 ounces bourbon and 4 ounces soda: 13 percent ABV (26 proof)
As you can see, both drinks add up to the strength of the average cocktail, yet that extra pour of soda in the highball creates a much milder drink. Which you choose is up to you because it's great either way.