Photography by Cameron Carnes
Recipes by the Birmingham Bourbon Club

Right now is the perfect time to plan a tailgate or porch party. Around here, the weather can still be steamy well past summer. A craft cocktail can be one of the best ways to get the first tastes of autumn while still staying cool.

To this end, we’ve put together a list of four cocktails that both douse the August heat and remind you that fall is right around the corner. If you don’t find one on our list that’s perfect for your party, try changing the proportions to match your own tastes.

The Rosita

Despite its popularity as the star of margaritas, tequila is seldom used for other cocktails. This little gem first appeared in cocktail literature in the 1980s and is a riff on the classic Negroni.

Different types of tequila and vermouth will yield much different cocktails. For a subtly smoky, woody cocktail, try reposado tequila and Cocchi Vermouth di Turino. Craving a bit more sweetness? Use blanco tequila and Dolin vermouth.

This libation tends to verge on the bitterer side of cocktails, but the orange twist gives it a nice citrus aroma. The tequila, on the other hand, makes this drink a bit earthy and brings out a bit of smoke that lingers in the mouth.

Taste profile: This drinks begins with a bit of sweetness and citrus. The midpalate is characterized by a light smoke and a bit of toasted agave and finishes with a bitter burn.

2 ounces tequila
0.5 ounces sweet vermouth
0.5 ounces dry vermouth
0.5 ounces Campari
1 dash Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Stir until combined and strain into a glass filled with cracked ice. Garnish with an orange twist.

The Bourbon Bomber

If you’re spending your afternoons thinking about the times you jumped in piles of leaves as a kid, this cocktail may be your best choice for today. Though it’s not a classic, it’s great for tailgates and afternoons on the porch.

Taste profile: The rosemary, apple, and ginger notes of the drink’s aroma give it a bit of balance. This drink starts out with citrus and bright fruit, then moves through some dark spice and finishes sweet and tart.

2 ounces bourbon
2 ounces apple cider (either alcoholic or not)
.75 ounces lemon juice
.25–.5 ounces agave syrup (1:1 agave to hot water)
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
Rosemary for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake until chilled through. Strain into a tall glass full of ice and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Cocktail 1Corpse Reviver No. 2

The Corpse Reviver No. 2 is arguably the tastiest of its family (there are a couple other Corpse Revivers out there.) Created as a hair-of-the-dog hangover cure, this cocktail is light and refreshing. Its floral, citrus taste masks one heckuva punch, so drink responsibly.

Taste profile: This beauty starts out sweet and tart with hints of orange, then transitions into a dry orange and mineral finish.

.75 ounces London dry-style gin
.75 ounces Cointreau or triple sec
.75 ounces Lillet blanc
.75 ounces lemon juice

Rinse a chilled coupe glass or martini glass with the absinthe and set to the side. Combine all other ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake until chilled through. Strain into the glass. If you’re feeling fancy, garnish it with an orange peel.

Cocktail 3Dark ’n Stormy

The Dark ’n Stormy is a tasty rum beverage that will hit the spot regardless of the weather outside. With the spice from the ginger beer and the funk of the dark rum, this cocktail sometimes gets a bad rap for its simplicity.

Don’t be fooled—there’s a lot below the surface. The sour lime juice compliments the sweet syrup and rum perfectly. This drink tends to be a little on the sweet side. For a more balanced drink, substitute one ounce of white rum for one ounce of the dark rum.

Taste profile: The ginger and lime aroma adds a bit of spice to the cocktail. Upon first sip, you’ll get a hint of sweetness and bite from the carbonation. It then transitions into a clove and lime sugary mid- and back-palate.

2 ounces dark rum (Gosling’s Black Seal is the traditional choice)
1 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce lime juice
Ginger beer

Combine all ingredients except ginger beer in a cocktail shaker. Shake until chilled through and strain into a chilled, long glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a slice of lime.

Leave a Reply