Labeling Irish whiskey as a tipple merely reserved for St. Patrick’s Day festivities is shortsighted thinking. Two new releases, a blend and a single malt, prove that this rich spirit has gravitas all year long—as do a just-arrived bourbon and Scotch. On the opposite end of the spectrum, three vodkas—one flavored with lime, another with apricot—dovetail nicely with soaring temperatures, while a spicy liqueur buoys sparkling wine cocktails.
It was 1988, deep in mixology’s dark ages, when Absolut Citron debuted to vivify the scene. Now it’s time for another citrus incarnation from the Swedish vodka powerhouse, Absolut Lime. Embracing winter wheat and pure water from Åhus, it’s an all-natural vodka redolent of sweet, fresh-pressed lime, ideal for soda water–topped highballs.
Named for the colt that was the surprising victor of a circa-1876 Irish horse race, a storied brand finds new life as the limited edition Tyrconnell 16-Year-Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey. Spun solely from Irish barley and Irish spring water, Tyrconnell is one of the only Irish whiskeys to undergo a double distillation in traditional pot stills. Matured in former American oak bourbon barrels, its candied pear notes and spicy finish are best savored neat or on the rocks.
SKYY Infusions, the flavored vodka line from San Francisco’s SKYY Vodka, has a new addition: California Apricot. Reinforcing a predilection for the fresh and natural over the cloying and confectionary, it’s made with real fruit. Try it as a ripe, juicy companion to, say, India Pale Ale in summertime shandies.
Underscoring the deep connection between Ireland and the States is Brothership Irish-American Blended Whiskey. The latest from Western Ireland’s Connacht Whiskey Company, Brothership is produced in Philadelphia by master distiller Robert Cassell, who unites 10-year-old Irish pot still whiskey with 10-year-old American whiskey, leading to a 52 percent/48 percent blend that elicits honey aromatics and a touch of butterscotch.
Idyllic Sweden is synonymous with vodka, and joining Palm Bay International’s growing roster of spirits is Råvo. Continuously distilled five times from winter wheat and blended with natural spring water, this straightforward, subtly sweet vodka is ideal for refreshing, seasonal quaffs like the Moscow Mule.
Best known for its moonshine, American Born—now part of the Austin-based Milestone Brands LLC portfolio— delves into whiskey territory. Beyond the bottled-in-Nashville versions infused with natural apple and peach flavors is the 83-proof bourbon, featuring a mash bill of corn and rye.
Launched in tandem with a more complex, 18-Year-old Scotch is clean, easy-to-drink Glen Grant 12-Year-Old. This bright whisky from Scotland’s Speyside region starts off sweet, with notes of caramel paving the way to citrusy lemon and fresh-baked apple pie. Its lightness is especially attractive for muggy summer nights.
Park City, the posh destination for Sundance and skiing, is now home to Alpine Distilling. Along with a trio of whiskies, the Utah distillery makes an inaugural splash with Preserve Liqueur. Combining black tea, fruit, and spice, it’s inspired by the cordials that distiller Robert Sergent relished while living in Europe. Spike a glass of bubbly with it for a riff on the Kir Royale.