Simple is Sweetest
A simple, sweet-tart Margarita is often all that’s needed on a sluggishly hot night. Two tequilas here offer incentive for myriad renditions of this classic, just as an artisanal mezcal is an invitation to linger with a different kind of agave spirit. Vodka, like this organic Italian one, also holds seasonal appeal, but Cognac, bourbon, rye, and Scotch, for those besotted with dark elixirs, also have a place at the summertime bar
Palm Bay International ramps up its spirits arsenal with Tequila Bribón, a collaboration with the circa-1840, family-owned producer, Casa Don Roberto. Distilled from hand-harvested, 7- to 10-year-old 100 percent Blue agave grown in Jalisco’s volcanic soils, the resulting agua miel is fermented using a proprietary strain of yeast. Hints of lime and jalapeño make it a versatile cocktail star.
Martell VS Single Distillery
One of the most storied Cognac houses unveils a rich, fruit-forward expression: Martell VS Single Distillery. Embracing eaux de vie solely from one distillation source, the blend has pronounced notes of plum, apricot, and candied lemon that play nicely with citrus and red berries for a number of refreshing summertime tipples.
Since 1950, the Sacchetto family has been distilling alcohol in Northern Italy. Thirty-seven years later, they turned their attention to organic grains, which—combined with water from the Alps—forms the basis of Purus. This all-natural vodka, packaged in a 100 percent recyclable bottle, is distilled five times and refined through an expansive, active charcoal filtration process that leads to baked apple aromatics and a stone fruit finish.
Aurora, a single-malt Scotch whisky, is the newest addition to the range at newly revived Wolfburn, Scotland’s most northerly distillery. Introduced by Winebow Group’s Craft + Estate, it’s made with unpeated barley, twice-distilled in traditional copper pot stills, and aged three years in American oak and Oloroso sherry casks. Best sipped straight or on the rocks as a nightcap, it melds the sweetness of sherry with dried fruits, nuts, and spice.
Essential 1800 Artist Series
There is a deep connection between culture and booze, which is underscored by 1800 Tequila’s eighth edition of the Essential 1800 Artist Series. This year, six different urban-inspired works by artist Enoc Perez grace the 100 percent Weber Blue agave spirit’s pyramid-shaped bottle, from the sleek, futuristic London headquarters of Swiss RE to New York’s iconic Niemeyer-designed United Nations building.
Kentucky Straight Rye
Along with American Whiskey, Kentucky Straight Bourbon, and Sour Mash varieties, the Michter’s US*1 collection includes single-barrel Kentucky Straight Rye, featuring sheared grains that maximize flavors. Aged in fire-charred, new American oak white barrels, it is redolent of spicy pepper, citrus, and butterscotch, working equally well in Manhattans and after-dinner drams.
Bond & Lillard Kentucky Straight Bourbon
In the aftermath of Prohibition, recipes from Kentucky’s remarkable bourbon history were lost forever. Resuscitating these traditions is Campari America’s Whiskey Barons Collection, which carefully pieces together the past to recreate vintage brands. Take the floral Bond & Lillard Kentucky Straight Bourbon. It first made its debut in 1820 by a vet of the American Revolution and later snagged Grand Prize at the 1904 World’s Fair. Today, it’s produced at the Wild Turkey distillery, aged for a minimum of seven years in a timber warehouse, and charcoal-filtered.
San Luis Potosí
Craftsmanship is at the heart of Mezcales de Leyenda, the USDA Organic and Fair Trade–certified line of mezcals that encompasses five different types of agave plants sourced from five different Mexican states. One of the most recent to join the lineup is the herbaceous San Luis Potosí, spawned from the salmiana agave native to the rocky and arid central Mexican plateau. Relish the subtle smoke, accentuated by bell peppers and jalapeño, on its own.