Your first thought for summer sipping probably isn’t a dark bourbon or a single malt scotch. Mix it the right way and your mind will change forever. From a kick of ginger to a squeeze of citrus, we have a few tricks up our sleeve to give whiskey its time in the spotlight this summer.

Whiskey doesn’t have to be sipped around a fire as a seasonal indulgence. Toss your coat in the closet and slip into something a little lighter, because these cocktail recipes are beach ready for your hot summer. Our team at Valley Smoke knows a thing or two about great whiskey and how to serve it. Here are a few of our favorites:

Block Party Bourbon Fishbowl

Nothing says summer like a strong cocktail with heavy notes of citrus and sweet fruit. Grab a group of friends and give this gallon-size cocktail a try on a sizzling day this season.

Ingredients:

5 Shots of Black Tea Bourbon

3 Oz Fresh Strawberry Simple Syrup

1 Oz Clover Honey Simple Syrup

3 Oz Key Lime Juice

5 Dashes of Bitters

Combine all of the ingredients in a fishbowl then stir in plenty of ice and the sliced citrus, strawberries and cherries. Garnish with halved strawberries, lemon slices and a few cherries. This serves four-to-six people, so proceed with caution!

Backwoods Bourbon Punch

This one’s courtesy of the pros behind the bar at Valley Smoke. Have a hankering for something fruity that still packs a punch? We’ve got ‘ya covered.

You need to find a good bourbon for this one — we use Old Forester 1897. Now, the proportions are top-secret but we can break down the components:

Ingredients:

1-2 Shots of Bourbon

Grapefruit Juice

Sweet Vermouth

Aperol

Mix ingredients together and garnish with a slice of orange and a booze-soaked cherry. Voila! You’ve got yourself a top-shelf cocktail recipe. Grab a seat around the Whiskey Bar at Valley Smoke for a taste of the real deal.

Jacksonville Julep

Skip the races and head to the St. Johns River instead. We love sipping this version of the classic Mint Julep on a boat in the middle of the water.

Ingredients:

2 Shots of Bourbon

.5 Oz Coconut Lime Simple Syrup

Sprigs of Mint

Crushed Ice

Muddle five mint leaves and simple syrup in a julep cup (an old fashioned glass will work just fine in a pinch). Fill the glass to the brim with ice and pour in the bourbon. Stir. Garnish with mint and a slice of lime.

Swing into Valley Smoke for Waterfront Sunset Cocktails

The team behind the bar at Valley Smoke really knows their stuff. From the perfect pour of Prosecco to the unrivaled Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (another Valley Smoke bourbon staple), you can’t go wrong with summer sipping on the Intracoastal.

Want to grab dinner while you’re here? Make a reservation to ensure a table with a view. We can’t wait to see you!

At Valley Smoke, we love whiskey and its various forms. Bourbon, rye or scotch – you name it, we got it. We all know whiskey makes for a delicious winter cocktail but summer is approaching quickly and we aren’t quite ready to part ways. With refreshing summer fusions of strawberry, cucumber, rhubarb, mint, blackberry, peach or lemon, you’ll learn very quickly brown spirits are very versatile. Here are a few of Valley Smoke’s favorite warm weather cocktails that’ll have you boozing all summer long:

 

Derby Sour

Woodford Reserve/ Lemon/ Simple Syrup/ Bittermilk #3 Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour/ Cooper & Thief Red Wine Blend

The name ‘derby’ has been given to a number of cocktails, reference to the Kentucky Derby, bourbon is the most popular base spirit. The sour recipe is a lovely, refreshing twist on the Kentucky Derby classic, the Mint Julep. The Derby Sour is a sweet, delicious summer cocktail for a whiskey lover.

 

Rock and Rye

High West Double Rye/ Rock Candy/ Luxardo/ Star Anise/ Cinnamon/ Lemon/ Orange/ Clove

You make not recognize the name but you’d know the classic cocktail if you saw it. Ya know, the one with the rock candy sticking out of it. It’s origin is traced back to the 20th century when bartenders added rock candy, or rock candy syrup, to smooth out the bite of a young rye. It was often used as a remedy for sniffles or a sore throat. Back then, it was more of a remedy while now, Valley Smoke has crafted it into an exciting refresher.

 

Cucumber Gimlet

Nolet’s Gin/ St. Germain/ House Basil/ Simple Syrup/ Fresh Cucumber/ Lime

I know when I see a cucumber drink on the menu, I just can’t resist. Cucumber cocktails are the epitome of refreshing: light, summery and hydrating. What’s a gimlet? Gimlets are composed of gin, lime juice and a touch of simple syrup. When these basic ingredients are shake with ice and strained into a martini glass, something magical happens.

 

Blackberry Whiskey Smash

Redemption Rye/ Blackberries/ Gingerale/ Lemon/ Simple Syrup

The Blackberry Whiskey Smash is the whiskey drinker’s mojito! This is the perfect drink for those who are whiskey drinkers at heart but have a soft spot for a refreshing mojito. The cocktail is crisp, refreshing and versatile enough for any time of year.

 

Even if you aren’t a big whiskey drinker, it never hurts to try something new! Lucky for you, all these enchanting summer cocktails are on the menu at Valley Smoke. Come visit us in Ponte Vedra, Florida for some tasty craft cocktails, delicious BBQ and an intercoastal view that can’t be beat.

BBQ season is here! For many of us, this is the wonderful time of the year we get to gather around with family and friends and enjoy some delicious BBQ. So, whether you’re eating at Valley Smoke or grilling out in the backyard, you have to try these drink and BBQ pairings. It’s going to change the way you enjoy a real southern BBQ meal. From grilled chicken to marinated beef brisket, we’ve got the perfect drink for you: (more…)

In our very biased (but extremely honest) opinion, there’s nothing better than sipping a cool cocktail with a nice view of the intracoastal. Lucky for you, this unbeatable scene is right down the road at Valley Smoke. Our incredibly experienced bartenders love experimenting with new libations, and one of Valley Smoke’s favorite ways to spice up our cocktails is by adding seasonal herbs and produce. Here are some awesome cocktails with unique ingredients you’ll find featured on our menu: (more…)