Ahh, summer. Right now, you’re sitting on a sun-soaked patio with the grill warming and friends arriving. And you have an ice-cold creative concoction within arm’s reach…
… You don’t?
Well, here are five summer-themed cocktail recipes – each hand picked by regional experts – to help you settle into that Adirondack chair. Learn to make your own summer sipper with cherry bark-infused bourbon or yarrow tincture, and be your friends’ sun-basking, drink-in-hand guru. – Ersin Ozer
Elderberry Old Fashioned
Lotus Cafe prepares all its cocktails from scratch, as well as its baked goods, pizzas and sauces, appetizers and entrees. The restaurant caters to all eating styles by offering organic meats, vegetarian, vegan, raw, and allergy-free choices. Organic and fresh ingredients are the foundation for Lotus Cafe’s creative, global menu. Whether you’re looking for smoothies, cold-pressed juices, baked goods, breakfast, lunch, dinner or cocktails, Lotus has something delicious and vibrant for everyone.
145 N. Glenwood Street, Jackson, Wyoming tetonlotuscafe.com (307) 734-0882
2 ounces cherry bark-infused Woodford Reserve bourbon
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
4 dashes elderberry syrup
8-10 ounces organic orange juice
Splash organic sour cherry juice
Squirt raw agave
Fill a wide-mouth mason jar with 3 ounces of organic wild cherry bark. Top with Woodford Reserve or your preferred bourbon. Let this infuse anywhere from 48 hours to two weeks. Leaving the cherry bark in longer will only increase the flavors. When you have the desired infusion strength, strain with cheesecloth into a clean bottle. Add all ingredients to a 12-ounce glass, shake, pour, and enjoy!
Montana Sky Manhattan
Built in 1919, Rainbow Ranch Lodge is an award-winning, rustic luxury resort that provides farm-to-table dining and well-appointed guest accommodations on the banks of the Gallatin River. Its five acres, historic barn and covered deck make it an unparalleled venue for weddings and events offering the true Montana experience.
Start with our barrel-aged and artisanal cocktails, award-winning wine list or local brews. Then, move to our dining room where our views of the surrounding mountains and river can barely drag you away from the view of the plate in front of you. Whether it’s local trout, elk or succulent venison, you won’t be disappointed.
42950 Gallatin Road, Big Sky, Montana rainbowranchbigsky.com (406) 995-4132
Montana Sky Manhattan Home Recipe2 ounces Buffalo Trace Bourbon
1 ounce Taylor Fladgate 10-year Tawny Port
1-2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
Orange slice for garnish, light on fire
Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Taylor Fladgate 10 yr. Tawny Port, and house-made aromatic and orange bitters are aged for two months in a used whiskey barrel from Roughstock Distillery. Served with a spherical ice cube and garnished with flamed orange.
Open Range offers several house punches available by the glass or bowl. Using fresh juices and premium spirits along with homemade syrups and tinctures, our punches are an efficient and delicious way to serve cocktails to thirsty crowds. 241 E. Main Street, Bozeman, Montana openrangemt.com (406) 404-1940House Punch
16 ounces Willie’s Bighorn Bourbon
8 ounces Bozeman Spirits’ 1889 Whiskey
12 ounces Wildrye Ramsdell’s Parrot Brum
9 ounces Wildrye Montannassee Corn White Lightning
16 ounces fresh lemon juice
3 ounces juniper cordial*
1 pound grapefruit oleo saccharum**
½ ounces yarrow tincture***
*Puree ½ cup dried juniper berries with ½ cup water and ½ cup sugar. Let stand in refrigerator for two days and strain
**Muddle peels of ten grapefruits into 1 pound sugar until sugar is fully hydrated with grapefruit oil
***Soak 1 cup dried yarrow in 1 cup 90-proof vodka for three weeks. Strain yarrow from vodka
Add ingredients into a pitcher and stir. This mixture is pretty boozy so we dilute it to a drinkable level by adding 6-8 cups of water. Strain mixture into a large bowl over fresh ice and garnish with the leftover grapefruit peels and brandied cherries.
Couloir’s Triple Gem
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s award-winning Couloir Restaurant is a premier fine-dining establishment located at the top of the Bridger Gondola. The Couloir experience begins with an evening gondola ride that drops guests off at the 9,095-foot summit.
Boasting delicacies from an ingredient-driven menu, spectacular views, and impeccable service, Couloir is the ultimate dining experience. The restaurant has received multiple Wine Spectator awards and has been featured in major food magazines including Condé Nast Traveler, and Food and Wine.Executive Chef Wes Hamilton is known for his creativity and raw talent, and was recently invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House. Guests will enjoy exceptional hospitality, excellent cuisine and outstanding views making for an unforgettable experience.
3395 Cody Lane, Teton Village, Wyoming jacksonhole.com/couloir-restaurant (307) 739-2675
Couloir’s Triple Gem
1 ¾ ounces Maker’s Mark 46 bourbon
1 ounce Dolin Véritable Génépy Liqueur
1 ounce Willie’s Distillery Chokecherry Liqueur
Stir all ingredients over ice for 30 seconds then strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist squeezed over cocktail to release citrus oils, and drop into drink.
The Triple Gem is the perfect summer alternative to a Manhattan or Bijou.
Teton Ginger Mule
Grand Teton Distillery
Grand Teton Distillery is family owned and located in beautiful Driggs, Idaho, 30 minutes from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and an hour from Yellowstone National Park. Our award-winning Grand Teton Vodka is made from local Idaho potatoes and pristine, mountain-snowmelt water in small, artisanal batches. Distilled 20 times and freeze-filtered over charcoal and garnet crystal, it’s soft and smooth without the burn.
Currently listed by liquor aficionados Proof66.com as the No. 2 vodka in the world among 1,500 ranked spirits, Grand Teton Vodka won double gold medals at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition two years in a row, and gold medals from Beverage Testing Institute’s International Review of Spirits three years running. Wine Enthusiast Magazine gave it 92 points and featured it as one of its eleven best vodkas in the October 2013 issue. We offer tours and samples at the Grand Teton Distillery, as well as samples at the new Tasting Room in Jackson.
1755 N. Highway 33 Driggs, Idaho tetondistillery.com (208) 354-7263
2 ounces Grand Teton Vodka
6 ounces ginger beer
1 fresh lime wedge
Combine over ice in a copper mug and enjoy!
This story was first published in the summer 2015 issue of Mountain Outlaw magazine.