How to enjoy whisky in a long hot summer

Whisky is a drink that’s often considered most appropriate by the fireplace in winter.

However, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s experts from hotter countries around the world prove that it is far more versatile and should be sipped in the sunshine.

As the temperature soars, experts from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society around the globe serve up their suggestions for enjoying refreshing summertime drams.

The world’s leading whisky club and authority on single cask whiskies has partner bars and ambassadors from the USA to Australia. The Society’s experts can offer advice and insight into how to savour their endless variety of whiskies during this summer’s record-breaking temperatures across the UK and Europe.

Lighter and brighter flavours

Much like other spirits, whisky drinking habits often change due to the weather and consumers tend to choose flavours that are lighter and more refreshing, leaving more peated and smoky whiskies for winter.

The Society categorises its single cask whiskies by 12 unique flavour profiles, including ‘Peated’, ‘Spicy & Dry’ and ‘Oily & Coastal’, to encourage the focus to be on the significance and development of flavour.

Matt Bailey, the Society’s ambassador in Australia, said: ‘The flavour profiles that people end up reaching for changes quite a bit.

In summer the Young & Spritely and Sweet, Fruity & Mellow kind of profiles sit just nicely in hand. Brighter flavours for brighter weather.’

Ice and water

Another way in which whisky drinking changes in summer is that consumers tend to enjoy their drams more ‘informally’, with a splash of water or a block of ice.

Freddie Xiang, Scotch Malt Whisky Society ambassador in China, said: ‘Drinking whisky neat decreases in summer, however the total volume is unlikely to drop as we enjoy it in different ways.’

Matt Bailey added: ‘Whisky takes on a bit more “summer informality” as the heat sets in and messes with your taste buds a bit. You might sometimes go for a tumbler instead of a copita, or you might add a bit more water, or even a bit of ice to a nice brisk dram.’

Refreshing cocktails

The ever-growing trend of whisky cocktails also proves popular in hotter climates, with the SMWS’s variety of flavour profiles providing versatile base spirits for some delicious mixed drinks.

Cyrille Girard, Scotch Malt Whisky Society ambassador in France, said: ‘A good barman or mixologist can always create a refreshing whisky drink, even if it uses Heavily Peated flavours.

‘In our cocktails we aim to celebrate and showcase the whisky rather than hiding it.’

These cocktails can be sampled at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s Kaleidoscope Bar, 28 Queen Street, Edinburgh, including their twist on a classic Whisky Sour and a thirst-quenching Whisky Collins stirred with lemon juice and topped with soda.

One of Matt Bailey’s favourite cocktails to sip on the beautiful beaches of Australia is a Summer Peated Highball.

He said: ‘Start with an SMWS single cask in the ‘Lightly Peated or Peated flavour profiles, add a lemon zest, and fill with soda. Perfect hot weather dramming!’

For the latest Outturn from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, which is specially designed to be enjoyed throughout the warmer months, visit: