Auchentoshan Distillery hoping to make Scotch the go-to summer cocktail spirit

Lowland single malt Scotch whisky-makers courting those who are looking for a different way to slake their hot-weather thirst on Calgary patios.

Summer is a-coming.

It’s the time of the year when there’s nothing more refreshing than a cocktail in your backyard, on a patio, on the dock, in the pool — hell, anywhere.

So, yes, it’s the season to make sure your liquor cabinet is stocked with all of the proper sunny cocktail fixin’s, such as gin, rum, tequila, vodka, bourbon and … Scotch?

Actually, yes.

It’s not just for sipping by the fireplace to help you thaw out in the dark, dark days of December.

Call it the other dark summer cocktail liquor.

But it’s one that the famed Auchentoshan Distillery is hoping will become the go-to ingredient when people want their hot weather thirst-quencher.

The Lowland single malt Scotch whisky-makers were recently at the Calgary International Beerfest with a booth offering a pair of incredibly tasty and surprisingly refreshing Auchentoshan and Ale concoctions, using their signature American Oak with a couple of locally produced craft beers — Banded Peak and their Chinook Saison, and Tool Shed and their Star Cheek.

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Again, the Scotch summer cocktail might sound a little odd to the ears, but it’s not necessarily a new idea and it really does work when you do it right.

And should you wish to mix one at home or have your local barkeep shake one up for you to sip while sunnin’ on their patio, Auchentoshan offers you the recipe to the global Auchentoshan and Ale cocktail:

1oz Auchentoshan American Oak

1oz Lemon juice

1oz Simple syrup

3oz Citrus pale ale

Pour it over ice, garnish with a lemon wedge, sit back, enjoy. Repeat as needed.

The triple distilled American Oak — readily available in Calgary, in the $60 range — is actually the perfect base for a summer cocktail, considering it’s matured in bourbon casks and already has a fruity finish with notes of coconut and vanilla.

As for the other ingredients you can change things up with tangerine, grapefruit, lime and orange being suitable and delicious citrus substitutes — your choice.

The same can be said for the pale ale ingredient, but to make it that much more memorable and refreshing, make sure you use something locally made from one of our many excellent breweries.

Try something new and different.

It is almost the summer after all.

For more information on Auchentoshan Distillery please click here.

Mike Bell has been covering the Calgary music scene for the past 25 years with publications such as VOX, Fast Forward, the Calgary Sun and, most recently, the Calgary Herald. He is currently the music writer and content editor for Follow him on Twitter/@mrbell_23 or email him at He likes Scotch.