With all the exciting new distilleries popping up throughout the state, along with the distinguished establishments that have been crafting quality small-batch spirits for years, you have no reason not to give your summer sippers some love this season by using Virginia-made liquor—rum, bourbon, vodka, gin and more. Whether you shake them up by the pool, on the back porch, at the beach or on a countryside picnic, cool off with our suggestions for refreshing and delish drinks. When available, don’t forget to also incorporate local produce, honey and herbs into the creations below or in any of your favorite adult beverages to truly make them commonwealth-style cocktails.
4 oz bourbon (Recommend: Bowman Brothers from A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Fredericksburg)
4 oz orange juice
A few dashes blood orange bitters
Combine bourbon, orange juice and a few dashes of blood orange bitters in a shaker filled with ice. Strain into mason jars filled with ice about until about two-thirds full, top with ginger beer and garnish with fresh orange slices.
By Melissa M. Stewart