As summer is on its final legs before pumpkins and sweater weather, red juicy strawberries are still abundant. While everyone still has time to enjoy their patios, I thought I would create a cocktail to enjoy on these last hot August nights. The Porch Swing encompasses the simple moments lounging as the sun sets.
Personally, I think there is no better summer treat than strawberry shortcake. I always make fresh whipped cream, and the right shortcake makes it delectable. Lately, I have been reminiscing over favorite childhood drinks like Clearly Canadian, Orbitz, and Italian Sodas with cream. Following this thought process, and wanting to capture the end of summer in a glass, the Porch Swing was born.
Maybe it is because of that Deana Carter Song, Strawberry Wine, but the Porch Swing calls for a red wine cask finished bourbon. However, it could be that Neil Diamond’s Hot August Night live album has been on repeat in the background as I work with Red, Red Wine stuck in my head. Either way, a red wine finished bourbon brings this cocktail all together. I prefer a cab sav barrel finished whiskey, like the OOLA Whiskey Discourse C, but use what works for you.
As you make this cocktail, pretend you are making a strawberry shortcake. The big juicy red strawberries are highlighted in the Porch Swing as more than just garnish. As your drink melts in the heat of the night, the strawberries infuse their flavor. So cut them up and layer them between ice, or slice them thinly and poke them down the side of the tall glass. If you freeze the largest of the fresh strawberries, or frozen, replace the ice with them for a fun twist.
The whiskey itself is like a shortcake. The grain in the whiskey comes through to balance everything. Using Strawberry Crème sparkling water provides the final touch for the Porch Swing. If you have lactose intolerant buddies, or forget the whipped cream at the store, it is enough to imbue the taste of a strawberry shortcake. The Portland Syrups Strawberry Lemon Lime helps keep the cocktail bright, and it provides the tartness to keep everything from becoming too sweet.
The Porch Swing is meant to be an easy summertime cocktail. Built in the glass with only a few ingredients so you can spend more time hanging with friends rather than be the bartender. Do not fret over how it is supposed to look…this is a fairly hassle free good time drink. Now go forth and enjoy the concluding days of summer. Just be a bit careful as the Porch Swing is delicious enough to make you forget it is a cocktail. Cheers to many more summers ahead!
- 2 oz Red Wine Cask Finished Bourbon (preferably Cabernet Sauvignon)
- ½ oz Portland Syrups Strawberry Lemon Lime
- 4 oz Strawberry Crème Sparkling Water
- Fresh or Frozen Strawberries
- Whipped Cream
- Highball Glass
- Fill a highball glass with ice and a combination of diced, sliced, or frozen strawberries.
- Add bourbon and syrup.
- Top with sparkling water, but leave ¼ inch room.
- Garnish with whipped cream and a strawberry. Optional, add a splash of heavy cream to the cocktail like an Italian Soda.
- Enjoy responsibly.
Courtney Kristjana is a leading whiskey taster in the country. She left a career in Gerontology after an article on Heather Greene inspired her to follow her passion for whiskey. She is studying to become a Master of Scotch and someday hopes she is nominated for the Keepers of the...