Wet your whistle with these made-in-West Virginia summer cocktails

Ah, those lazy summer days, when all you want to do is lounge by the pool or sit on your porch and watch the sun sink behind the mountains. What could possibly improve upon that—except maybe the perfect summer cocktail? Liven up your barbecue with your favorite mixed drink made with these West Virginia spirits, or try one of the recipes these companies recommend.

Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine

Affectionately known as “The Drink of the Devil,” Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine is made from a recipe once belonging to Devil Anse Hatfield and handed down for 150 years through descendants of the Hatfield clan. The premium corn whiskey is produced in small, handmade batches. It’s a versatile liquor that can easily be substituted for vodka or tequila in any cocktail recipe.

H&M Bee Sting

1 Tbs. honey
Juice of ½ lemon
1.5 oz. Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine
¼ oz. fresh-squeezed lime
½ cup iced tea (sweet or unsweet)
Lemon and fresh mint for garnish

Juice the lemon into the bottom of a glass and dissolve the honey into the glass before adding moonshine. Stir well. Fill glass with ice, top with iced tea, stir, and serve with a garnish of lemon and fresh mint.

Smooth Ambler Distillery

Using the finest local grain and clean mountain water, Smooth Ambler’s whiskies are known for their bold yet balanced flavor. Their whiskey or bourbon is ideal for blending with your favorite ice cream to make a boozy milkshake. (Don’t forget the whipped cream!) Or try this classic cocktail dating back to the 1880s:

Bourbon Smash

2 oz. Smooth Ambler Contradiction
1 oz. simple syrup (1 part water to 1 part sugar)
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters
6 mint leaves

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake, then double strain into a Collins glass filled with cracked ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint. (Tip: Roll the mint in your hand before putting it in the shaker. This will release the oils.)

Bloomery Plantation Distillery

Inspired by the handcrafted fruit cordials made popular in Italy, Bloomery Plantation SweetShines come in a delightful range of flavors, from the classic Limoncello to the seasonal Pumpkin Spice. With endless flavor combinations, the liquor can be used to put a unique spin on favorite cocktails like martinis, mint julips and mimosas.

Red White and Bubbly

1 Tbs. strawberry puree
2 oz. Bloomery SweetShine Cremma Lemma
3 oz. champagne
1 strawberry to garnish

Spoon 1 tablespoon strawberry puree into the bottom of a chilled martini glass. Sit the spoon on top of the puree, then gently pour Cremma Lemma into the bowl of the spoon to layer it. Carefully top with chilled champagne. Garnish with a fresh strawberry and a blue straw to complete the patriotic look.

West Virginia Fruit & Berry Wine

What’s summer without a big bowl of fresh-picked berries? West Virginia Fruit & Berry uses West Virginia-grown berries in all its products, from preserves and fruit butters to several varieties of dessert wines. Sweet and light, these wines are served in the sangria at The Fifth Floor restaurant in Clarksburg.

Andrew’s Sangria

1 lemon wedge
1 lime wedge
1 orange wedge
1 part West Virginia Fruit & Berry Wild & Wonderful Raspberry or Mountain Blackberry wine
1 part Lambrusco or other light sweet wine
Splash of sangria mix
Fruit to garnish

Muddle a lemon wedge, lime wedge and orange wedge in the bottom of a glass, leaving the fruit n the glass. Fill glass half with Raspberry or Mountain Blackberry wine and half with Lambrusco. Add a splash of sangria mix. Serve over ice with an orange slice and additional fruit of your choice.

Swilled Dog Hard Cider

The crisp, lightly sweet flavors of Swilled Dog ciders are ideal for sipping on a summer afternoon. The cidery’s seasonal offering—Island Vibes—is made with a blend of pineapple and apple; all you have to do is crack open a bottle and pour it into a glass. But you can craft some tasty cocktails with these ciders, too.

Lucita Margarita

4 oz. Swilled Dog Walk the Dog semi-dry cider
1 oz. tequila
½ oz. grenadine
Juice of ½ a lime
Dash of bitters

Dip the top of the glass in lime juice, then in sugar or salt to have a tasty rim. Mix all the ingredients together and pour in glass over ice. You can also blend the ingredients with ice to make a frozen margarita.

What kinds of cocktails have you created with West Virginia wines, ciders or spirits?

This post was last updated on July 31, 2020