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17 light and refreshing whisky cocktails to drink this summer

ballantines finest lemon soda drink aspect ratio 16 9

If you fancy drinking something light, don’t just head for clear spirits. Whisky gets a bad rep for being strong and powerful, but its smooth, fruity notes are actually perfect for those lighter cocktail recipes. 

Here are the most light and refreshing whisky cocktails to keep you cool this summer season. And if you want to go easy on the alcohol, make yours with Ballantine’s Light, it may half the ABV but it’s still got all the flavour.

1. whisky smash

A classic whisky smash is the original light whisky cocktail. Made with fresh lemon juice and mint leaves, it’s all about those summer flavours. Shake scotch, lemon, mint and sugar syrup together with ice for a good few seconds and strain.


2. Whisky highball

Traditionally a whisky highball is a refreshing mix of whisky and soda. Made as strong or light as you like. But really you can use any mixer be it juice, fizzy drinks or something else. We’ve got 20 whisky highball recipes to get you started.

3. Kentucky mule

No drink is quite as light and refreshing as the whisky mule. This warming summer twist on the Moscow Mule is a classic combination of ginger beer, lime juice and Ballantine’s scotch whisky. Guaranteed to become your new go-to.


4. Whisky and coke

Say hello to the ultimate light whisky drink; perfect for any occasion. The whisky cola might be a simple pairing but it’s a real crowd pleaser. Serve yours with tons of ice and a wedge of lime squeezed around the rim of the glass for some extra zing.

ballantines kentucky mule cocktail

Kentucky Mule

Simple and refreshing. This zingy Kentucky Mule recipe is soon to be your new go-to, but don’t just take our word for it, try it for yourself!


5. Whisky and tonic

Quench your thirst with a light whisky tonic on a hot summer’s day – or a cold spring evening… we don’t make the rules. Best served highball style with ice and a large wedge of lemon.


6. Berry pitcher

No one said light drinks have to be boring. Our summer mix combines a few fruity ingredients to make a pitcher perfect cocktail for your next gathering. Add elderflower cordial, soda water and Crème de Mûre to whisky and cranberry juice. Then top with a few handfuls of apple slices and your favourite red berries.

7. Scotch and lemonade

Whip up a round of whisky and lemonade to please a crowd in seconds. We make ours with Ballantine’s Brasil for an extra lime kick but feel free to swap in for our light whisky spirit drink. 


8. Whisky iced tea

What could be more refreshing than an iced tea cocktail? Not much. This warm yet light recipe is a serious pick-me-up, mixing warming smooth whisky with sweet tea and lemon. Make enough for everyone, this drink is in high demand.

sweet iced tea

Iced Sweet Tea

This sweet and refreshing pick-me-up is guaranteed to make you MVP of the BBQ. If it doesn’t rain, that is.

Ballantine's Finest Spiced Julep Drink

Whisky Ginger Julep

This may look like a standard julep but inside that tin cup is a delicious secret: lime and ginger. Mix it up for a spicy sweet hit suitable for any occasion.


9. Whisky ginger ale

Serve up a scotch with ginger ale for a light yet spicy drink that goes perfectly with your backyard BBQ. This refreshing combo is unmistakably delicious and looks top notch garnished with a lime wedge and sprig of mint.


10. Whisky julep

Get your julep on with our spiced whisky take on this classic recipe. Our ginger mint julep has a few tricks up its sleeve and is certain to make you the MVP of cocktail hour. Muddle it to your liking with lime, fresh ginger and a generous bunch of mint. 


11. Brasil collins

Our zingy twist on a Scotch Collins mixes lemon juice and bitters with Ballantine’s Brasil whisky to make one of our favourite refreshers for sunset sessions. It’s the ideal drink for spontaneous gatherings – get the speakers on and the cocktail shaker out.

Ballantines Brasil Collins

Whisky Collins

The ideal cocktail for when the sun is setting and the speaker is blasting.

Ballantine's Finest Lychee Sour Drink

Lychee Sour

Fruity, zesty and takes less than 2 minutes to pour out a round. Shake up this eastern delight for some extra host points at your next party.


12. Whisky and green tea

Green tea is the ultimate light drink. So naturally a green tea cocktail is on the cards. Make yours with Ballantine’s whisky, soda water and lemon. There’s not much to it but it’s sure to impress.


13. Lychee sour

Go tropical with a light lychee cocktail. The subtle sweetness of this eastern fruit goes perfectly with the smooth honeyed scotch, brought together whisky sour style with fresh lemon and sugar syrup.


14. Scotch and soda

Get the music cranking and sip a scotch and soda cocktail – it doesn’t get easier, or better, than this. Serve quality soda water with your favourite bottle of Ballantine’s for a light and refreshing drink this summer.

ballantinesfinest summer pitcher 2

Summer Pitcher

Summer time, and the living’s pitchin’. Add lemon slices and halved green grapes, Ballantine’s Finest, fresh lemon juice, Lillet Blanc, and top with Lemonade. Give it a good stir and pour out a round.


15. Whisky summer pitcher

Get juicy with our summer pitcher cocktail, a fun and simple mix of lemon, whisky and Lillet Blanc. This light combo always goes down a storm with any crowd – even if the sun doesn’t shine.


16. Sunny Scotland

Take yourself to Bonnie Scotland with this sweet and creamy whisky raspberry cocktail. It’s a fun recipe for shaking up behind the scenes or in front of guests for serious host points.

17. Whisky orange soda

Fancy something fun and fizzy? Give an orange soda and whisky a whirl. It’s basically an adults only Fanta – what’s not to like? Our recipe calls for Ballantine’s Passion to boost those sweet tropical fruit flavours. 


18. Whisky and grapefruit

Add some sour to your light whisky drink with a generous glug of grapefruit soda. This tangy fruit is surprisingly refreshing and likely to become a new favourite ingredient in your cocktail shaking game. Get the recipe for our whisky grapefruit cocktail to get started.


19. Apple pop

Keep it poppin with this zingy fresh recipe that packs a serious flavour punch. Our whisky and apple juice cocktail is easy to make and easy to drink. An obvious choice for BBQ season.


Find more ways to drink Ballantine’s whisky your way with our collection of whisky cocktail recipes including classic whisky mixers and the best beach bucket cocktails for summer.

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You already know we’ve nailed the Finest Whisky to ever grace a glass. But that’s just a little drop of what we’re about. Scroll on for the latest news and features from across the world of Ballantine’s whisky, True Music and much, much more.