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5 Whisky Cocktails for Christmas in July 

Ex-pats and visitors who land down under at Christmas time are often baffled by the fact that in Australia, December 25 occurs during the heat of our summer season. Unless they arrive from Hawaii where a Yuletide beach luau is the norm, the lack of snow makes some newcomers homesick. No worries.  We Aussies are always up for a good time, and we're more than happy to celebrate a second Christmas in July. It gives us a great reason to open a beautiful bottle of whisky and mix up some tasty cocktails that warm the blood on a chilly Tasmanian evening. Here are a few of our favourites:

Brown Sugar Old Fashioned 

This Tasmanian take on a classic winter cocktail works wonderfully with our Solera Cask Whisky. It only takes a few minutes to make and is guaranteed to prevent frostbite. To prepare it yourself, you'll need:

 • 1 generous jigger of Solera Cask Whisky

• 1 tsp. cold water • Angostura bitters

 • 1 tsp. packed brown sugar

 • Ice cubes

 • Orange peel

 • Cinnamon

Pour water and a dash or two of bitters into a rocks glass. Add brown sugar and muddle 'til dissolved. Pour in the whisky, drop in a few ice cubes, and stir with a cinnamon stick. Garnish rim with a paper-thin twist of orange peel, and make a toast.

Winter Honey Whisky 

This winter cocktail takes a little longer to put together, but the results are well worth the extra effort. More than a simple hot toddy, this heart warming riff on the classic holiday beverage allows the deeply dark fruit cake flavour of Shene Elixir Of Life Single Malt Whisky to bloom. Here's what you need and how to make enough for two drinks:

• 2 generous jiggers of Shene Elixir whisky

• Fresh ginger root

• Water

• 2 lemons

• 4-5 tsp honey

Start by peeling a two-inch section of ginger root and cutting it into thin slices. Place ginger in a saucepan and cover with about one cup of water. Juice a lemon, and add half the juice to the pan. Peel thin strips of zest from the other lemon, and add half to the pan. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer slowly for ten minutes.

While the ginger concoction is simmering, divide the remaining lemon juice between two mugs. Add half the honey to each mug. Add a generous jigger of Elixir single malt whisky to each mug. Strain half the hot ginger water into each mug, and stir to dissolve honey. Garnish each warm wintry drink with a paper-thin twist of lemon peel, and serve immediately.

Super-Simple Chamomile Hot Toddy 

Sweet and soothing, this tasty hot beverage will send you off to bed in style. All you have to do is brew a cup of chamomile herbal tea, stir in a spoonful of honey, and add a jigger of Shene whisky. Garnish with star anise and serve hot

Tasmanian Coffee 

This Aussie version of classic Irish coffee is sure to take the chill off. Here's what you need to make a pair of these wonderfully warming winter cocktails:

• ½ cup heavy whipping cream

• 4 tsp sugar

• 3 oz. Shene Whisky

• 1 ½ cup hot black coffee

• Nutmeg for garnish  

As you're brewing the coffee, whip the heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks are formed. Pour equal amounts of your favourite Shene Whisky into mugs, and add hot coffee. Be sure to leave room at the top for a generous dollop of fresh whipped cream. Garnish with finely grated nutmeg and serve hot.  

Raspberry-Thyme Hot Toddy Punch

Expecting a few friends on a chilly winter evening? A big batch of this fragrant and delicious adult punch will fill your home with a welcoming winter aroma that is sure to set the mood. To make enough for up to a dozen guests, you'll need the following:

• 10 cups water

• 4 bags English breakfast tea

 • 1 sliced orange

 • 1 sliced lemon

 • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

 • ¼ cup sugar

 • 1 tbsp clove buds

 • 12 sprigs fresh thyme

 • 1 ½ cups Chambord or other raspberry liqueur

 • 1 ½ cups Shene Whisky

Boil the water in a large pot, then reduce heat to a slow simmer. Dump in the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add orange slices, lemon slices, clove buds, and thyme sprigs. Cover and simmer for ten minutes. Discard tea bags and remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice, raspberry liqueur, and whisky. Strain into mugs, and enjoy a good conversation with your mates.

Of course, hand-crafted Shene whisky isn't the only liquor you can use to prepare satisfying winter beverages. For a tasty change of pace, try our platinum award-winning, Unfiltered Poltergeist Gin in this recipe:

Holiday Gin Sipper

Ideal for celebrating Christmas in July, this yummy cocktail is sure to warm you all the way to your toes. Here's what you need to make a single drink:

• 1 jigger Poltergeist Gin

• ½ jigger Chartreuse liqueur

 • ¼ jigger Benedictine liqueur

 • 1 dash Drambuie

 • 1 dash bitters

 • Orange peel twists

Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Give it a few shakes before straining into a brandy glass. Garnish with a twist of orange, and toast to anything you like.

How Christmas in July began

Celebrated in Australia for as long as anyone can remember, the tradition of observing a winter holiday during the heat of summer actually originated in America where the upside-down festivities were inspired by a 1940 Hollywood movie, Christmas in July.

A whisky for all seasons

Here at Shene Distillery, we like to triple distill our whisky in copper stills before maturing in oak casks. It takes a little longer, but we think you'll appreciate the skill (and patience) we put into every whisky we make.