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Summer Dram Highlight: Four Seasonal Summer Sippers

Summer is in full swing – the days are getting shorter, but they’re still hotter than ever. Going to the pool is a common way to beat the heat, and a drink in hand when you’re on the floatie or sunning poolside is the next best accompaniment to company. I hope that, on lazy summer days like pool days, your hardest decision is the choice of poolside libation. For that pressing situation, I bring you this list of seasonal sippers that will make an excellent, chill dram in between dives.

#1 – Writer’s Tears, Copper Pot Still Irish Whisky
Distilled at an unknown location in Ireland, “Writer’s Tears” is both a great whisky and great name alluding to the past and significance of whisky to Irish writers. Whisky was and continues to be consumed by some writers as a means to alleviate writer’s block. In what seems like an old myth told as a story, this results in the writer crying tears of whiskey, hence the name. Regardless of the marketing gimmick, this is a good mid-level whiskey, distilled from 100% barley, that’s light on the tongue and brings less heat and more nuanced characteristics like snapped straw and graham cracker. Excellent by the pool over a nice big rock.

#2 – Flor de Caña, 4 and 7 year-old Nicaraguan Rum
Nicaragua’s most premium rum export has been distilled and aged since the 1890s, and continues to command respect and appreciation from rum lovers everywhere. Flor de Caña’s 4 and 7 year old rums are light enough on the oak to give way to its subtle characteristics; without being terribly sweet or syrupy, nutty and vanilla notes dominate with a little hint of citrus towards the finish. If you want a bit more bite than the very smooth 4 year añejo, the 7 year puts a dab of oaky spice on the palate. These rums go great by themselves, over ice, or with a splash of sparkling water.

#3 – Casamigos Blanco, Añejo, and Mezcal Tequila
This tequila may just sell itself; founded by the illustrious actor George Clooney along with co-founders Rande Gerber and Michael Meldman, this tequila was initially unavailable to the public. The partners had the liquor distilled purely for the enjoyment themselves, family, friends and acquaintances. However, the amount produced proved to be too significant, and they could no longer distribute the tequila as “samples”. Thus, George Clooney’s accidental success was acquired by Diageo, and continues to be made authentically in the Mexican city of Jalisco. The distillery proclaims that while inexpensive, it’s what’s inside the bottle that counts, and they don’t say that without backing it up with these deliciously complex tequilas.

#4 – Sutler’s North Carolinian Gin
Coming from within our own state in Winston-Salem, the gin produced by Sutler’s Distillery comes in a classy stone bottle and is one of the best summer gins I’ve ever tasted. While the gin sports a wide array of botanicals in its mash bill, the heart of coriander and lavender make it an excellent companion to warmer weather. A citrusy, floral nose open up to orange zest, juniper, bruised herbs and florets on the palette. It’s a very friendly gin that remains agreeable to the veteran gin-drinker to the novice imbiber. Likewise, in a cocktail it stands up for itself, expressing itself even when mixed with powerfully aromatic liqueurs like amari or cordials. It’s inexpensive and worth trying, and definitely worth sipping in the summer sun.

As always, everything listed is available at the House bar for your enjoyment – we invite you to make a day of sitting in our Adirondack chairs, appreciating our beautiful pastures, soaking up the sun, and having a wonderfully prepared drink.

~Watson Fitts, Fearrington House Bar Man