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Beyond the Sour: 5 Best Whiskey Cocktails for Summer

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With its leggy texture and dark, intense tasting notes, whiskey often seems best savored neat, in front of an open fire in the middle of raging snowstorm. Well, if I waited for such a scenario in Houston, I would never imbibe this delightful spirit. Fortunately, there are ways to enjoy whiskey during the steamier months that don't just involve mixing it with ice cubes and store-bought sour mix (not that I'm judging). Here are five cool whiskey cocktails for summer:

5. Manhattan. This classic cocktail has experienced renewed popularity thanks to Mad Men. Its mellow, slightly sweet, sophisticated flavors make it perfect for balmy evenings. Any whiskey is fine for a Manhattan, though purists will tell you that rye is ideal.

4. Scottish Orange Buck. For a bolder version of the traditional Orange Buck, swap gin for whisky. Remember to use Scottish spirits for the true tartan taste. I suggest Laphroaig Cask Strength for truly epic summer nights.

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3. New York Cocktail. Lemon juice provides the New York with a piquant citrus taste that lightens the cocktail's whiskey base and a splash of grenadine ensures a sweet finish. Blended whiskey is recommended; rye will also do in a pinch.

2. Pickleback. Technically two separate drinks, a Pickleback tempers a shot of whiskey with a chaser of salty pickle juice. Definitely more interesting than simply guzzling some coke after shooting Jameson and will help keep your electrolytes in balance during hot weather drinking sessions.

1. Algonquin. A favorite beverage of the Algonquin peoples...yeah right. Created by staff of New York's Algonquin Hotel, this cocktail boasts a unique tropical flavor due to the pineapple juice component. It's traditional served straight up, but if there aren't any traditionalists in the room, add one or two ice cubes to make it especially refreshing.

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