Scotland might be better known as the country of the warm dram on a chilly night, but we actually love a refreshing sunny day cocktail too (in fact, guests at our Airhouses holiday lodgesadore sipping a fruity mixer surrounded by stunning Borders views).
And in recent years, Caledonia has enjoyed a huge craft alcohol boom. With this in mind, here are five Scottish cocktails ideal for summertime. All of them feature artisan creations, many from the Borders...
Lilliard Gin Floral Cocktail
Made in Jedburgh, Lilliard dry gin is named after a brave 16th century warrior woman of the Borders. It is a small batch botanical featuring wildflowers from the surrounding valleys, making it ideal for a floral cocktail. Sip this one among the butterflies on a warm and breezy afternoon.
1 fl oz of Lilliard Small Batch Craft Gin
1 fl oz of elderflower liqueur
Lime wedge for a garnish
Mix the gin and elderflower liqueur in a glass. Add the ice followed by the tonic water, then stir lightly but not too much. Garnish with the lime wedge.
Kelso Gin Perfect Serve Martini
Launched nearly 200 years ago, The Kelso Gin Company was actually the first gin distillery in the Borders. Crow Man's Lovage is a herby creation that is ideal for a classic dry martini. If you are looking for a sophisticated summer aperitif, then this is it.
2 fl oz of Crow Man's Lovage Gin
1 fl oz of Vermouth
5 drops of Angostura Bitters
Plenty of ice
This one is super simple — just mix everything together and serve with either a wedge of lemon or olives.
Ninefold Rum Punch
Following on the heels of the gin boom, artisan rum is also taking off in Scotland. There isn't a rum producer in the Borders yet, so this cocktail features a craft creation from neighbouring Dumfries & Galloway.
This premium white rum from Ninefold Distillery is made from scratch with South African molasses. Throw it into this classic Caribbean cocktail recipe and create a tropical beach feel from the comfort of home...
1.5 fl oz of Ninefold Premium Scottish Rum
3 fl oz of pineapple juice
2 fl oz of orange juice
1 fl oz of coconut water (or coconut milk for a creamier effect)
Splash of grenadine
Lime wedge for garnish
Mix the pineapple juice, orange juice and coconut water together, plus two thirds of the rum. Stir gently. Next add the grenadine, then pour the final third of rum on top. Garnish with the lime.
Tweeddale Whisky Smash
Relaunched in 2010, Tweeddale Whisky distillery in Coldstream can trace its roots back to the 19th century. This dram is a smooth, sweet, citrusy blend that is ideal for a refreshing mixer. Drink this cocktail on a summer evening at sunset while listening to cool jazz.
2 fl oz of Tweedale Whisky
3/4 fl oz of simple syrup (or molasses or agave nectar)
3 wedges of lemon
4 mint leaves (for mixture) and mint sprig (for garnish)
Muddle the lemon in a shaker or a glass. Next, add the remaining ingredients and either shake or stir. Finally, add the mint sprig as a garnish. Drink with a straw.
Lower East Side Summer Whisky Punch
Launched in 2018, The Borders Distillery is based in a landmark building in Hawick. The distillery's smooth, blended Lower East Side Whisky would taste great in an exuberant fruity cocktail like this one.
1 fl oz of Lower East Side Blended Malt Whisky
4 fl oz of elderflower cordial
Chilled soda water
1 fl oz of Angostura Orange Bitters
1 small sprig of tarragon
Fresh lemon peel
Except for the soda, mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Stir well but don't break the tarragon. Pour into a glass and top with the soda. Add some more ice. Say a traditional Scottish toast of 'slange var', then drink.
Of course, the very best way to enjoy a Scottish summer cocktail is in a hot tub at an Airhouses luxury lodge in the Borders. So why not book a special getaway for later this summer? Just don't forget to bring the grenadine...
You might also like:
Say Cheers to the Borders with these Fantastic Local Drinks.
Tasty Traditional Recipes from the Scottish Borders.
Buckets and Spades in the Scottish Borders.
Airhouses is more than an award-winning holiday escape — it’s an experience you will never forget. Explore woodland walks, hiking trails and the peaceful village of Oxton (plus Edinburgh is less than an hour away). And don’t forget to say hello to our friendly animal family of alpacas, goats, donkeys, pigs, Shetland ponies and more.