For the life of me, I scantly remember a summer on record that's been as hot as the one we've experienced this year. I say that knowing that here in Tennessee, the dog days of August and September, some of our most notoriously hottest months, are still around the corner. Lord have mercy.

As it is, I've tried to stay as hydrated as possible - with cocktails of course.

In my house, summertime usually means less pasta Bolognese and more grilled salmon and tabbouleh. It also means that my amber casks of bourbon are completely forgotten about until after the first frost. This heat has me thinking about things that are lighter, and of course, clearer.

I've been perfecting, and resurrecting, a few classic cocktails with my summer spirit of choice, Dixie Vodka - based in Charleston, SC. Distilled 6x right here in the good 'ole USA, and made from 100% non-GMO corn - I find that their pure Southern vodka works just as well in cocktail form, as it does when pulled straight from the freezer in shot form. That's an appropriate form of hydration after coming in from cutting the grass, right? Their mint and black pepper varieties are also great for classics like a solid Mint Julep or spicy Bloody Mary.

I've laid out three of my favorite recipes for you to enjoy when entertaining, relaxing, or looking to beat the heat. Remember that we Southerners always encourage a stronger pour when given the choice. Cheers!


Beau's Gimlet – strong, a bit sweet, and plenty of heat. I'll take that combination any day. The pure flavor of Dixie Southern vodka really shines in this cocktail – making it a refreshing drink on a hot summer day.

  • 1 ½ ounce Dixie Southern Vodka
  • 1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Lime peel, garnish
  1. Fill cocktail shaker with ice, add the first three ingredients.
  2. Shake the mixture rapidly for 30 seconds.
  3. Strain mixture into glass, add a pinch of cayenne to float. Garnish with lime peel.

Dixie Summer Greyhound – good for gents, but also perfect to serve the gals, this classic cocktail uses mint infused Dixie Vodka to add depth and cleanliness to the sweet and tangy drink.

  • 1 ½ ounce Dixie Mint Vodka
  • 4 ounces fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 squeeze fresh lime
  • ½ ounce clover honey
  • Lime and grapefruit wedge, as garnish
  1. Fill cocktail shaker with ice, add the first four ingredients.
  2. Shake the mixture rapidly for 30 seconds.
  3. Strain mixture into glass filled with crushed ice, garnish with a wedge of grapefruit and lime.

Dixie Vodka Tonic - a classic cocktail, made even better with a strong pour of Dixie Southern Vodka. Just as appropriate when consumed in a dinner jacket, or sans a shirt on a fishing boat.

  • 1 ½ parts Dixie Southern Vodka
  • 3 parts Jack Rudy Tonic
  • Crushed ice
  • Sliced lime, as garnish

1. Combine the first two ingredients into a glass, add ice, and gently stir. Garnish with lime. Enjoy.