I've never been a big fan of seasonal cocktails. Just because it's post-Memorial Day and pre-Labor Day, you don't have to deal exclusively with three months of mojitos and fruity daiquiris and drinks that taste like alcoholic lemonade. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. But an ice-cold daiquiri can taste great in January, and a glass of really good whiskey can be awesome in July.
The ten spirits (or nine and an asterisk, really) reviewed here, all of them released in the last few months, make for a good mix of summertime no-brainers (a glass of chilled Lillet Rosé, for example, almost screams for a hot and sunny late-afternoon), and brands you normally wouldn't think about drinking on 80-degree evenings (snifter of Crown Royal XR, anyone?). But whatever the season, there are some real winners here that'll taste great whatever the weather. Bottoms up!