Some purists say that the best way to drink bourbon is straight up, but we appeal to differ. Bourbon has a complex flavor profile with many different sides that can be better appreciated when mixed with other flavors.
Here is our list of the best bourbon whiskey cocktails! There are classics like the Bourbon Sour and Old Fashioned and unique drinks like the fresh Peach Bourbon Smash. These bourbon drinks are good in the summer, winter, and all the seasons.
Best Bourbon Recipes
Listed below are some of our favorite recipes. We hope you enjoy them. Read on for more information about bourbon recipes.
The New York Sour
The New York Sour is one of the most beautiful and complicated bourbon drinks you can find. First, there’s the sour whiskey layer, which is sweet, sour, and perfectly balanced. Maple syrup adds a little sweetness to give it some depth. Then, float a layer of red wine on top. This provides the dish with fruity acidity and makes it more interesting. Also, the bright two-toned layer makes it look fabulous. A favorite!
If you replace the vodka in a Moscow Mule with bourbon, you get a Kentucky Mule. It’s bubbly, bright, and bold, with a spicy whiskey finish and a zingy lime aftertaste. The best part is that it’s so easy to make! There’s no need to shake or stir; pour everything into the glass. The mule is making a big comeback, but it’s a classic drink that’s been around for a long time.
It’s a bourbon drink called the Boulevardier, and it manages to be silky, rich, spicy, bitter, and toasty simultaneously. Because of the brilliant jewel tone of red, it is pretty gorgeous to look at. It’s a Negroni that’s been created with whisky rather than gin. The flavor is rendered completely harmonious by the bourbon’s natural sweetness.
The John Collins cocktail is a fun whiskey drink with a twist on an old favorite. In place of gin and lemon juice in the Tom Collins, bourbon whiskey is used in the John Collins. It’s a sparkling whiskey sour served in a highball glass with soda water. The whiskey is a bit stronger than the floral gin, which is bubbly and refreshing.
Gold Rush Cocktail
This classy drink is called the Gold Rush and tastes sweet and sour. It sounds like a drink from the 1920s from the name, but it’s a modern take on the classic whiskey sour. If you like bourbon drinks, put this one on your list of things to do. The tang of the lemon, the sweetness of the honey, and the whiskey’s spice at the end make this drink perfect.
Classic Old Fashioned
One of the most well-known whiskey drinks is the Old Fashioned, which may be because it’s the oldest. This classic cocktail was made with bourbon in the early 1800s, long before the words classic and cocktail were ever used together. It’s hardly a cocktail; it’s just a little sugar and bitters added to alcohol. You can use either bourbon or rye whiskey, but we like the smooth taste of bourbon.
The Old Fashioned is one of the most well-known whiskey drinks, which may be because it’s the oldest. In the early 1800s, bourbon was used to make this classic cocktail, long before the words classic and cocktail were ever used together. It’s not a cocktail; it’s just alcohol mixed with a bit of sugar and bitters. You can use either bourbon or rye whiskey, but bourbon has a smoother flavor than we like. Instead, try a Smoked Old Fashioned.
The Revolver Cocktail
A bartender in San Francisco who had a few too many bottles of Bulleit bourbon came up with this drink. Since it was an unknown brand, he wanted to make something new to help it sell. He came with a strange version of a Manhattan that uses Bulleit bourbon and orange peel that has been lit on fire. So it got the name “revolver.”
The orange peel that has been burned is a crucial ingredient, and it’s easy to do at home. Just cut a thick slice of peel and squeeze it over your finished cocktail and an open flame. Use a lighter and let the orange oil pass through it. Then rub the smokey peel around the edge of the glass and drop it in.
This drink is much more than just ginger, lemon, and bourbon. It has a surprising amount of depth. First, you’ll make a simple syrup with black tea and anise. It’s a little spicy, making this drink taste like spiked ice tea. But it also has 1/2 ounce of Creme Yvette, a liqueur made with parma violet petals, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cassis, honey, orange peel, and vanilla. It’s pretty sweet, and the taste and smell of violet are robust.
Cognac and citrus juice are the traditional ingredients in sidecars. They are known to be a lighter form of whiskey sour and have a sweet and tangy flavor profile. The sidecar has Cointreau which makes it boozier and provides a more mellow citrus flavor.
Peach and Bourbon Smash
Fresh peach slices have a subtly juicy quality that helps bridge the gap between the hops syrup and the bourbon. After that, all that is required is to serve the mixture over crushed ice and garnish it with fresh mint or basil to bring the whole thing to its ideal state.
Once you try tamarind syrup, you’ll want to put it in everything you drink. Made from a pulpy, sweet-and-sour tropical fruit that you can buy in specialty stores or make at home, the sweet and sour syrup is an unexpected but welcome addition that balances the rich complexity of vanilla liqueur and bourbon. Finish it with a splash of club soda and some brandied cherries on a stick for a classy drink that’s perfect for the end of the night.
What’s the Difference Between Bourbon & Whiskey?
Whiskey is an alcoholic drink made by distilling grains like corn and rye and letting them age in wooden barrels. Bourbon is a type of whiskey, and to ensure it’s good, there are strict rules. Bourbon must be made in the United States, from at least 51% corn, and be aged in new oak barrels that have been burned.
Because bourbon is a big part of American culture, it is made with very specific rules to ensure it keeps the things that make it unique. Bourbon is a younger type of whiskey. It isn’t aged as long as Scotch, so most of its flavor comes from the grains it is made with.
Compared to other whiskies, the taste of bourbon is usually sweeter. People typically say that bourbon tastes like toffee, vanilla, and butterscotch. Most of the sweetness of bourbon comes from the fermented corn and other grains in the mash bill.
Many mixers bring out or add to the complex flavors in bourbon. Some are used to make cocktails, while others are just mixed with ice and bourbon.
Most bourbon in the barrel is 120 proof, 60 percent alcohol by volume, and this is too strong for the average drinker to enjoy. Before it is put into bottles, it is watered down to about 80 proof (40 percent ABV), which is a good balance between cask strength and the best drinking strength.
But even at this strength, the alcohol and intense flavors in bourbon whiskey can make it hard to taste the more subtle tastes. People often add a splash of room-temperature water to their bourbon. The water will break up the ethanol and guaiacol molecules in the drink, making the bourbon taste better and have more flavor.
Coca-Cola is one of the most common mixers for bourbon whiskey, especially among young people and people who don’t drink much. The sweetness of the Coke makes it easier to drink the bourbon, but it still has the same caramel, vanilla, and smokey flavors.
Soda water is just carbonated water, and it’s a great way to mix bourbon because it dilutes it without changing the taste.
Ginger Ale, Ginger Beer OR Ginger Syrup and Soda
Ginger beer and whisky with ice in a glass. You might be surprised that ginger drinks go well with bourbon whiskey. The ginger gives the sweet and spicy bourbon a lot of “zing,” which makes for a very refreshing drink.
Eggnog made at home is delicious, especially when it’s cold outside. The best spirit to drink with it is bourbon, and the caramel and vanilla flavors in the bourbon make the eggnog taste even better.
Apple cider’s fresh, tart, and sweet taste goes well with bourbon whiskey.
Health Benefits from Drinking Bourbon
People’s top New Year’s resolutions often involve getting healthier or losing weight, and sources say that bourbon may help you keep those promises. If you ask us, bourbon is the nectar of the gods and the elixir of life. But science seems to back up what we believe about this beautiful spirit. Bourbon may have properties that are good for your health and could help you live healthier lives. Let’s look at some of the good things that bourbon could do in the right amount.
Bourbon is good for weight loss because it has no fat, few carbs, and almost no sodium. If you are trying to watch your calorie intake, switch out your tasteless light beer for a shot of bourbon. You’ll get fewer calories, more flavor, and a punch of “hell yes” that will make you feel good.
Bourbon has many ellagic acids and antioxidants that can stop some cancer-causing chemicals from forming. Scientists are still trying to figure out how much ellagic acid is best, so in the meantime, feel free to do your tests with a few neat bourbons.
Taking Care of your Heart
We’ve all heard that wine and dark beer are good for your heart. But bourbon is also a drink that is good for your heart. Bourbon could help lower the risk of heart attack and stroke because it has antioxidants and can stop cholesterol from building up in your arteries.
Researchers have found that people who drink one to two alcoholic drinks (like bourbon) daily may be less likely to get Alzheimer’s, dementia, diabetes, blood clots, the common cold, and stress.
Now, we’re not saying that bourbon can fix everything. But there seem to be some pretty vital signs that it could help. Plus, it tastes fantastic. As with everything else in life, you should never overdo it. As the saying goes, “Enjoy responsibly and enjoy often.” We also think you should talk to your doctor to learn more about your health.
Why is Bourbon so Sweet?
All that matters is the corn mash and the stuff those geniuses ferment.
Bourbon is made with at least 51% corn and often more (closer to 70 percent an average). There are two mash bills for Four Roses; one has 60% corn, and the other has 75% corn. There are different mash bills with high rye, low rye, wheat, and whatever else, but they all have at least 51% corn. The sweetness of bourbon comes from the over 51% corn in the mash.
There are a lot of different drinks you can make with bourbon. It can be used in many different ways and is the whiskey of choice for many drinkers, so it’s no surprise that it shows up in so many great recipes. There are many ways to enjoy your favorite bourbon, and from our collection, you can find the best recipe for your needs. The following are some of our top choices.