13 Easy Bourbon Cocktails

Bourbon whiskey is a staple of American spirits, renowned for its distinct production process and smooth finish. As a versatile ingredient, bourbon can be used in a wide range of cocktails that cater to various tastes and preferences. From classic combinations to modern twists, the possibilities are endless.

Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated drink to sip on after dinner or a refreshing concoction to enjoy on a hot summer day, bourbon’s rich flavor profile and versatility make it an ideal choice. With its roots in Kentucky, where 95% of the world’s bourbon is produced, this iconic spirit has become a staple in many cultures.

Bourbon Apple Cider

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As the cozy atmosphere of fall descends, our taste buds crave the warmth and spice of autumnal flavors. One perfect drink to satisfy this craving is bourbon apple cider, which combines the richness of bourbon with the natural sweetness of apple cider, all tied together with a blend of spices that add a delightful kick. This recipe requires minimal ingredients – just apple cider, bourbon, and some spice – making it an accessible option for anyone looking to create a spiced rum-inspired cocktail without needing a plethora of specialty items. For those who prefer their drinks tailored to their unique taste buds, the flexibility to adjust the ingredients allows for endless experimentation and customization.

Bourbon Sour

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The bourbon sour is a classic cocktail that’s surprisingly easy to make, requiring only a handful of ingredients you likely have on hand. This refreshing drink strikes the perfect balance between sweet and tangy, thanks to the harmonious blend of orange peel, lemon juice, sugar, and bourbon. It’s an ideal choice for unwinding after a long day at work or school, offering a satisfying pick-me-up with its subtle sweetness and citrus notes. To add a pop of color and complete the look, simply garnish with a few cherries on top.

Blackberry Bourbon Smash

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One of the most esteemed bourbon concoctions is undoubtedly the blackberry bourbon smash. Its adaptability makes it a versatile choice for any time of year, with its tangy and light profile standing out from darker drinks on the list. The incorporation of soda water ensures that this cocktail won’t weigh heavily on the palate, making it an excellent option for those seeking a refreshing beverage. As a finishing touch, consider adding fresh blackberries as garnish, complemented by a sprig of mint for added herbal notes.

Boulevardier Cocktail

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For a sophisticated cocktail that’s easy to craft at home, look no further than the Boulevardier. This bold and flavorful drink is perfect for sipping by the fire or enjoying with friends on a leisurely evening stroll.

What sets the Boulevardier apart is the harmonious blend of bourbon, simple syrup, and orange angostura bitters. Each ingredient plays off the others to create a rich and satisfying flavor profile.

To truly appreciate the nuances of this drink, it’s worth taking a moment to prepare it correctly. Rather than using crushed ice, try adding just one large ice cube. This will help prevent the drink from becoming too watered down and allow you to fully experience its complex flavors.

Whiskey Highball

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The simplicity of the highball cocktail makes it an appealing choice for warm weather gatherings or casual get-togethers with friends. With only three ingredients – bourbon, soda water, and ice cubes – this drink requires minimal effort to prepare, making it an ideal option when you’re short on time. Whether you opt for a premium or budget-friendly whiskey, the straightforward flavor profile is sure to please most palates. The highball’s understated nature may lead your guests to assume you spent hours crafting the perfect cocktail, but in reality, it can be whipped up in mere minutes. This unpretentious drink is an excellent choice when you want to offer a refreshing, easy-drinking bourbon-based beverage without breaking a sweat.

New York Sour

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In this classic cocktail, a whiskey base is elevated by the addition of sour lemon ingredients. The combination of bourbon and fresh lemon juice creates a harmonious balance of flavors. While the initial sourness may be strong, it gradually mellows as the sweet and bitter notes converge to form a rich and complex taste experience. The crowning touch is the luxurious red wine float that adds an air of sophistication to this indulgent drink. Enjoyed from the comfort of your own home, this cocktail is sure to leave you feeling like royalty.

Classic Old Fashioned

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The allure of bourbon is undeniable, and when it comes to crafting an old fashioned, this spirit shines. The recipe is straightforward: combine bourbon with essential ingredients like bitters, sugar, and an orange peel for a delightful concoction that’s sure to please your guests or family on any afternoon they crave a refreshing cocktail. What sets this drink apart is its versatility – it’s one of those easy-going bourbon drinks that will consistently hit the spot, whether you’re sipping on a solo evening or sharing with friends. For an added twist, consider substituting regular maraschino cherries for their rich cherry counterparts. This subtle variation elevates the drink to new heights, offering a depth of flavor that’s simply irresistible.

Kentucky Mule

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While traditional Kentucky mules are made with ginger ale, you can substitute this with ginger beer for an added depth of flavor. To craft this refreshing cocktail, combine fresh lime juice, top-shelf bourbon, and simple syrup to strike a balance between the three flavors. When choosing your bourbon, opt for a high-quality or premium variety to ensure the drink doesn’t become diluted by the ginger beer’s bold taste. Furthermore, use a large ice cube instead of a single ice cube to counterbalance the acidic flavor profile and prevent the drink from becoming too watery.

Bourbon Manhattan

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When crafting a Manhattan, whiskey enthusiasts often opt for rye, but incorporating bourbon adds a rich layer of flavor. This autumn-inspired cocktail is particularly well-suited to the fall season, as its warm spices – including cloves and cinnamon syrup – evoke the cozy ambiance of the time. Whether you’re sipping on it during the holiday season or in the midst of winter, this drink’s spiced profile is sure to transport you to a festive state. The bourbon also lends an extra kick, making it a delightful treat. To serve, pour it into a classic cocktail glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry or orange peel for added flair. And the best part? You can whip up this delightful concoction using just a trusty cocktail shaker.

Bourbon Sidecar

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This sophisticated cocktail is designed to be savored from a coupe glass, its refined presentation mirroring its complex flavor profile. The drink’s robust character stems from a combination of bourbon, triple sec, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and an orange peel, making it a true showstopper. For those without simple syrup on hand, regular sugar can be used as a suitable substitute – simply dissolve two parts sugar in water to achieve the desired sweetener. Visually stunning, this drink is equally impressive when garnished with a slice of orange peel, carefully folded in half to release a fragrant burst of citrus zest and elevate the overall drinking experience.

Gold Rush Cocktail

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One of the most impressive and flavorful bourbon drinks is this elegant concoction, which boasts a stylish appearance to match its delectable taste. To elevate it further, simply garnish with a lemon peel that’s been kissed by a hint of smoke – achieved by briefly burning the edge. This classic cocktail has its roots in the height of the gold rush era and quickly gained popularity due to its irresistible charm. As the mercury rises, this refreshing bourbon drink becomes the perfect companion for warm summer days.

Maple Bourbon Smash

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If you’re craving a sweet bourbon drink, this recipe is sure to hit the spot. It combines the tanginess of lemon juice with the richness of simple syrup and bourbon, creating a delightful harmony of flavors. To take it to the next level, a drizzle of maple syrup adds just the right amount of sweetness. This refreshing cocktail has a perfect fall flavor profile that makes it suitable for sipping anytime you want to unwind. Unlike traditional bourbon drinks, this one is surprisingly light and tangy, making it an excellent choice when you’re in the mood for a low-key night.

John Collins

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This recipe puts a twist on the traditional Tom Collins by substituting bourbon for the classic gin. To truly appreciate the flavors of this refreshing cocktail, use a high-quality or premium bourbon that can hold its own against the bold ingredients. The addition of soda water helps to lighten the drink and provides a nice contrast to the richer cocktails on this list. As you explore mixing options with bourbon, this John Collins variation serves as a great starting point for experimenting with new flavor combinations.


Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply looking to satisfy your cravings, these recipes are sure to be a hit. So why not gather your loved ones and get cooking? We’d love to hear about your experiences and any variations you try! To help you plan, each recipe includes essential details such as total time, course, cuisine, servings, and calories.

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