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5 Easy Bourbon Cocktails

Barman pouring fresh alcoholic drink into the glasses with ice cubes on the bar counter


Purists like it neat, but we beg to differ

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Bourbon needn’t only be your drink of choice when you’re bundled up by the fireplace during a winter getaway at a snowbound mountain cabin. Whether you like your bourbon drinks potent, like a classic Old Fashioned or prefer something a bit lighter for the hotter months—here are a few easy recipes that prove that you can have a bourbon and drink it too, no matter what the season!


Old Fashioned Cocktails

The Old Fashioned can be referred to as the great-grandfather of cocktails,  considering that it’s THE original cocktail. This drink remains as relevant today as it was when it first captured people’s hearts some 200 years ago. To nail this drink, use a good bourbon. Else, what’s the point?


60ml bourbon
2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
1 teaspoon water
½ teaspoon sugar
orange peel, to garnish

GET IT RIGHT: Add the sugar and bitters to a rocks glass, then add water, and stir until sugar is nearly dissolved. Fill the glass with large ice cubes, add the bourbon, and gently stir to combine. Add the orange peel at the end, after giving it a bit of squeeze into the glass. Enjoy!


Refreshing Cold Mint Julep

A bourbon cocktail best known for being the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby, the Mint Julep has remained popular for over two centuries since its creation in southern America. Bourbon or whiskey-based cocktails don’t come much more refreshing than this one. Again, there’s no substituting a quality bourbon in a true Mint Julep.


65ml bourbon
12.5ml simple syrup (equal parts of sugar and water boiled until the sugar has melted and then, cooled)
10 mint leaves
ice, cubes and crushed
one big mint sprig, to garnish

GET IT RIGHT: In a Julep cup or rocks glass, lightly muddle the mint leaves in the simple syrup. Add the bourbon then pack the glass tightly with crushed ice. Stir until the cup is frosted on the outside. Top with more crushed ice to form an ice dome, and garnish with a mint sprig. Cheers!


Red alcohol cocktail with beautiful backlight on a wooden table served with ice and orange peel

One of many Negroni spin-offs and nearly as beloved in its own right, the Boulevardier swaps gin out for bourbon (or rye whiskey), but remains stiff and bitter like a true Negroni fan wants. This drink is the perfect marriage between, sweet, bitter and boozy. Make sure the bourbon and vermouth pass the quality taste test before fixing yourself this one. Unwind after a long day’s work with this uplifting drink, saluti!


25ml bourbon
25ml sweet vermouth
25ml Campari
orange peel twist, to garnish

GET IT RIGHT: Add bourbon, Campari and sweet vermouth into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with an orange twist.


Whisky sour with a lemon wedge and a cherry

Spirit, citrus and sugar—the three musketeers—combine to form the classic sour; one of the oldest types of cocktails. The Whiskey Sour falls under this category and has a history that stretches back to the Abraham Lincoln (the 16th President of the USA) administration. The egg white is optional, but we highly recommend it, as it lends creaminess to offset the drink’s tartness.


50ml bourbon
35ml lemon juice
14ml sugar syrup
½ fresh egg white (optional)
slice of orange and a cherry on a stick, to garnish

GET IT RIGHT: Add bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white (if using), to a shaker and dry-shake for 30 seconds without ice. Add ice and shake again until well-chilled. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish using a cherry and/or orange/lemon wedge.


Hot alcoholic grog with orange and seasoning cloves on a wooden bar counter

A steaming Hot Toddy is a liquid cure for a bad day, like a warm whiskey-fuelled hug. You can make it using brandy, rye whiskey or Scotch, but we like ours with bourbon. Monsoon will soon sneak up on us, fix yourself one on a chilly rainy night or  on a day you’re feeling under the weather for a quick pick me up.


50ml bourbon
120ml nearly boiling water  
2 teaspoon honey
½ a cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
4 cloves
1 lemon peel/wheel

GET IT RIGHT: Whisk the bourbon and honey together. Add the cinnamon stick, then top up with fresh boiling water. Add a splash of lemon juice. You can add one more spoon of honey to increase sweetness or lemon juice to add more zing. Use the slice of lemon, studded with cloves and stir. Serve hot. Salud!

If you’re the kind of man who picks up the finest bottle of bourbon over rye, single malt, or Irish any day, shake up one of the above cocktails when you feel like trying something other than neat. Also, drink responsibly!


[All Image Credits: Shutterstock]