21 Bourbon co*cktail Recipes to Make Tonight (2024)

If you ask us, no home bar is complete without a bottle of bourbon. "Both Scotch and bourbon arewhisk(e)y, meaning they’re wood-aged spirits that have been distilled from a fermented mash of grains," writes Food & Wine contributor Brian Freedman. "Bourbon is based on corn, not barley. According to regulations, it must be composed of a mash bill (basically the list of grains that have been used) consisting of at least 51% corn."

We're amazed by bourbon's versatility when it comes to making sweet, tart, and warming co*cktails. For something unexpectedly tangy, try your hand at a Tamarind Whiskey Sour. Entertaining a crowd? We'd recommend whipping up a batch of Whiskey Chai. It's also worth getting comfortable with classic bourbon co*cktails, like the Mint Julep, New York Sour, and Paper Plane. Read on for our favorite bourbon co*cktails to make anytime.

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Winter Berries co*cktail

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Fruity, rich, and mildly sweet dark-berry liqueur plays well with effervescent sparkling wine in this Winter Berries co*cktail, while grain-forward bourbon adds a touch of heat. Garnish this bubbly sipper with a thin half-moon slice of lemon.

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Maple-Bourbon Smash

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Richly flavored dark amber maple syrup combines with citrus juices and seltzer to make this lightened riff on an Old-Fashioned co*cktail.

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Boulevardier

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The Boulevardier is the whiskey lover's Negroni. Made with three simple ingredients — bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth — this straightforward co*cktail comes together in seconds with staples you likely always keep in your home bar.

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Alpine Brew

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This delicious, highly caffeinated co*cktail combines bourbon, coffee liqueur, cold brew, maple syrup, and walnut bitters.

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Tamarind Whiskey Sour

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Tamarind imbues any dish with a telltale sharp, sweet, yet tart kick. It adds just the right amount of excitement to surprise even the most dedicated drinker of this classic co*cktail.

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Paper Plane

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Though the Paper Plane is easy to put together and it's plenty easy-drinking, it offers a complex flavor profile: still bright and fresh but with enough heft to make it autumn-appropriate.

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Bourbon-Tea Julep

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Tannins from black tea add a beautiful hint of bitterness to this variation on a classic Mint Julep. The citrus oil, oleo saccharum, is made by steeping lemon peels in sugar. Its bright flavor is the perfect lift to finish each sip.

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Shadow Woman

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This Old-Fashioned–style co*cktail gets a fruity kick from pear brandy and gentle sweetness from honey; the bourbon adds a bite without overpowering the drink. Pear brandy is a highly aromatic and unsweetened liquor made from fermented pears.

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Banana-Rum Old-Fashioned

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A bold, strong co*cktail with both high-proof bourbon and light rum gets a hint of floral sweetness from mellow crème de banane.

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Withering Sunrise

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Bourbon and puréed mango are a match made in heaven.

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New York Sour

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The perfect balance of fruity red wine and smoky-sweet bourbon, the New York Sour co*cktail is a classic for a reason. Shaking with large ice cubes chills the co*cktail without diluting it — and those large cubes made with ice sphere molds look great in a rocks glass, too. If you're feeling adventurous, add an egg white to the shaker for a thicker viscosity.

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Mint Julep

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The Mint Julep has been the iconic drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1939, but references to the co*cktail go as far back as the year 900, when it was sipped for medicinal purposes. When New Orleans bartender Chris McMillian was at Bar UnCommon, he recited an ode while mixing Mint Juleps, written in the 1890s by a Kentucky newspaperman, that calls the bourbon and mint co*cktail "the very dream of drinks."

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Dog Days of Summer Ale

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Cherry heering gives this beer-bourbon co*cktail its striking red hue.

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Milk Punch

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This classic, creamy milk punch will warm you up on the coldest winter evenings.

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Whiskey Samash

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This Hanukkah co*cktail uses fig syrup to create a playful take on a whiskey smash co*cktail.

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Hot Toddy

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Is it really wintertime without a good hot toddy? We think not.

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Ginger and Bourbon

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This simple, soothing wintertime co*cktail is a favorite for good reason.

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Whiskey Chai

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Think of this comforting whiskey chai as a nightcap meant to satiate a crowd after a big night out. We're especially fond of the Zanzibar peppercorns from Burlap and Barrel, which add a bright, almost fruity touch to this sweet sipper.

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Apricot Nectarine Julep

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A puree of roasted apricots and nectarines brings out bourbon's notes of vanilla and nutmeg, making for the ultimate late-summer co*cktail. Pour some of the reserved puree on top of the crushed ice for a co*cktail that almost resembles a Hawaiian shave ice. The same roast-and-puree technique can be used for more stone fruits, such as plums and sour cherries.

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Homemade Eggnog

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To make rich, creamy homemade eggnog, you'll need a double boiler and a whisk. In just two steps, you'll have a festive drink made ahead. Be sure to chill it thoroughly before serving, and give it a final whisk, too, to make sure everything is blended.

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In Cold Blood

21 Bourbon co*cktail Recipes to Make Tonight (21)

Andrew Volk says this is currently the most popular order at Portland Hunt & Alpine Club in Maine. The drink, according to Volk, is "approachable but geekywith the salt," which he adds to balance the bitterness of the artichoke-flavored aperitif Cynar.

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21 Bourbon co*cktail Recipes to Make Tonight (2024)
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