Liquor Laboratory

15 Simple Bourbon Cocktails: Easy-To-Make Mixed Drinks (2024)

Simple Bourbon Cocktails

Most people sip bourbon straight. But did you know that you could also enjoy this versatile spirit if you turn it into a cocktail?

We gathered a list of some simple bourbon cocktails you might want to try to impress your friends or family at your next get-together celebrations.

15 Best Simple Bourbon Cocktails 

15. Bourbon Apple Cider

Bourbon Apple Cider

Apple cider surprisingly pairs well with bourbon, making it a sophisticated drink. It’s made from bourbon, apple cider, and citrus juice like lemon or orange.

You can either shake it up or stir it in a mixing glass. The drink is served with cinnamon sticks or apple slices.

Alcohol Content Per Serving: 5oz serving contains 26% ABV.

14. Bourbon Sour

Bourbon Sour

Bourbon Sour, also called the Whiskey Sour, is an all-time easy cocktail. In making this cocktail, we suggest you use freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice and quality bourbon. Mix it with simple syrup and serve with Maraschino cherry on top.

Alcohol Content Per Serving: 4oz serving contains 18% ABV

13. John Collins

John Collins

The John Collins style of mixed drink is perfect for the summer season. It’s a refreshing bubbly drink made of 80-proof bourbon whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and refreshing club soda in a highball glass. 

Alcohol Content Per Serving: 5oz serving contains 11% ABV

12. Blackberry Bourbon Smash

Blackberry Bourbon Smash

This cocktail makes a fizzy, fruity, and smoky summer drink. Muddling the blackberries and mint leaves will draw out its refreshing fruity fragrance.

An aged bourbon, ginger ale, and fresh lemon juice are recommended to complete and perfect this recipe.

Alcohol Content Per Serving: 6oz serving contains 12% ABV

11. Maple Bourbon Smash

Maple Bourbon Smash

Maple syrup is often a sweet condiment, but it can also be a great ingredient in making the Maple-Bourbon Smash cocktail.

It is made with dark amber maple syrup, fresh fruit juices, Angostura bitters, seltzer, and quality bourbon in a rocks glass. Check out our favorite bourbon cocktails for fall here.

Alcohol Content Per Serving: 4.25oz serving contains 17% ABV

10. Two-Hit Fig Punch

Two-Hit Fig Punch

Two-Hit Fig Punch is usually made in a bowl for a big batch of punches. This cocktail uses a straight bourbon whiskey with spiced rum, making it a high-spirited punch.

The muddled figs and lemon juice are added to enhance the flavor of the punch.

Alcohol Content Per Serving: 3oz serving contains 28% ABV

9. Gold Rush Cocktail

Gold Rush Cocktail

Gold Rush is a retro-named cocktail and a modern version of the classic Whiskey Sour. Bourbon cocktail drinkers will surely love the sweetness of honey, the zing of the lemon, and the smokey caramel notes of high-proof bourbon.

Alcohol Content Per Serving: 3.5oz serving contains 26% ABV

Read: Our Favorite Winter Bourbon Cocktails

8. Bourbon Spiked Hot Chocolate

Bourbon Spiked Hot Chocolate

This bourbon cocktail is hot and creamy, perfect for cold weather. Bourbon Spiked Hot Chocolate is made with your classic hot choco blended with your favorite bourbon.

You can add a shot of bourbon per serving and top it with marshmallows or whipped cream.

Alcohol Content Per Serving: 10oz serving contains 3% ABV

7. Classic Old Fashioned

Classic Old Fashioned

One of the most famous classic and timeless cocktails invented in Kentucky is the Classic Old Fashioned cocktail. [1] It’s sweet but has Angostura bitters that add to the cocktail’s kick.

A higher-proof bourbon is a key to making a perfect Classic Old Fashioned bourbon cocktail. 

Alcohol Content Per Serving: 3oz serving contains 32% ABV

6. Kentucky Mule

Kentucky Mule is a bourbon variation of the well-known vodka Moscow mule.

It’s a three-ingredient recipe cocktail including Kentucky bourbon, lime juice, and ginger beer that’s perfect for any occasion. It’s bubbly, bold, and zingy with a spicy whiskey finish.

Alcohol Content Per Serving: 6oz serving contains 12% ABV

5. Whiskey Highball 

Whiskey Highball 

The Whiskey Highball is a simple cocktail that can be enjoyed with any style of whiskey, like bourbon in classic highball glasses. It has the simplest recipe of bourbon whiskey and ginger ale or club soda.

Alcohol Content Per Serving: 6oz serving contains 12% ABV

Read: Top Bourbon Cocktails To Make At Home

4. New York Sour

New York Sour

New York Sour is a potent mixture of wine and liquor. Bourbon whiskey is the most popular choice. Mixed with simple syrup and lemon fruit juice, then strained in an old-fashioned glass. It gives a two-toned color drink with red wine poured on top.

Alcohol Content Per Serving: 4oz serving contains 20% ABV

3. Bourbon Manhattan

Bourbon Manhattan

This cocktail is a classic bourbon version of Manhattan. Bourbon Manhattan includes sweet red vermouth stirred with bourbon whiskey and Angostura bitters and drank in a coupe or cocktail glass served with a cocktail cherry on top.

Alcohol Content Per Serving: 3oz serving contains 29% ABV

2. Bourbon Sidecar

Bourbon Sidecar

Bourbon Sidecar is made with bourbon but originally made with cognac, lemon juice, and triple sec. It’s important to balance the sweetness and sourness of the drink because too much lemon can ruin the intended flavor.  

Alcohol Content Per Serving: 4oz serving contains 26% ABV

Read: Top Liquors For Hot Choco

1. Bourbon Boulevardier 

Bourbon Boulevardier

Boulevardier is a stunning cocktail that has an easy-to-make recipe. You can use rye or a classic bourbon whiskey stirred with a Campari and sweet vermouth in a cocktail glass.

It would give a rich, smooth, bitter, and spicy taste all at the same time. Here are some of the best bourbons for Boulevardier.

Alcohol Content Per Serving: 3oz serving contains 26% ABV


What is bourbon good to mix with?

Fruit juices like lemon, lime, orange, and other citrus flavor juices can be a good mix with bourbon. The tanginess can balance well with the bourbon’s upfront smoky flavor.
Also, soda water and other bubbly soda drinks are ideal options for a bubbly bourbon cocktail.

What soda can you mix with bourbon?

Coca-Cola is one of the popular sodas you can mix with bourbon. It could add another level of sweetness perfect for your drink, especially for first-time bourbon cocktail drinkers.
But bourbon can also do well with a lemon-lime soda and ginger ale.

What is “bourbon and Coke” called?

The most famous bourbon-and-Coke cocktail is called Jack and Coke. The bourbon whiskey and Coke is a variation of rum and Coke or Cuba Libre. [2]This highball cocktail is made with Coke, a Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey, and some lemon juice to balance the sweetness.

Can I make a Mint Julep without fresh mint?

While fresh mint is preferred for authenticity, you can use mint syrup or muddled mint leaves as alternatives. However, the fresh aroma of mint leaves adds a lot to the drink’s appeal.

What’s the difference between a Bourbon Smash and a Mint Julep?

Both drinks feature bourbon and mint, but a Bourbon Smash typically includes muddled fruit (such as berries) and is served over crushed ice, while a Mint Julep is made with mint leaves, bourbon, sugar, and water, traditionally served over crushed ice.

Do I need special equipment to make these cocktails?

While having a cocktail shaker and muddler can be handy, you can still make these drinks with basic kitchen tools like a spoon for stirring and a sturdy glass for muddling.

What type of bourbon should I use in cocktails?

For cocktails, it’s generally recommended to use a mid-range bourbon that’s flavorful but not overly expensive. Brands like Buffalo Trace, Bulleit, and Maker’s Mark are popular choices for mixing.

Can I substitute bourbon with another type of whiskey?

Yes, you can often substitute bourbon with other whiskeys like rye or Tennessee whiskey, but keep in mind that it will alter the flavor profile of the cocktail.

Are bourbon cocktails typically served straight or on the rocks?

It depends on the cocktail. Some bourbon cocktails, like the Old Fashioned and Manhattan, are typically served straight (without ice), while others, like the Mint Julep and Bourbon Sour, are served over ice.

In A Nutshell 

Bourbon is known as a great sipper because of its smoothness. Like other whiskey types, bourbon blends well with fruit juices, soda water, cola, wine, and other spirits.

For those who are fond of bubbly cocktails, you can try cocktail recipes like John Collins, Kentucky Mule, and Jack and Coke. Bourbon Spiked Hot Chocolate is a sweet, creamy option if you want to chill out on cold nights.

But if you want an extra sting of alcohol, go for the classics like Bourbon Manhattan and Classic Old Fashioned. These simple bourbon cocktails recipes can bring something extraordinary to every drinker’s palate.


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