Kentucky is known for its bourbon, horses, and bluegrass. But what many people don't know is that Kentucky also has a rich history of mixology.
The state has a long-standing tradition of crafting delicious cocktails that are perfect for any occasion.
Whether you're looking for a refreshing drink to enjoy on a hot summer day or a warming cocktail to sip by the fire, Kentucky has something for everyone.
From classic bourbon cocktails like the Old Fashioned and Mint Julep to more modern creations like the Kentucky Mule and Bourbon Lemonade, there's no shortage of delicious drinks to choose from.
But what makes Kentucky cocktails so special? It all comes down to the quality of the bourbon. Kentucky is home to some of the best bourbon distilleries in the world, and bartenders in the state have access to some of the finest spirits available.
This means that they can create cocktails that are not only delicious but also showcase the unique flavors and characteristics of the bourbon.
In this blog post, we'll explore some of the best Kentucky cocktail recipes out there. Whether you're a bourbon aficionado or just looking to try something new, these drinks are sure to impress.
So sit back, pour yourself a glass of your favorite bourbon, and get ready to discover the best Kentucky cocktails around.
1. Kentucky Lemonade
If you're looking for a refreshing drink with a bourbon kick, the Kentucky Lemonade is a must-try. This cocktail is perfect for spring and summer gatherings, and it's easy to customize by making it non-alcoholic.
The homemade lemonade adds a sweet and tart flavor to the drink, while the ginger ale and mint give it a unique twist. The Kentucky Lemonade is a fun and easy-to-make cocktail that is sure to impress your guests. So, why not give it a try and take a sip of sunshine?
2. Kentucky Mule Cocktail
The Kentucky Mule Cocktail is a refreshing and bourbon-forward drink that is perfect for any occasion. This cocktail is a twist on the classic Moscow Mule, substituting vodka with real Kentucky bourbon. The combination of the oaky, smooth, caramel flavors of bourbon with the tartness of lime and the spice of ginger beer creates a delightful and complex taste that is sure to impress.
The Kentucky Mule Cocktail is a great way to celebrate the Kentucky Derby or to simply enjoy a delicious and versatile cocktail. Whether you're a bourbon lover or just looking for a new cocktail to try, the Kentucky Mule Cocktail is definitely worth a taste.
3. Champagne Bourbon Cocktail
The Champagne Bourbon Cocktail is a must-try for whiskey lovers and cocktail enthusiasts alike. This refreshing and bubbly cocktail is perfect for the spring season and is sure to impress your guests. The Coopers' Craft bourbon used in this cocktail is a smooth and easy-to-drink whiskey that adds a perfect touch of flavor to the cocktail without overpowering it.
The cocktail is light and not too sweet, making it a versatile option that pairs well with a variety of foods. If you're looking for a unique and delicious alternative to a mimosa, the Champagne Bourbon Cocktail is definitely worth a try.
4. Woodford Spire Cocktail
The Woodford Spire Cocktail is a refreshing and easy-to-make cocktail that is perfect for celebrating the Kentucky Derby. Made with Woodford Reserve Straight Kentucky Bourbon, lemonade, and cranberry juice, this cocktail is a delicious blend of sweet and tangy flavors that are sure to please any bourbon lover. What's great about this cocktail is that it requires only three ingredients and no muddling, making it a simple and easy option for hosting a party.
The Woodford Reserve bourbon used in this cocktail is known for its rich history and perfectly-balanced flavor, with over 200 flavor notes from spices to fruit and floral notes. Whether you're hosting a Kentucky Derby party or just looking for a delicious bourbon cocktail to enjoy, the Woodford Spire Cocktail is definitely worth trying.
5. Blackberry Mint Julep Margarita
The Blackberry Mint Julep Margarita is a delightful twist on the classic Kentucky Mint Julep, perfect for those who love tequila. This cocktail is a refreshing blend of blackberries, mint, tequila, and lime, making it a perfect addition to any Kentucky Derby party.
The combination of sweet and tangy flavors with a hint of mint creates a unique taste that will leave you wanting more. The cocktail is a beautiful deep purple color, making it a visually appealing drink as well. If you're looking for a fun and delicious cocktail to serve at your next Kentucky Derby party, the Blackberry Mint Julep Margarita is definitely worth a try.
6. Citrus and Spice Kentucky Mule Cocktail
The Citrus and Spice Kentucky Mule Cocktail is a delightful twist on the classic Moscow Mule. This bourbon-based cocktail is perfect for the holiday season with its refreshing orange flavor and warm spices. The addition of a spice-infused simple syrup and extra citrus gives this cocktail a festive touch.
It's easy to make and versatile, making it a great addition to any cocktail list. If you're a fan of bourbon, this cocktail is a must-try. So, why not add some citrus and spice to your next cocktail hour with this delicious Kentucky Mule?
7. Kentucky Mule
The Kentucky Mule is a twist on the classic Moscow Mule, made with Kentucky Bourbon, ginger beer, and lime. It's a refreshing and crisp cocktail, perfect for warm summer evenings or a Kentucky Derby party. The addition of fresh orange and a mint sprig can give it a unique twist.
Served in a copper mug, the cocktail stays cool from the first sip to the last, and the copper amplifies the flavor of the lime. Any style of blended scotch whiskey works for this drink, but using Kentucky Bourbon-style whiskey adds a slightly sweeter flavor, making it the ideal bourbon for a Kentucky Mule. Overall, the Kentucky Mule is a delicious and unique cocktail that is sure to impress your guests.
8. Kentucky Mint Julep
The Kentucky Mint Julep is a classic cocktail made with bourbon, fresh mint, sugar, and crushed ice. It has a sweet and minty flavor with a kick of bourbon, perfect for sipping on a hot summer day.
The Mint Julep has a rich history and has been enjoyed by many famous figures, including presidents and writers. It's a quintessentially southern cocktail that is both refreshing and flavorful, and a must-try for anyone looking for a taste of Kentucky.
9. Pink Lily Cocktail
The Pink Lily Cocktail is a refreshing and delicious drink that is a Kentucky Derby favorite. It's a beautiful pink color and is made with gin, grapefruit juice, grenadine, and lemon juice.
If you're not a fan of the classic Mint Julep, this cocktail is a perfect alternative. It's perfect for sipping on a warm summer day or while watching the Kentucky Derby. Give it a try and you won't be disappointed!
10. Kentucky Oaks Lily
The Kentucky Oaks Lily is a refreshing and delicious cocktail that is the official drink of the Kentucky Oaks races. Made with Grey Goose vodka, cranberry juice, orange liqueur, and lemon juice, this cocktail has a sweet and tart flavor that is reminiscent of a Cosmopolitan.
It is served in a commemorative glass and is a fan-favorite, outselling the famous Mint Julep on Friday at the races. The cocktail is perfect for the summer months and is easy to make in a pitcher for entertaining friends. If you're looking for a unique and tasty Kentucky cocktail, the Kentucky Oaks Lily is definitely worth trying.
11. Classic Mint Julep
The Classic Mint Julep is a refreshing and simple cocktail that is perfect for the spring season. It is a popular drink served during the Kentucky Derby, with over 120,000 of them being served over the two days of the event.
The cocktail is built in the glass it is served in, making it a straightforward and easy-to-make drink. The combination of mint, sugar, and bourbon creates a sweet and refreshing taste that is perfect for sipping on a sunny day. If you're looking for a classic Kentucky cocktail to try, the Mint Julep is definitely worth a shot.
12. Mint Julep
The Mint Julep is a classic cocktail that has become synonymous with the Kentucky Derby. This refreshing drink is made with fresh mint leaves, bourbon, and simple syrup. The cocktail is traditionally served in a silver cup, but can also be enjoyed in a double old-fashioned glass.
The Mint Julep is a perfect cocktail for those who enjoy the taste of bourbon, but want a refreshing twist. The combination of the mint and bourbon creates a unique flavor that is perfect for sipping on a hot summer day. If you are looking for a classic cocktail to serve at your next gathering, the Mint Julep is a great choice.
13. Bourbon Bomber Cocktail
The Bourbon Bomber Cocktail is a perfect drink for fall season, loaded with flavors of apple, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. This cocktail is a perfect union of apples and bourbon, making it a must-try for bourbon lovers.
The fresh sprigs of rosemary add an aromatic touch to the cocktail, but if you're not a fan, garnishing it with fresh slices of apple will do the trick. This cocktail is a perfect way to toast the fall season with all its delectable fragrant flavors. So, if you're looking for a new bourbon cocktail to try, the Bourbon Bomber Cocktail is definitely worth a shot.
14. The Oaks Lily Cocktail
The Oaks Lily Cocktail is a refreshing and beautiful pink cocktail that is a must-have for any Kentucky Derby Party. It is the signature drink of the Kentucky Oaks, made with vodka, sweet and sour mix, triple sec, and cranberry juice.
The drink is easy to make and can be mixed in large quantities for a party. The Oaks Lily Cocktail is a crowd-favorite at Churchill Downs and is a perfect way to celebrate the Kentucky Derby season.
15. Bourbon Mule
The Bourbon Mule is a refreshing cocktail that is a variation of the Moscow Mule, with the only difference being the use of bourbon instead of vodka.
The combination of ginger beer, citrus, and bourbon creates a perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavors that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. The cocktail is served in a copper mug, which not only adds to the aesthetic appeal but also helps to keep the drink icy cold.
16. Orange Mint Julep
The Orange Mint Julep is a refreshing twist on the classic Mint Julep, perfect for those who want to try bourbon cocktails but are not quite sold on the idea of drinking straight bourbon. This cocktail features an easy-to-make infused orange syrup that adds a delightful citrus flavor to the drink, smoothing out the bourbon taste.
The addition of fresh cara cara orange and mint leaves makes it a perfect drink for a hot summer day. The history of the Mint Julep adds an interesting cultural context to this drink, making it a great conversation starter at any gathering. If you're looking for a drink that's both classic and modern, the Orange Mint Julep is definitely worth a try.
17. New Year's Eve Honey Bourbon Bubbly Cocktail
The New Year's Eve Honey Bourbon Bubbly Cocktail is a simple yet delicious cocktail that is perfect for beginners and seasoned bartenders alike. This cocktail combines the smooth taste of bourbon with the sweetness of honey and the fizz of Prosecco. The result is a refreshing and bubbly cocktail that is perfect for ringing in the new year.
The recipe is easy to follow and requires only a few ingredients, making it a great choice for those who want to try their hand at making a Kentucky cocktail. Overall, the New Year's Eve Honey Bourbon Bubbly Cocktail is a must-try for anyone looking for a tasty and festive cocktail to celebrate the new year.
18. Bourbon Manhattan
The Bourbon Manhattan is a classic American cocktail made with bourbon whiskey, sweet Italian vermouth, and bitters. It's a rich and smoky drink that's perfect for sipping on a cold night.
The key to a great Bourbon Manhattan is finding the perfect balance between the smoky sweetness of the bourbon and the herbaceousness of the vermouth. If you're a bourbon lover or just looking for a new cocktail to try, the Bourbon Manhattan is definitely worth a taste.
19. Manhattan Cocktail
The Manhattan Cocktail is a classic bourbon drink that exudes sophistication and elegance. Made with bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters, this cocktail is a perfect balance of sweet and bitter flavors. The addition of an orange peel adds a citrusy touch to the drink, making it a perfect choice for those who prefer a less sweet cocktail.
While the recipe is simple, the quality of the ingredients used is crucial to the success of the drink. A good quality bourbon is recommended to truly appreciate the flavors of this cocktail. Overall, the Manhattan Cocktail is a timeless drink that is sure to impress any bourbon lover.
20. Cranberry Kentucky Mule
The Cranberry Kentucky Mule is a perfect twist on the classic Moscow Mule. This cocktail is made with bourbon instead of vodka and is topped with ginger beer and a reduced cranberry juice that gives it a beautiful red hue.
The addition of candied ginger as a garnish adds an extra layer of flavor to this delicious cocktail. This drink is perfect for a cozy night in or for entertaining guests at a dinner party. The Cranberry Kentucky Mule is a must-try for bourbon lovers and cocktail enthusiasts alike.
21. Summer Peach Old Fashioned Cocktail
The Summer Peach Old Fashioned Cocktail is a delightful twist on the classic Old Fashioned, perfect for the summer season. This cocktail is sweetened with fresh peaches and cherries, adding a fruity and refreshing twist to the traditional bittersweet whiskey taste.
The addition of bubbles makes it a perfect drink for poolside sipping. The recipe is easy to follow and requires only a few essential kitchen tools. If you are a fan of bourbon drinks, this cocktail is a must-try. So, grab a glass and enjoy the taste of summer with this delicious Kentucky Cocktail recipe.
22. Blood Orange Bourbon Smash
The Blood Orange Bourbon Smash is a perfect winter cocktail that is sure to impress your guests. This cocktail is sweetened with maple syrup and features the refreshing taste of winter citrus, making it a perfect choice for dinner parties or cozy nights in. The addition of cranberry ice cubes adds an extra pop of color and flavor to this already delicious cocktail.
The combination of bourbon, ginger beer, and citrus juice creates a unique and flavorful taste that is sure to satisfy any bourbon lover's palate. Overall, the Blood Orange Bourbon Smash is a must-try cocktail for anyone looking to add a little extra flavor to their winter drink menu.
23. Chocolate Mint Julep
The Chocolate Mint Julep is a sweet and refreshing twist on the classic Kentucky cocktail. Infused with chocolate mint simple syrup, this cocktail is perfect for summer parties and horse-race-watching. The chocolate notes of the mint complement the caramel flavors of bourbon, creating a unique and delicious flavor profile.
Served over a mound of crushed ice, this cocktail is sure to be a hit with anyone who loves chocolate and mint together. If you're looking for a new and exciting cocktail to try, the Chocolate Mint Julep is definitely worth a taste.
24. Limoncello Whiskey Sour Cocktail
The Limoncello Whiskey Sour Cocktail is a refreshing twist on the classic Whiskey Sour. This cocktail is perfect for spring days as the weather warms up. The sweetness of the Limoncello is balanced out by the warmth of the whiskey, and the fresh lemon juice makes for a wonderfully refreshing ending flavor.
The addition of club soda adds a nice effervescence to the drink. This cocktail is a must-try for anyone looking for a unique and delicious Kentucky cocktail.