As a bartender, I've seen it all when it comes to cocktails. From fruity and sweet to bitter and bold, there's a drink for every taste.
But sometimes, the most satisfying cocktail is the simplest one. That's where bourbon comes in.
Bourbon is a true American spirit, made from at least 51% corn and aged in charred oak barrels. It has a rich, smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with a variety of mixers.
And the best part? You don't need a laundry list of ingredients to make a great bourbon cocktail.
In fact, some of the best bourbon cocktails are the simplest ones. A classic bourbon and soda, for example, is a refreshing and easy drink that's perfect for sipping on a hot day.
And if you're looking for something a little more complex, a bourbon sour is a delicious option that only requires a few ingredients.
But with so many bourbon cocktail recipes out there, it can be hard to know where to start. That's why I've put together a list of the best simple bourbon cocktail recipes that are sure to impress your guests (or just yourself!).
Whether you're a bourbon aficionado or a newcomer to the spirit, these cocktails are sure to become staples in your repertoire. So grab a bottle of your favorite bourbon and get ready to mix up some delicious drinks.
The Manhattan is a classic bourbon cocktail made with bourbon, vermouth, bitters, orange peel, and cherries, with a special twist of brown sugar simple syrup. The syrup adds a cozy and slightly smoky taste to the drink, complementing the complex flavors of the bourbon.
Brandy-soaked cherries are the perfect addition to this cocktail, making it a fan-favorite. The dark cherries and bright orange slices give the drink a spooky look, making it a great choice for Halloween parties.
2. Belmont Jewel Cocktail
The Belmont Jewel Cocktail is a simple yet delicious bourbon-based cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. Made with Woodford Reserve bourbon, pomegranate juice, and lemonade, this cocktail has a tart and sweet taste that is sure to please your taste buds. It is a refreshing drink that is perfect for sipping on a hot summer day or enjoying with friends at a party.
The cocktail is named after the Belmont Stakes, the oldest and longest of the three classic horse races, and is a popular drink among horse racing enthusiasts. If you are looking for a simple and tasty bourbon cocktail, the Belmont Jewel is definitely worth trying.
3. Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that has been around since the late 1800s. It's a simple yet sophisticated drink that is perfect for slow sipping and enjoying with friends. Made with quality bourbon whiskey, bitters, and a sweetener, this cocktail is a perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness.
The addition of an orange or lemon twist enhances the flavor profile and adds a touch of citrus to the drink. While traditionally made with rye whiskey, bourbon is the more popular choice today. The Old Fashioned is a timeless cocktail that has stood the test of time and is still enjoyed by many today.
4. Basin Street Cocktail
The Basin Street Cocktail is a refreshing summer drink that combines bourbon, Triple Sec, and lemon juice. The key to making it stand out is the bourbon you use. A higher proofed, heavy bourbon like Booker's will give you an oakier and earthier cocktail, while a lighter and sweeter cocktail can be achieved with something like Larceny or Maker's Mark.
It's a simple, tasty, and refreshing drink that can be enjoyed year-round. If you're looking for a bourbon cocktail that's easy to make and packed with flavor, the Basin Street Cocktail is definitely worth a try.
5. Sweet Georgia Peach Smash
Looking for a refreshing and flavorful bourbon cocktail? Look no further than the Sweet Georgia Peach Smash. This cocktail is perfect for sipping on a warm summer day, with its blend of bourbon, peach, and a touch of pecan. The addition of Sweet Williams adds a pop of color and a fun garnish to this already delicious drink.
The use of Old Camp Whiskey gives this cocktail an extra boost of peach flavor, making it a must-try for any bourbon lover. Whether you're hosting a bridal shower or just looking for a fun cocktail to enjoy on a Friday afternoon, the Sweet Georgia Peach Smash is sure to impress.
6. Classic Old-Fashioned
The Classic Old-Fashioned is a five-ingredient cocktail that is perfect for whiskey lovers. Made with quality whiskey, bitters, sugar, water, and an orange peel, this cocktail is a seamless blend of flavors. The trick to getting the perfect taste is to shake the ingredients in a cocktail shaker to dissolve the sugar.
This cocktail is perfect for a weekend evening with friends or a date night at home. The history of the Old-Fashioned is rich, and there are many inspired drinks based on the original. If you love whiskey, you must try this classic cocktail.
7. Classic Old Fashioned Cocktail
The Classic Old Fashioned Cocktail is a simple yet delicious bourbon-based drink that is perfect for any occasion. Made with just six ingredients including bourbon, sugar, bitters, club soda, orange peel, and a cherry, this cocktail is easy to make and can be customized to suit your taste preferences.
The addition of a large singular ice cube adds to the traditional feel of the drink, and the use of drunken cherries instead of maraschino cherries gives it a unique twist. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy the taste of whiskey and want a simple yet flavorful drink. If you're looking for a classic cocktail to impress your guests, the Classic Old Fashioned Cocktail is definitely worth a try.
8. Cold Brew Old Fashioned
The Cold Brew Old Fashioned is a unique twist on the classic Old Fashioned cocktail. This recipe incorporates cold brew coffee and brown sugar to create a depth of flavor that pairs perfectly with the bourbon. The use of cold brew coffee adds a refreshing and smooth taste to the cocktail, making it a perfect choice for those who enjoy a little bit of coffee in their drinks.
The brown sugar adds a subtle sweetness that balances out the bitterness of the coffee and the strength of the bourbon. Overall, the Cold Brew Old Fashioned is a must-try for those looking for a new take on a classic cocktail.
9. Bourbon Old Fashioned
The Bourbon Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail made of bourbon, sugar, bitters, orange, and a cherry. The recipe has been perfected to ensure that the cocktail is perfect in every way. The sugar used is turbinado sugar, which gives the cocktail a complex flavor.
The cherries used are Maraska, Luxardo, or Fabbri. The ice used is clear ice cubes, which melt slower and keep the drink cooler. The bitters used are a combination of Angostura and Peychaud's bitters. This cocktail is perfect for celebrating and can be enjoyed at any time.
10. Manhattan Cocktail
The Manhattan Cocktail is a classic and timeless drink that has been around since the late 1800s. It's a simple combination of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, stirred to perfection and garnished with a cherry. While purists believe that rye whiskey is the only way to go, bourbon can also be used for a sweeter flavor profile.
The sweet vermouth balances the spicy and strong whiskey, while the bitters add a bittersweet taste and aroma. This cocktail is perfect for any occasion, whether it's a night out with friends or a quiet dinner at home. The Manhattan Cocktail is a must-try for any bourbon lover or cocktail enthusiast looking for a classic and sophisticated drink.
11. Delicious Chocolate Old Fashioned
The Delicious Chocolate Old Fashioned is a perfect cocktail for those who love the combination of chocolate and bourbon. This cocktail is a twist on the classic old fashioned, made with Ballotin Whiskey Original Chocolate, which adds a rich blend of dark chocolate notes and whiskey flavors to the drink.
The addition of orange bitters gives this cocktail a unique and delectable taste. The garnish of a chocolate rim and a dried orange chip dipped in melted chocolate makes the cocktail extra fancy and decadent. This cocktail is perfect for celebrating National Chocolate Day, or any day when you want to indulge in a delicious and sophisticated drink.
12. Cranberry Old Fashioned Cocktail
The Cranberry Old Fashioned Cocktail is a classic recipe with a holiday twist. Made with bourbon, sugar, and bitters, this cocktail is garnished with orange zest and a cocktail cherry. What sets this cocktail apart is the addition of a homemade cranberry syrup, which adds a sweet and tart flavor to the drink.
This cocktail is perfect for those who love a traditional old fashioned but want to mix it up with a festive twist. The possibilities for customization are endless, making it a versatile cocktail for any occasion. Overall, the Cranberry Old Fashioned Cocktail is a must-try for bourbon lovers looking to add a little holiday cheer to their drink.
13. Gold Rush Cocktail
The Gold Rush Cocktail is a smooth and simple bourbon cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. Made with just three ingredients – bourbon, honey syrup, and lemon juice – this cocktail is easy to make and even easier to enjoy.
The honey syrup adds a touch of sweetness to the drink, while the lemon juice provides a refreshing tartness that balances out the flavors perfectly. Whether you're a bourbon lover or just looking for a delicious and easy cocktail to make, the Gold Rush Cocktail is definitely worth trying. So why not give it a shot and see for yourself?
14. Pomegranate Sidecar Cocktail
The Pomegranate Sidecar Cocktail is a perfect addition to any holiday party or celebration. This simple yet delicious cocktail is made up of just four ingredients: pomegranate juice, lemon juice, orange liqueur, and bourbon. The addition of pomegranate juice gives this classic sidecar cocktail a festive twist, making it a perfect drink for the holiday season.
The smooth taste of Wild Turkey American Honey bourbon complements the sweet and tart flavors of pomegranate and lemon juice. This cocktail is easy to make in large batches, making it perfect for entertaining a crowd. If you're looking for a simple yet flavorful bourbon cocktail to impress your guests, then the Pomegranate Sidecar Cocktail is definitely worth a try.