These bourbon cocktails are perfect for summer.

By Elizabeth Rhodes
June 12, 2020
Advertisement

National Bourbon Day is just around the corner on June 14, and what better way to celebrate the American whiskey than by mixing up a few bourbon cocktails? When it comes to bourbon cocktails, your mind might immediately jump to mint juleps and the Kentucky Derby, but this spirit is surprisingly versatile, perfect for a wide range of concoctions ideal for the warmer weather. Ninety-five percent of the world’s bourbon comes from Kentucky, where there are over nine million barrels of bourbon aging — that equates to about two barrels for every person living in the state. You might not be able to tour every famous distillery along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail this year (many distilleries temporarily closed to guests amid the COVID-19 pandemic), but you can become your own bartender and mix up some summery drinks or create a DIY bourbon tasting at home.

Courtesy of Woodford Reserve

Here are nine easy bourbon cocktail recipes from Woodford Reserve, Longbranch, and other popular bourbon brands that you can craft this weekend and beyond. Consider this your virtual trip to the Bluegrass State.

1. Bourbon and Soda 

Courtesy of Woodford Reserve

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Soda water

Directions: Add bourbon to a Collins glass. Fill with soda water, and top with ice and garnish with an orange slice.

2. Bourbon Legend

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 parts Longbranch bourbon
  • 0.5 part Grand Marnier
  • 0.5 part simple syrup
  • 0.75 part lemon juice

Directions: Shake all the ingredients together and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

3. Woodford Thoroughbred 

Courtesy of Woodford Reserve

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Ginger beer

Directions: Add bourbon to a Collins glass, and fill with ginger beer. Top with ice and garnish with lime wheel.

4. Bourbon Whiskey Sour 

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 0.5 oz. simple syrup
  • 0.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz. egg white or aquafaba

Directions: Shake egg white in a cocktail shaker. Add bourbon, simple syrup, and lemon juice, and shake vigorously. Strain over ice block, and garnish with a dash of Angostura bitters and a lemon peel twist.

5. Bourbon Whiskey Strawberry Smash 

Courtesy of Cutwater

Ingredients: 

  • 2 oz. Cutwater Black Skimmer Bourbon Whiskey
  • 0.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 0.75 oz. simple syrup
  • 5 to 6 mint leaves
  • 3 slices strawberry

Directions: Muddle strawberries and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake with ice until cold. Strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and a strawberry.

6. Woodford Porch Swing

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz: Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 0.75 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz. honey
  • 6 oz. peach tea

Directions: Combine ingredients in a tall glass and stir. Garnish with a slice of peach or lemon.

7. High West Le Bouvier

Courtesy of High West

Ingredients: 

  • 1 oz. High West American Prairie Bourbon
  • 0.75 oz. cognac
  • 0.5 oz. yellow Chartreuse
  • 0.5 oz. fino sherry

Directions: Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and stir with cubed ice until chilled, then strain with a julep strainer into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist wrapped around brandied cherries.

8. Hot to Trot 

Ingredients: 

  • 1.5 parts Longbranch bourbon
  • 0.5 part Grand Marnier
  • 1 part ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 0.5 part honey syrup
  • 1 orange wedge (squeeze and discard)

Directions: Shake all the ingredients together and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a grapefruit peel.

9. Cutwater Bourbon Whiskey Gold Rush

Courtesy of Cutwater

Ingredients: 

  • 2 oz. Cutwater Black Skimmer Bourbon Whiskey
  • 0.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 0.75 oz. fresh honey syrup

Directions: Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, and add ice. Shake until cold, and strain over fresh ice.