Do you love bourbon? Have you ever tried some of the most classic cocktails you can create with this popular liquor as a base? Whether you’re a fan of bourbon who’s been enjoying the drink for years or you’re brand new to the bourbon scene, you may find yourself wondering what the most beloved and well-known bourbon cocktail of all time might be. Below, we’ll go on a journey through some of the more recognizable names on the bourbon cocktail scene to find out which ones stand out above all the rest as the true classics.
The mint julep is a classic bourbon-based cocktail that comes straight out of Kentucky. For this cocktail, be sure to use true Kentucky bourbon whenever possible. This drink is best enjoyed while you’re watching the Kentucky Derby on a warm summer day—but you can sip it anywhere, any time of the year, too.
• 5 leaves of fresh mint
• 3 oz bourbon
• 1 tsp sugar
• Chill and dry out a pewter cup. If you don’t have a pewter cup available, you may use a rocks glass, but bear in mind that this won’t be the traditional method of serving a mint julep.
• Add the sugar and mint leaves to the bottom of the cup and muddle lightly.
• Fill the glass with small chunks of ice and pour the three ounces of bourbon over the glass.
• Stir quickly until the glass becomes chilled.
• Add more ice and stir once more to combine everything.
• Garnish with additional mint sprigs if desired and serve immediately before the ice has a chance to melt.
When it’s cold outside and you’ve got the blues—or the flu—reach for a hot toddy. This drink is warm, inviting, and comfortable, and it’s been sharing its healing properties with the bourbon-drinking world for generations. The ingredients work together to help soothe sore throats, loosen congestion, and ease the pain of head colds all while making it easier for you to sleep. And they’re sure to lift your spirits a little bit at the same time!
• 1 oz honey
• 2 oz bourbon
• 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1-star anise (if you don’t have access to star anise, you can use a star anise tea bag instead)
• 4 dashes bitters
• Boil water and add star anise pod or tea bag to steep.
• Meanwhile, place bourbon in a mug along with the honey, lemon juice, and bitters.
• Stir the ingredients in the mug to combine them well.
• Serve the mixture in a glass mug, if possible, or in a ceramic mug if you don’t have a glass one.
• Pour the hot star anise tea over the other ingredients and stir.
• Enjoy immediately while the drink is still hot.
The Moscow Mule is the real traditional variation of this cocktail, but the Kentucky Mule is a popular take on the classic. This drink has seen a surge of popularity in recent years and has become cemented as a classic that won’t soon be forgotten by bourbon fans. Try this quick, simple method of making the perfect Kentucky Mule next time you find yourself craving a sweet and somewhat spicy chilled cocktail.
• ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
• 6oz ginger beer, chilled
• 2 oz bourbon
• Squeeze the lime directly into a copper Mule mug and toss the lime into the mug when you’re finished. If you don’t have a copper mug, you can use a Collins glass instead, although this won’t be the traditional way of serving this cocktail.
• Add a couple of ice cubes.
• Pour the bourbon over the ice and lime juice.
• Top with the chilled ginger beer.
• Serve along with a spoon so the drink can be stirred right before sipping in order to savor all the flavor combinations.
One of the most well-known bourbon-based cocktails is the whiskey sour. However, this drink can also be made with any other type of whiskey, too, so it doesn’t have to be specifically bourbon. If you’re looking for a way to mix things up, try it with rye or even go for a flavored whiskey if that’s more your speed.
• 2/3 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 tsp fine sugar
• 2 oz bourbon
• Optionally, ½ an egg white
• Chill a cocktail glass before you begin preparation.
• Add the lemon juice, sugar, bourbon, and optional egg white to a cocktail shaker along with ice.
• Seal and shake the cocktail for several seconds to combine thoroughly.
• Strain the drink into the chilled cocktail glass.
• Serve garnished with an orange wedge, lemon wedge, or maraschino cherry.
So what’s the real, true, most classic bourbon cocktail in the world? Most people would not hesitate to claim that the Old Fashioned is the top of the line when it comes to bourbon-based cocktails. Although you can make an Old Fashioned with other types of liquor, making it with bourbon is usually the way to go, and it’s the perfect solution for anyone who might be searching for the ideal bourbon cocktail, too. In recent years, the Old Fashioned has become a favorite once again, and its popularity has never truly waned. Grab your favorite bourbon and see for yourself why the Old Fashioned is the best and most loved bourbon cocktail around.
• 2 dashes bitters
• 2 oz bourbon
• 1 sugar cube
• Optionally, club soda
• Add the sugar cube to the bottom of an Old Fashioned glass along with the bitters.
• Optionally, add a little bit of club soda here. This is a classic variant, but it isn’t the traditional method of making an Old Fashioned. It is acceptable, however.
• Muddle the sugar and bitters in the bottom of the glass.
• Add a single large cube of ice, then pour the bourbon over the ice into the glass.
• Stir gently and garnish with a traditional orange twist.
• Serve immediately, before the ice has a chance to melt.