Top 10 Bourbon Cocktails to Impress Your Guests

1. Old Fashioned

Classic Old Fashioned Recipe

The Old Fashioned cocktail can be made with bourbon, rye, or blended whiskey. Serve over ice and garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange slice
  • Maraschino cherry


  1. Place the sugar cube in an Old Fashioned glass.
  2. Saturate the sugar cube with bitters.
  3. Add a few dashes of plain water.
  4. Muddle until the sugar cube is dissolved.
  5. Fill the glass with ice cubes.
  6. Add bourbon and gently stir.
  7. Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.
The Old Fashioned is a timeless cocktail that never goes out of style. Perfect for any occasion, it’s a drink that showcases the rich flavors of bourbon.

2. Manhattan


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Cherry or lemon twist for garnish


  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add bourbon, sweet vermouth, and bitters.
  3. Stir until well-chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a cherry or lemon twist.

Fun Fact

Did you know the Manhattan was originally made with rye whiskey? Bourbon adds a delightful twist to this classic cocktail, making it smoother and slightly sweeter.

The Manhattan is a cocktail that exudes sophistication and class, perfect for impressing your guests with minimal effort.

3. Mint Julep


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Crushed ice


  1. Muddle the mint leaves and simple syrup in a glass.
  2. Fill the glass with crushed ice.
  3. Add bourbon and stir well.
  4. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Tips for the Perfect Mint Julep

  • Use fresh mint leaves for the best flavor.
  • Serve in a chilled glass for a refreshing experience.
  • Adjust the sweetness by varying the amount of simple syrup.
The Mint Julep is one of the best bourbon cocktails for summer sipping, offering a refreshing blend of mint and bourbon that's hard to beat.

4. Whiskey Sour


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Lemon twist or cherry for garnish


  1. Combine bourbon, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a shaker.
  2. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well.
  3. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist or cherry.

Fun Fact

Did you know the Whiskey Sour dates back to the 1860s? This classic cocktail has stood the test of time, making it a timeless choice for any occasion.

For a flavorful experience, try pairing your Whiskey Sour with a light, citrusy dessert. The tangy notes of the cocktail complement sweet treats perfectly.

Bold and tangy, the Whiskey Sour is a must-try for any bourbon enthusiast. Whether you're hosting a party or just enjoying a quiet evening, this cocktail is sure to impress your guests.

5. Boulevardier

When it comes to the Boulevardier, one can't help but appreciate its perfect balance of bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Campari. This classic cocktail offers a sophisticated twist on the traditional Negroni, with a rich and complex flavor profile that is sure to impress even the most discerning guests. The key to mastering a Boulevardier lies in the careful selection of high-quality ingredients and the precise ratio of each component. Whether served on the rocks or stirred and strained into a chilled glass, this cocktail is a true crowd-pleaser. For those looking to elevate their cocktail game, the Boulevardier is a must-try elixir of sophistication and flavor.

6. Kentucky Mule


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • Ginger beer
  • Lime wedge for garnish


  1. Fill a copper mug with ice.
  2. Add bourbon and lime juice.
  3. Top off with ginger beer.
  4. Stir gently and garnish with a lime wedge.

Why It's a Hit

The Kentucky Mule is a Southern twist on the classic Moscow Mule. It's refreshing, zesty, and packs a bourbon punch. The combination of spicy ginger beer and smooth bourbon makes it a crowd-pleaser at any gathering.

Perfect for those who love a bit of Southern charm in their cocktails, the Kentucky Mule is both easy to make and delightful to drink.

7. Bourbon Smash


The Bourbon Smash is a refreshing cocktail that combines the robust flavors of bourbon with the zesty notes of lemon and mint. To make this delightful drink, you'll need:


  1. Muddle the mint leaves and lemon juice in a shaker.
  2. Add the bourbon, Aperol, and simple syrup.
  3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
  4. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice.
  5. Garnish with a mint sprig and a lemon wheel.
The Bourbon Smash is perfect for those who enjoy a citrusy twist to their bourbon. It's a crowd-pleaser that will leave your guests asking for more.


  • For a sweeter drink, add a bit more simple syrup.
  • Use fresh mint for the best flavor.
  • Experiment with different bourbons to find your favorite combination.

8. Brown Derby


  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 1 oz Fresh grapefruit juice
  • 0.5 oz Honey syrup
  • Grapefruit twist for garnish


  1. Combine bourbon, grapefruit juice, and honey syrup in a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake well until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Fun Fact

The classic Brown Derby cocktail was named after a hat-shaped restaurant in Los Angeles. It's sweet, citrusy, and refreshing!

The retro Brown Derby cocktail pairs bourbon whiskey with grapefruit and honey syrup: it's sweet, citrusy and refreshing!

9. Gold Rush

The Gold Rush cocktail is a bee-stung whiskey sour variation that will surely impress your guests. This delightful cocktail is made with bourbon, honey syrup, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. It's a perfect blend of sweetness and citrusy tanginess, creating a refreshing and flavorful drink. The key to a great Gold Rush is using high-quality bourbon and balancing the sweetness of the honey syrup with the tartness of the lemon juice. Serve it chilled in a rocks glass over ice for the ultimate experience. Cheers to the Gold Rush!

10. Paper Plane

bourbon cocktail with a paper plane garnish


  • 3/4 oz Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz Aperol
  • 3/4 oz Amaro Nonino
  • 3/4 oz Fresh lemon juice


  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake vigorously until well-chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist, if desired.

Why It's Great

The Paper Plane is an ideal happy hour drink recipe. It's simple to make and calls for equal parts Aperol, bourbon, amaro, and lemon juice. This balanced cocktail offers a delightful mix of sweet, bitter, and sour flavors, making it a crowd-pleaser at any gathering.

The Paper Plane is a modern classic that will have your guests soaring with delight.

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