Top 10 Bourbon Cocktails to Impress Your Guests This Holiday Season

1. Old Fashioned

bourbon old fashioned cocktail with holiday decorations


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange twist
  • Ice


  1. Place the sugar cube in an Old Fashioned glass.
  2. Saturate the sugar cube with bitters.
  3. Muddle until the sugar cube is dissolved.
  4. Add a large ice cube to the glass.
  5. Pour in the bourbon.
  6. Stir gently to combine.
  7. Garnish with an orange twist.

Tips for the Perfect Old Fashioned

  • Use a quality bourbon for the best flavor.
  • Don't over-muddle the sugar cube; it should dissolve completely.
  • An orange twist adds a zesty aroma that enhances the drink.
The Old Fashioned is a timeless classic that never fails to impress. Its simplicity is its strength, making it a perfect choice for any holiday gathering.

2. Manhattan

Manhattan cocktail with holiday decorations

The Manhattan is a classic cocktail that has stood the test of time. It's a sophisticated drink that combines the rich flavors of whiskey with the sweetness of vermouth and the aromatic touch of bitters.


  • 3 oz whiskey
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 3 dashes bitters
  • 0.5 oz grenadine syrup (optional)


  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add the whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters.
  3. Stir well until chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled champagne coupe or cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with an orange zest.
Pro Tip: For an extra touch of elegance, use a champagne coupe instead of a regular cocktail glass.

Suggested Pairings

  • Cheese platter
  • Charcuterie board
  • Dark chocolate

The Manhattan is perfect for those who appreciate a well-balanced and flavorful drink. It's sure to impress your guests this holiday season!

3. Mint Julep

festive holiday gathering with bourbon cocktails and mint julep


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 4 fresh mint leaves
  • Crushed ice


  1. Muddle the mint leaves, powdered sugar, and water in a glass.
  2. Fill the glass with crushed ice.
  3. Add bourbon and stir well until the glass is frosty.
  4. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Fun Fact

Did you know the Mint Julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby? This cocktail is as refreshing as a cool breeze on a hot summer day, making it perfect for holiday gatherings.

The Mint Julep is a classic Southern cocktail that combines the smoothness of bourbon with the refreshing taste of mint. It's a surefire way to impress your guests this holiday season.

4. Whiskey Sour

festive bourbon whiskey sour cocktail with holiday decorations

When it comes to classic bourbon cocktails, the Whiskey Sour is a must-try for any bourbon enthusiast. This cocktail combines the rich flavors of bourbon with the zesty kick of lemon juice and the sweetness of simple syrup. The optional addition of egg white gives it a velvety texture that elevates the drinking experience. Whether you prefer it shaken or stirred, the Whiskey Sour is a timeless favorite that never fails to impress. So grab your favorite bourbon, some fresh lemons, and get ready to mix up a delicious Whiskey Sour for your next gathering!

5. Boulevardier

bourbon cocktail in a festive holiday setting

The Boulevardier is a sophisticated cocktail that combines the richness of bourbon with the bitterness of Campari and the sweetness of sweet vermouth. It's a perfect balance of flavors that will surely impress your guests.


  • 1 oz Bourbon
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Orange twist for garnish


  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth.
  3. Stir until well chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with an orange twist.
The Boulevardier is essentially a Negroni with bourbon instead of gin, making it a perfect winter cocktail.

6. Kentucky Mule

bourbon cocktail in a festive holiday setting with a 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. Perfect for those who like their cocktails with a bit of kick.

7. Bourbon Smash

festive bourbon cocktail with fresh ingredients

The Bourbon Smash is a refreshing cocktail that combines the bold flavors of bourbon with the sweetness of fresh fruit and the crispness of mint. This classic drink is perfect for sipping on a hot summer day or enjoying at a holiday gathering. To make a Bourbon Smash, muddle fresh berries and mint leaves in a glass, add bourbon, simple syrup, and ice, then stir well. Garnish with a mint sprig and a slice of lemon for an extra burst of flavor. Cheers to a delightful Bourbon Smash!

8. Hot Toddy

hot toddy cocktail in a festive holiday setting


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Lemon slice and cinnamon stick for garnish


  1. In a mug, combine the bourbon, honey, and lemon juice.
  2. Add the hot water and stir until the honey is dissolved.
  3. Garnish with a lemon slice and a cinnamon stick.

Why It's Great

The Hot Toddy is the perfect drink for those chilly winter nights. It's a warm hug in a mug that combines the soothing qualities of honey and lemon with the robust flavor of bourbon. This cocktail is a staple in seasonal whiskey pairings and is sure to bring some holiday cheer to your gatherings.

When the weather outside is frightful, a Hot Toddy is simply delightful. It's the ultimate comfort drink to keep you warm and cozy.

9. Brown Derby

bourbon cocktail with a grapefruit garnish in a festive holiday setting

The Brown Derby is a classic bourbon cocktail that combines the rich flavors of bourbon with the tangy sweetness of grapefruit and honey. It's a perfect blend of sophistication and simplicity.


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz honey syrup (1:1 ratio of honey and water)
  • 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.
The Brown Derby is not just a drink; it's an experience that brings a touch of Hollywood glamour to your holiday gatherings.

10. Gold Rush

bourbon cocktail with honey and lemon, holiday season, festive atmosphere

The Gold Rush cocktail is a delightful blend of bourbon, lemon juice, and honey syrup. This refreshing drink is perfect for impressing guests during the holiday season. It's a simple yet sophisticated cocktail that showcases the rich flavors of bourbon. Whether you're a bourbon connoisseur or a casual drinker, the Gold Rush is sure to be a hit at any gathering. So, grab your ingredients and mix up this golden concoction for a memorable evening!

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