Top Bourbon Cocktails to Impress Your Guests This Holiday Season

1. Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is a timeless classic that never goes out of style. This cocktail is perfect for those who appreciate the simple elegance of bourbon. To make an Old Fashioned, you'll need bourbon, a sugar cube, Angostura bitters, and a twist of orange peel. It's a drink that truly lets the bourbon shine.

  • Start by placing a sugar cube in your glass.
  • Add a few dashes of Angostura bitters.
  • Muddle the sugar and bitters together.
  • Fill the glass with ice and pour in your bourbon.
  • Stir gently and garnish with an orange peel.
The Old Fashioned is a great way to embrace holiday cheer with festive whiskey pairings in winter. Cozy up with this classic cocktail and enjoy the comforting flavors of bourbon and spices.

2. Manhattan

The Manhattan is an iconic elixir of elegance that has stood the test of time. This classic cocktail is a symbol of timeless sophistication and is perfect for impressing your guests during the holiday season. Crafted with bourbon, sweet vermouth, and a dash of bitters, the Manhattan is both simple and refined.

To make a Manhattan, you'll need:

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes of bitters
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish

Combine the bourbon, sweet vermouth, and bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until well-chilled, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

The Manhattan is not just a drink; it's an experience that brings a touch of class to any gathering.

3. Mint Julep

The Mint Julep is a classic Southern cocktail that's perfect for any holiday gathering. This refreshing drink combines bourbon, simple syrup, and fresh mint to create a delightful experience for your taste buds. It's a must-try for any bourbon lover.

To make a Mint Julep, you'll need:

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

Start by muddling the mint leaves and simple syrup in a glass. Add the bourbon and fill the glass with crushed ice. Stir well and garnish with a sprig of mint. Enjoy your refreshing Mint Julep!

The Mint Julep is not just a drink; it's a tradition that brings a touch of Southern charm to any occasion.

4. Whiskey Sour

The Whiskey Sour is a classic cocktail that has stood the test of time. It's a perfect blend of sweet, sour, and strong. This drink is not only easy to make but also incredibly satisfying.


  • 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.
The Whiskey Sour is a versatile cocktail that can be enjoyed year-round, but it’s especially delightful during the holiday season.

5. Boulevardier

The Boulevardier is a sophisticated cocktail that will surely impress your guests. This drink is essentially a bourbon twist on the classic Negroni, swapping out gin for bourbon. It's a perfect blend of bitter, sweet, and strong flavors.


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


  1. Combine bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth in a mixing glass filled with ice.
  2. Stir until well-chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with an orange twist.
The Boulevardier is a great choice for those who enjoy a balanced cocktail with a bit of a bite. It's both elegant and easy to make, making it a fantastic addition to any holiday gathering.

6. Kentucky Mule

The Kentucky Mule is a delightful twist on the classic Moscow Mule, swapping out vodka for bourbon. This cocktail is perfect for those who love a bit of zing with their bourbon. It's a refreshing drink that combines the warmth of bourbon with the spicy kick of ginger beer.

To make a Kentucky Mule, follow these simple steps:

  1. Fill a copper mug with ice.
  2. Add bourbon and lime juice, then stir to combine.
  3. Top off with ginger beer.
  4. Garnish with lime wedges.
The Kentucky Mule cocktail is a crowd-pleaser that's sure to impress your guests this holiday season. Cheers!

7. Bourbon Smash

The Bourbon Smash is a delightful cocktail that combines the robust flavors of bourbon with the refreshing taste of muddled fruit and mint. This drink is perfect for those who want to elevate their holiday celebrations with sophisticated flavors. To make a Bourbon Smash, you'll need bourbon, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and mint leaves. Muddle the mint leaves and lemon juice together, add the bourbon and simple syrup, then shake with ice and strain into a glass. It's a tasty bourbon-infused holiday treat that will impress your guests and leave them wanting more.

8. Hot Toddy

The Hot Toddy is the ultimate winter warmer, perfect for those chilly holiday evenings. This classic hot toddy recipe will keep you warm all season long. To make it, add the honey, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar into a warmed mug (you can warm a mug by filling it with hot water and emptying it). Add hot water or hot tea, and of course, a generous pour of bourbon. Stir it all together and garnish with a cinnamon stick or a lemon slice for that extra festive touch.


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup hot water or hot tea
  • Cinnamon stick or lemon slice for garnish


  1. Warm your mug by filling it with hot water and then emptying it.
  2. Add the honey, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar to the warmed mug.
  3. Pour in the hot water or hot tea.
  4. Add the bourbon and stir well.
  5. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or lemon slice.
Pro Tip: For an extra kick, use spiced tea instead of plain hot water. This will add another layer of flavor to your Hot Toddy.

9. Brown Derby

The Brown Derby is a classic cocktail that brings a touch of Hollywood glamour to your holiday gatherings. Named after the famous Los Angeles restaurant, this drink is a delightful mix of bourbon, grapefruit juice, and honey syrup. It's a refreshing option that stands out among the heavier, more traditional holiday drinks.

To make a Brown Derby, you'll need:

  • 1.5 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 0.5 oz honey syrup

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist for that extra touch of elegance.

For a holiday special: festive food and whiskey combinations. Pair pumpkin pie with bourbon, gingerbread cookies with Irish whiskey, and cranberry sauce with rye whiskey for a delightful holiday experience.

10. Gold Rush

The Gold Rush is a modern classic that combines the rich flavors of bourbon with the zesty kick of fresh lemon juice and the sweet touch of honey syrup. This cocktail is perfect for a new year's eve celebration or any festive gathering where you want to impress your guests with something a bit different. It's a simple yet sophisticated drink that balances sweetness and acidity beautifully.

The Gold Rush era was a time of adventure and discovery, much like the journey you'll embark on with our exclusive spirits clubs. Whether you're a bourbon beginner or a seasoned sipper, our monthly subscriptions offer something for everyone. Don't miss out on the chance to explore unique flavors and elevate your whiskey experience. Visit our website to learn more and choose your bottle today!