26 Bourbon Cocktail Recipes to Make Tonight

Banana Rum Old Fashioned Recipe
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Bourbon cocktails always hit the mark. It is one of our favorites spirits, and these cocktail recipes put this whiskey in the spotlight. From a refreshing Bourbon Tea Julep to a sophisticated update on an Old Fashioned, these drinks are refreshing, smooth and delicious. Try a maple-infused cocktail for a seasonal fall drink, or cool off with a citrusy sunset punch on warmer days. Step up your bartending game with one of these easy, memorable cocktail recipes at your next party.

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Morrison Mule

Morrison Mule
© Eva Kolenko

In memory of Jim Morrison's stay at the historic Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans (and his affinity for whiskey), Benton Bourgeois of the hotel's Hot Tin bar offers this take on a classic Moscow Mule with bourbon and local Peychaud's Aperitivo. It's perfect for easy drinking any time of year.

02 of 26

Maple-Bourbon Smash

Maple-Bourbon Smash
Michael Turek

Robb Turner uses his richly flavored dark amber syrup to make this riff on an Old-Fashioned cocktail.

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Rock 'n' Rolla

Rock 'n' Rolla
© David Malosh

"I love this drink because it is immensely accessible and easy to make," says Bay Area bartender Chris Lane. "Really it's just a bourbon sour with a little flourish of spice and apple." Lane's inspiration for the drink: a local biodynamic apple cider.

04 of 26

Alpine Manhattan

Alpine Manhattan

Herbalist Shae Whitney makes a lovely pine syrup from fresh pine needles. She uses it in this strong and wonderfully fragrant drink.

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Palmer Park Swizzle

Palmer Park Swizzle
© Eva Kolenko

The ultimate Southern refresher, this cocktail from the Bayou Bar at the Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans combines tea-infused bourbon, lime juice and mint for a boozy take on iced tea.

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Bourbon-Tea Julep

Bourbon Tea Julep
Kelly Marshall

Tannins from black tea add a beautiful hint of bitterness to this twist on a classic mint julep. The citrus oil, oleo saccharum, is made by steeping lemon peels in sugar. Its bright flavor is the perfect lift to finish each sip.

07 of 26

New York Sour

New York Sour
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Heather Chadduck Hillegas

The perfect balance of fruity red wine and smoky-sweet bourbon, the New York Sour cocktail is a classic for a reason. Shaking with large ice cubes chills the cocktail without diluting it—and those large cubes look great in a rocks glass, too. If you're feeling adventurous, add an egg white to the shaker for a thicker viscosity.

08 of 26

Banana-Rum Old-Fashioned

Banana Rum Old Fashioned Recipe
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

A bold, strong cocktail with both high-proof bourbon and light rum gets a hint of floral sweetness from mellow crème de banane.

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The Bobby Boucher

The Bobby Boucher
© Tina Rupp

This drink is based on the 1930s Bobby Burns. Changing the Scotch in the original to bourbon made the drink Southern; trading some of the vermouth for cherry Heering made it a little sweet, says mixologist John Coltharp.

10 of 26

Commodore 64

Commodore 64
© Tina Rupp

This predinner drink at is Jason Chan's orange-infused variation on the Commodore No. 2 (bourbon, crème de cacao, lemon juice and grenadine) from the 1935 Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book.

11 of 26

Kentucky Cousin

Kentucky Cousin

Though it was created in Minneapolis, the Kentucky Cousin has distinctly Southern components: mint, bourbon and iced tea.

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Ginger Julep

Ginger Julep
© Michael Crook

Bobby Flay's gingery take on a Southern julep is fresh and lively. He adds fresh orange juice and a ginger mint syrup that make this cocktail sing.

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Apples to Oranges

Apples to Oranges

People who taste this citrusy cocktail almost always guess that it contains apples or oranges or some other fruit, but never the actual ingredients: cucumber and grapefruit.

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Blueberry-Maple Caiprissimo

Blueberry-Maple Caiprissimo
© Wendell T. Webber

A blueberry-rosemary flan led to this cocktail's unlikely mix of flavors.

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Wager

Wager

After winning a bet with a guest about whether bourbon has to be made in Bourbon County, Kentucky (it doesn't), Jeff Grdinich designed this cocktail with Bulleit Bourbon from Anderson County.

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Hello Friday

hello friday
Victor Protasio

Spicy ginger ale and the baking spice notes from a big hit of Angostura bitters perk up the bourbon in this bubbly reviver from Chall Gray at Little Jumbo in Asheville, North Carolina. If you can't find Blenheim, look for ginger beer.

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The Charleston Bog

The Charleston Bog

Mixologist Ralph Rosenberg wanted to create a bourbon drink that was appealing to non-bourbon drinkers. The result, which Rosenberg makes with Maker's Mark bourbon, is this lightly sweet pink drink.

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Blanca Julep

Blanca Julep
© Wendell T. Webber

Bar manager Jennifer Zerboni likes to tinker with the classic mint julep during horse-racing season. She used to flavor this julep with a mint granité, but that proved "too sticky and messy." Now she makes the drink with mint simple syrup.

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Sunset Punch

Sunset Punch
© John Kernick

This bourbon sunset punch is full of citrusy flavors like fresh lemon and ginger beer. It's a certified party pleaser.

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Aqueduct

Aqueduct

This variation on the old-fashioned is named after the one horse racetrack located within New York City limits.

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Caffè Di Alpi

Caffè Di Alpi
© Wendell T. Webber

Bartender Steve Peters dreamed up Caffè di Alpi ("Alpine Coffee" in Italian) as a deliciously warming après-ski drink.

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Kentucky Special

Kentucky Special

At The Woodsman Tavern in Portland, Oregon, mixologist Evan Zimmerman infuses cherry liqueur with the smoked tea Lapsang souchong. The result? An excellent riff on an old-fashioned.

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Bourbon Chai Milk Punch

Bourbon Chai Milk Punch
© David Malosh

To make this drink, which is like a delicious, boozy chai latte, Kenta Goto of New York City's Bar Goto infuses bourbon with chai tea, then shakes the drink with cream and maple syrup.

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Georgia on My Mind

Georgia on My Mind

Beer, an increasingly popular mixer, adds carbonation and a pleasant funkiness to cocktails. The apricot ale here offers fruitiness, too.

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Americana

HD-fw2007_c_americana.jpg

Almost all of the cocktails at JP incorporate wine; the garnishes are made by chef Darren Bartley, who brandies peaches for this drink.

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Bizzy Izzy

Bizzy Izzy
Savanna Sturkie

Oloroso sherry has been used in cocktails since before Prohibition, its sweetness and body a great match for aged spirits like bourbon. Tom Bullock uses both in the Bizzy Izzy, a cocktail from the classic 1917 book The Ideal Bartender.

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