Top 5 bourbon cocktail recipes for National Bourbon Month

September is National Bourbon Month, time to celebrate our favorite amber fluid--the only one native to the USA.

Made with corn, and named for a county in Kentucky, bourbon is distilled to exacting specifications. According to federal standards, bourbon, among other things, must:

  • be made of a grain mixture that's at least 51% corn
  • be aged in new, charred oak barrels.
  • not be bottled at less than 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume.)
  • if an age is stated on the label, must be the age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle.
  • be produced only in the United States to be called bourbon.

To celebrate the spirit that made Kentucky great, here are five of our favorite bourbon recipes:


1. Mint Julep

8-10 mint leaves
1 tbsp. simple syrup
2 1/2 oz. bourbon whiskey
crushed ice
mint to garnish
seltzer or club soda

Crush mint leaves with simple syrup at the bottom of a glass until the mint bruises slightly. Fill the glass with crushed ice and add the bourbon. Stir gently, garnish with a mint sprig, and top with a splash of seltzer or club soda. Serve in a pewter cup or old-fashioned glass.

2. The Rebel Yell from Drink Mixers

2 oz. bourbon whiskey
1/2 oz. triple sec
1 oz. lemon juice
1 egg white

Combine ingredients in a shaker half filled with ice cubes. Shake well, and pour into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange slice, and serve.

3. Bourbon Peach Smash from Imbibe

2 slices fresh peach
handful fresh mint
1 slice fresh ginger
1 oz. simple syrup
1 1/2 oz. fine bourbon
Splash Punt e Mes (or substitute sweet vermouth)
ginger ale

Add ingredients in a glass and muddle vigorously. Add bourbon and Punt e Mes. Pack with large chunks of ice, top with ginger ale and garnish. Serve in an old-fashioned glass with a mint sprig and ginger slice.

4.Bourbon Milk Punch Recipe from New Orleans Cuisine

2 oz. quality bourbon (Maker's Mark is recommended)
1/2 oz. vanilla extract
1/2 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
1 oz. heavy cream
2 oz. whole milk
1/4 of 1 egg white

Add the contents to a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake until good and frothy. Serve in a frosted old-fashioned glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

5. Bad Mother F#$%er from Drink Mixer

1 1/2 oz Jim Beam bourbon whiskey
1 1/2 oz dry vermouth
1 dash orange bitters
3/4 oz grenadine syrup
3/4 oz lemon juice

Stir ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into glass.

BONUS: Classic bourbon Manhattan from Chow

2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce sweet vermouth
Dash of Angostura bitters
1 maraschino cherry

Stir the bourbon, vermouth, and bitters in a pitcher half filled with ice, or shake them with ice; then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Dry Manhattan--Substitute dry vermouth for the sweet vermouth, and garnish with a twist of lemon peel.
Perfect Manhattan--Substitute half dry and half sweet vermouth for the sweet vermouth, and garnish with a twist of lemon peel or a maraschino cherry.

In case you want more bourbon action, there are many recipes here at Kentucky Barrels. Have a happy National Bourbon Month, y'hear?

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