5 Bourbon-Based Cocktails You Must Try

Food & Wine

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Bourbon is one of the most popular types of American whiskey, made from barrel-aged distilled corn. Although it is a spirit that you can consume straight, it also goes well in many cocktails. If you have a bottle of bourbon in your home and you want to try some new cocktail recipes, why not try a few of these classics?


Most people have probably heard of this classic cocktail. It consists of whiskey, sugar, Angostura bitters and a garnish of orange peel (or sometimes a cherry). Unlike some cocktails that suppress the whiskey, an Old Fashioned is designed to highlight it and bring out more of the flavor. The use of Angostura bitters – a delicate blend of fruits, herbs and spices – compliments the whiskey perfectly without overpowering it. Bourbon is typically better than rye whiskey because of its slightly spicier note. Feel free to experiment with different bourbons when making this cocktail.


This equally classic cocktail was once a favorite in New York (hence the name) and is still popular today all over the world. It is made primarily of whiskey and sweet vermouth with a hint of bitters (Angostura bitters is the perfect option here as well). This is garnished with a cherry. It is served in a classic cocktail glass and, like the Old Fashioned, is one of the most popular whiskey-based cocktails. Some mixologists will argue that you should only use rye whiskey for a Manhattan, but many people prefer bourbon because it’s less overpowering. This post lists a few good bourbons to use in Manhattan.

Paper plane

The Papirfly cocktail has a vibrant pink-orange color that is the result of a mixture of whiskey, Aperol, Amaro Nonino and lemon juice. Developed in 2007, it is a relatively new cocktail, but has already become popular among cocktail bars across the country. Ideal for all occasions, it is sweet and smooth while still providing a bitter spicy note. This guide explains precisely how to make a paper airplane cocktail.

Mint Julep

The mint julep is a southern drink made famous by the Kentucky Derby. It contains bourbon, mint leaves and sugar syrup. This is then served in a julep tin (you can use a highball glass instead) with crushed ice. The incorporation of mint leaves makes this a very refreshing cocktail suitable for a summer day. This classic mint julep recipe explains exactly how to make this potion.

Whiskey Sour

A whiskey sour is made from whiskey, sugar and a generous amount of lemon juice. It has a sour lemony taste produced by the bitterness of the whisky. Sometimes a splash of egg white is added, giving it a white creamy foam, but this is optional and does not affect the taste. A whiskey sour can be served in any glass and you can use any whiskey. Bourbon is preferable if you want a smoother cocktail – rye whiskey is likely to increase the bitterness. Like a mint julep, this is a great refreshing cocktail for a summer day.

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