The 17 Best Bourbon Cocktails for Any Time of Year (and Day)

A good bourbon is unlike any of its other alcoholic comrades in a multitude of ways. For starters, the only clear alcohol one ever buys should be to disinfect wounds. If you’re drinking vodka and expecting any of the desired notes and hints of flavor found in a barrel-aged bourbon, prepare to be disappointed, and don’t get us started on gin. (There’s a time and place for gin, and it’s not right now.) A sip of quality bourbon tells a story, and sometimes that story is influenced by a few other ingredients.

Bourbon-based cocktails can spin a yarn prior to being tasted; the way that each looks will give you a hint as to what type of taste you’re going to experience. While most of the following cocktails include relatively short, simple ingredients lists, some are less traditional and inspired by a bit more modern mixologist-minded ingenuity.

Regardless of the time of year or time of year, though, each of these drinks will later help you tell a story about how you had the time of your life while sipping on some bourbon. Cheers.

1. Black-Beery Whiskey Smash

Blackberry-Whiskey-Smash-with-Wheat-Beer
Domesticate-Me

Wheat beer, mint leaves, black berries, and bourbon are the ingredients behind the clever title of this Black-beery Whiskey Smash, and they promise to please the palate of anyone choosing to imbibe.

Find the recipe here.

2. Black Cherry Bourbon Soda

Black Cherry Bourbon Soda | farmgirlgourmet.com
Farmgirl Gourmet

From black berry to black cherry, the versatility of bourbon allows it to be a cocktail base that can be enjoyed at any point in the year. If you like black cherry soda and booze, you’ll love this recipe.

Find the recipe here.

3. Bourbon Peach Slush

Bourbon Peach Slush | Bourbon, peaches, and ginger ale are blended together to make a delicious and easy to make cocktail!
Recipe Runner

Don’t show your grandad this recipe, but do make it for your next cocktail party. Delightfully fruity in flavor and sinfully slushy in consistency, this adult Slurpee is one you won’t regret serving.

Find the recipe here.

4. Thyme Blood Orange Bourbon Cocktail

This fresh squeeze thyme blood orange bourbon cocktail is the perfect way to use up those delicious blood oranges.
This image provided by Nutmeg Nanny.

If you’re wary to try mixing blood orange and bourbon with thyme, we don’t blame you. While this recipe isn’t inherently reserved for those with an experimental palate, it wouldn’t hurt to open up your mind before trying the Thyme Blood Orange Bourbon Cocktail.

Find the recipe here.

5. Sweet Tea Bourbon Cocktail

IMG_3125
Joy the Baker

Sweet tea and bourbon go together like, well, sweet tea and sunshine. And if that’s the case, bourbon equals sunshine; thus, we all need bourbon to survive!

Escape from the cold during winter with a taste of summer or dive headfirst into everything that is sun and fun with this Sweet Tea Bourbon Cocktail recipe.

Find the recipe here.

6. Grapefruit-Ginger Bourbon Sour

Grapefruit-Ginger Bourbon Sour - the perfect grapefruit cocktail! And so easy!
Fake Ginger

Remember when you were in college and the only thing you knew how to order at the bar other than a beer or a shot was a whiskey sour?

We’d like to welcome you to adulthood’s version of the whiskey sour, the Grapefruit-Ginger Bourbon Sour. If you had this one in your back pocket during your (second try at) senior year, you’d have made a whole lot of friends.

Find the recipe here.

7. Cold Brew + Bourbon Cocktail

The Homemade Haus

Admit it, you’ve put a little Jameson in your coffee on more than one occasion. Instead of sneaking around with an incognito coffee cocktail in your mug, purposefully make this one-of-a-kind, decadent Cold Brew + Bourbon Cocktail.

Find the recipe here.

8. Bourbon Stout Cocktail

Bourbon Stout Cocktail
Better Homes and Gardens

We said that the previous recipe was decadent, so that means that this one is death-defyingly delicious. It’s everything you’re looking for during a boozy brunch, and it works perfectly well as an after dinner drink.

Find the recipe here.

9. The Bourbon Brunch

Classy Girls Wear Pearls

Speaking of brunch, we were more than pleased to stumble upon this brunch-in-a-glass bourbon cocktail recipe recently. No, we haven’t tried it yet, and yes, we’re positively itching to do so.

Find the recipe here.

10. Bourbon Brûlé

NYT Cooking

A caramelized navel orange floats unassumingly on top of this Bourbon Brûlé, and we assume that you’re dying to try it just as badly as we are.

Find the recipe here.

11. Pomegranate Manhattan

Pomegranate Manhattan is a seasonal twist on a classic cocktail! Find the recipe at Shutterbean.com
Shutterbean

The Manhattan will go down in time as one of the greatest whiskey cocktails to ever grace our dark liquor-loving planet. Try this spin on the classic rye Manhattan that includes bourbon, pomegranate juice, and rosemary. As you’ll see, they suggest using Wild Turkey 101.

Find the recipe here.

12. Honey Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail

Honey Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail | HelloGlow.co
Hello Glow

You’ll probably choose to enjoy this one during fall, but we assure you that it tastes just as good in winter, spring, and summer, too.

Find the recipe here.

13. Ginger Bourbon Fizz

Ginger Bourbon Fizz
Hungry Couple

If you’re a fan of Moscow mules, but don’t like to be seen drinking clear liquor in public, we can’t blame you.

Hit up this Ginger Bourbon Fizz the next time you’re envious of your friend’s copper-mugged mule; it’s not exactly the same, but it’s certainly better.

Find the recipe here.

14. Tart Cherry Old Fashioned

This image provided by Jelly Toast.
Jelly Toast

Like Manhattans, old fashioneds are one of the time-tested, user-approved cocktails that will never be too old-fashioned to enjoy.

One way of keeping the old fashioned current is to mix it up a bit, so to speak, and this Tart Cherry Old Fashioned recipe does just that.

Find the recipe here.

15. Fresh Watermelon Mint Julep

fresh watermelon mint juleps I howsweeteats.com
How Sweet It Is

Mint juleps scream refreshing, and adding watermelon to the mix only increases the likelihood that you’ll let out an “ahh” after the first sip. With two and one-half ounces of bourbon, you’ll be sure to taste a bit of booze as well.

Find the recipe here.

16. Bufala Negra

NYT Cooking

Balsamic vinegar (no, it’s not a salad recipe) and ginger beer combine in a beautiful way to make the Bufala Negra. Not sure which bourbon to choose? We suggest Maker’s Mark for this one.

Find the recipe here.

17. Sticky Date Bourbon Smash

Sticky Date Bourbon Smash Cocktail
This image provided by Spicy Ice Cream.

Dates are nature’s candy, and this recipe calls for both a Medjool date and date jam. On top of that, it’s packed with brown sugar and ginger beer. If you are looking for something sweet to cut the bourbon-ness from your cocktail, look no further; this one’s for you.

Find the recipe here.

Read More: How to Become a Cocktail Mixing Master This Holiday Season