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5 Bourbon Mixers You Need

Saturday, June 9, 2018 4:05
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As liquors go, bourbon is pretty classy.

Okay, it’s not some high falutin scotch. But those who enjoy bourbon swear by its tastiness. Plus, it’s versatile and can be mixed into countless cocktails.

But what if you’re unfamiliar with bourbon mixers?

No need to browse strange websites trying to figure it out.

Options for Bourbon Mixers Are Nearly Endless

We’ll get you started here with five different cocktail/beverage recipes to get your creative juices flowing.

Then once you get really bourbon savvy, acquire a bourbon barrel from this company, fashion a table from it, and feel extra classy while leaning against it and sipping your bourbon beverage.

1. Traditional Mint Julep

The traditional mint julep isn’t just for the Derby. It also makes for a refreshing adult beverage on a hot summer day. Be warned though – this drink is so tasty, you’ll be tempted to pour it down quickly. Instead, sip it slowly and enjoy.


First, you’ll need to make the simple syrup.

Mint Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, torn into pieces


  • 1 1/2 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. mint syrup
  • Fresh mint for garnish
  • An 8-oz. glass or silver cup filled with crushed ice

To make the mint simple syrup, pour the water and the sugar into a small saucepan. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes, continually stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Muddle the fresh mint slightly to release natural oils and then add it to the syrup mixture. Allow cooling for at least 10 minutes.

Then, fill an 8-oz glass or silver cup (traditional) with crushed ice. Pour in the bourbon and give it a good stir. Top with the mint syrup and add few sprigs of fresh mint to complete the look.

2. Eggnog

Moving from summer right into the colder weather, eggnog is considered by some to be the quintessential holiday drink. Although tradition dictates the use of raw eggs for this beverage, we’ve also included a version with cooked eggs.


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 oz. bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 egg whites

Directions for Raw Eggs

Beat egg yolks until they lighten in color.

Gradually add in 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until sugar is dissolved. Add the milk, heavy cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.

Then beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Continue mixing while gradually adding the 1 tablespoon of sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.

Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.

Directions for Cooked Eggs

Just as in the raw egg version, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color – gradually adding in the 1/3 cup of sugar until it is dissolved. Then set aside.

In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg. Bring the mixture just to boil, stirring occasionally.

Remove the mixture from the heat.

Add a very small amount of the heated cream mixture into the egg and sugar mixture while constantly whisking it. Continue slowly adding the hot liquid while whisking to gradually bring up the temperature of the eggs without scrambling them.

Return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat.

Stir in the bourbon and pour into a medium mixing bowl. Set in the refrigerator to chill.

Once the mixture has chilled, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Continue mixing while gradually adding the 1 tablespoon of sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.

Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture.

3. Manhattan Cocktail

This isn’t a beverage you’re likely to find at a kitschy party where pranks and tricks are the name of the game. That’s because the Manhattan is a classic. And it’s made an impressive comeback. It calls for a dash of bitters, but if bitters aren’t your thing, we’ve included a variation without them.


  • 2 1/2 oz. bourbon
  • 3/4 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • 1 twist orange peel


Combine the bourbon, vermouth, and bitters with 2-3 ice cubes in a mixing glass.

Stir gently, being careful to not bruise the spirits and cloud the drink.

Place the cherry in a chilled cocktail glass and then strain the bourbon mixture over the cherry.

Without dropping it into the drink, simply rub the cut edge of the orange peel over the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink to release the oils.

No Bitters Variation

If you’d prefer to skip the bitters, then switch out the cherry and the orange twist for a twist of lime. Hold the lime twist in a lighted match over the beverage and then drop it in. The heat really will really kick up the lime flavor.

4. Southern Staple: Bourbon and Ginger

This zingy beverage from the south is a great addition to any party or gathering. The best time to make this drink is when peaches are in season – anywhere from late spring through the summer, depending on where you live. But if you’re making it during another season, fresh pears can be substituted.


You’ll need to prepare the ginger syrup first.

Ginger Syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar, fine turbinado if available
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 lb. fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated

Bourbon and Spicy Ginger Soda

  • Large ice cube
  • 3 oz. bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon ginger syrup
  • 2 slices fresh ripe peach (or pear, as needed)
  • 2 oz. soda water


To make the ginger syrup, combine the sugar, water, and ginger in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, and then allow the mixture to steep and cool for an hour.

Strain off the ginger pieces, and reserve the syrup.

Then fill a 10-oz. highball glass with ice. Add the bourbon and ginger syrup, and stir. Add peach or pear slices, and pour soda water to the top of the glass.

Stir gently to combine, and enjoy!

5. Aquafaba Bourbon Sour

Have you ever wondered if there was something you could do with the liquid pour-off from a can of chickpeas? Yeah, probably not. But this liquid has a name – aquafaba. And it’s one of the ingredients in this bourbon sour recipe.


  • 1 1/2 oz. bourbon
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 oz. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar or simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas)
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • Maraschino cherries


Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Then add the bourbon, egg white, lemon juice, sugar or simple syrup, and aquafaba.

Shake vigorously for 15 seconds.

Pour into a glass garnish with 2 dashes bitters (optional) and Maraschino cherries. Cheers!

Now Get Creative!

If you’re not keen on straight bourbon, try one of the above bourbon mixers recipes. Maybe you’ll be inspired to come up with your own.

And feel free to leave a comment below if you’ve concocted what you think is the next great bourbon cocktail!

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