Bourbon whiskey is a spectacular spirit taken neat, on the rocks or as the star in a number of mixed drinks. Many classic cocktails, from an Old Fashioned to a Manhattan, use bourbon as the main ingredient — and there’s a reason why they stand the test of time.
If you’ve been trying to start mixing with whiskey as the main ingredient, bourbon is the best place to start.
What can you mix with bourbon whiskey?
Mixing drinks with whiskey is easy — especially if bourbon is your focal point. Generally, bourbon is an American whiskey that features notes of caramel, vanilla, oak and a heavy sweetness as it’s made of at least 51% corn. Because your base is naturally sweet, there are several simple yet vivacious ingredients you can infuse to change your experience.
Soda water is simply carbonated water used to dilute bourbon without changing the flavour. With a little bit of ice, one part bourbon and two to three parts soda water, you can sip on a bubbly bourbon in no time.
If you aren’t too fond of having bourbon neat just yet, adding Cola is the easiest way to get acclimated to the taste. Its sweet taste allows the bourbon to retain its natural flavour, letting you still get hints of caramel and vanilla. This classic pairing only requires one part bourbon and five parts Cola in a glass with a wedge or slice of lemon if preferred.
Ginger ale or ginger beer
Ginger mixers are a great addition to add a bit of zing to bourbon’s sweetness. Aside from carbonating your drink, it adds a refreshing flavour to your bourbon. Similar to colas, you can add one part bourbon and five parts ginger ale or beer.
Some simple cocktail creations you can make with this pairing include:
- Kentucky mule — This drink is an American twist on the classic Moscow Mule. Add two parts bourbon to one and a half part lime juice in a glass, then fill in the remaining space with ginger beer. Stir and garnish with a mint sprig.
- Nor’easter — This spicy-sweet cocktail is perfect if you’re having a barbecue. Shake together one part lime juice, four parts bourbon, one part maple syrup (or to taste) and two parts cold ginger beer. Garnish with a lime slice and serve with your favourite meat!
Bourbon and coffee are a surprising yet delicious combination. This pairing adds a bit of a kick, and the coffee’s bitterness compliments the bourbon’s natural sweetness.
If you try mixing coffee with whiskey, you can create unique drinks to serve to your friends and family, such as:
- Kentucky coffee — Simply add one part bourbon whiskey to six parts hot coffee — and you’ve got a delicious drink with an exciting kick! If you want something a bit sweet, add half part honey liqueur or maple syrup and garnish with whipped cream.
- Cold brew cocktail — If you drink cold brew often and want to try something new with bourbon, shake two parts cold brew coffee, one part bourbon, half part triple sec and maple syrup to taste. Strain into a glass with ice and top it off with cream. Garnish with an orange peel or chocolate shavings!
A glass of apple cider tastes fresh, tart and sweet, which makes it a great drink alone. However, mixing it with whiskey gives it a wonderful balance between deep and smoky and fresh and tart.
Some cocktails you can make with this combination include:
- Tender knob — This popular drink only requires a muddled apple slice, one or one and a half part bourbon, two parts apple cider, a splash of agave nectar and a pinch of cinnamon. Shaken well, you’ve got yourself a delicious drink perfect for toasting with friends.
- Hot apple cider with bourbon — If the weather is starting to cool, and you want a drink with a kick, pour apple cider into a pot with two cinnamon sticks, and after 30 minutes on a low simmer, pour this into a mug with a shot of bourbon. Garnish with another cinnamon stick if preferred.
Browse through a range of bourbon whiskies at GoodDrop
Whether you just started drinking bourbon or you’re a seasoned connoisseur, we have a range of bourbon whiskies to suit any palate. Explore America’s best bourbon at our shop or opt to try any of our Scotch, Irish, Japanese, Canadian or homegrown Australian whiskies.
At GoodDrop, we source only from the best distilleries in the world, curating a selection of rare editions to popular drinks just for you. No matter the spirit, we’re sure to have the perfect addition to your bar cart. Browse our shop today!