6 SIMPLE BOURBON AND WHISKEY COCKTAILS TO MAKE AT HOME
Trying to make some bourbon and whiskey cocktails at home but you only have a few ingredients and are in a pinch?
Then you came to the right place!
Because we are going to show you 6 awesome bourbon and whiskey cocktails that you can make at home today with the stuff you already have laying around your house, your welcome!
Why bourbon and whiskey cocktails?
In cocktails, whiskey does a lot of heavy lifting, cuz its soooo taaaasty. Take bourbon for example; a good bourbon packs a barrel full (literally) of flavor – vanilla, oak, caramel, a bite of spice. Which means you don’t need a lot to dress it up and make a great bourbon cocktail. Some of the best whiskey cocktails, like a manhattan, use only two or three ingredients.
So we put together a list of six very simple bourbon cocktails, as well as an upgraded Irish Coffee recipe and a change-of-pace rye whiskey cocktail (more on those here). These drinks only call for a few ingredients, and don’t require any mixers or liqueurs that you can’t find at a grocery store. BONUS – We added a simple way to make that simple syrup at home (So simple)
3 Ingredient Bourbon Cocktails
A lot of people who mix drinks at home want simplicity. Sure, a cocktail bar is great for a first date or if old friends are in town and you want to impress them by pretending that you’ve got your life together. Fake it till you make it, you know? But if you fake it when you make a cocktail at home, you’re gonna have a bad time. These drinks can be put together in just a minute or two, and will taste great, too. Check out our list of budget bourbons to pick out the right one for such an occasion before you start, they start as low as $12!
Kentucky Mule Cocktail
This cocktail is close to perfection. It’s simple and delicious. Ginger beer is the main mixer, which is effervescently refreshing and has a slightly spicy aftertaste (Bonus – it’s good for a hangover). It’s a workhorse whiskey cocktail, enjoyable for the summer or winter.
What makes this drink a Kentucky Mule is using a Kentucky made bourbon like Maker’s Mark. Maker’s Mark is a little sweeter and softer than other whiskies. That comes from the wheat they use in the recipe (called a Mash Bill for some bonus trivia night knowledge). The sweetness is a great compliment to the spice of ginger beer.
Kentucky Mule Recipe:
Method: Add ice to a copper mug* preferable or glass if you’re cheap white trash. Squeeze in lime juice, add bourbon, and top with ginger beer.
If you feeling fancy: Add a lime wedge and Angostura bitters to taste if preferred.
*Like a Moscow Mule, a true Kentucky Mule is best served in a copper mug. Which can be tough to find in a pinch, but it is a necessity to serve it properly, however a stainless steel mug (which most faux copper mugs are made of anyways) will do. We felt so much that a copper mug paired with the right ingredients for a mule make a great gift for your boyfriend/husband/best friend/life partner that we created an awesome Kentucky Mule gift for guys for when that special occasion comes up and you need a cool gift. If you really want to know “Why a copper mug?” or are a useless knowledge collector like myself , then you can find out more information on how the copper mug became a thing here.
Whiskey Sour Cocktail
A truly classic cocktail, made with fresh lemon juice and simple syrup, it can really blow away any whiskey sour, that you probably have been avoiding since that rough night when you were 22, you’ve ordered from a sports bar that was made with a bottle of premade sweet and sour mix, yuck!
If you do have a bottle of sour mix at your home bar, then here’s what to do with it:
- Get the bottle from your fridge or liquor cabinet.
- Locate the nearest sink.
- Pour it down the drain.
- Save yourself from drinking an overly sweet mix and avoid the head splitting hangover that comes with it.
Bonus Benefit: You can clear a clogged drain with the acid in the sour mix
Okay maybe we are going overboard, so if you are cheap like me just make giant blended Margaritas with it, and basically nothing else
Now, back to a real cocktail.
This version of the sour is a simple whiskey cocktail. There is an egg white whiskey sour you can make if you’re feeling up for it (We saved that for last). But you might want to save that drink for your local bartender if you’re scured.
For the 3-ingredient whiskey sour you just need bourbon, a fresh lemon (you can substitute bottled lemon juice if necessary) and simple syrup.
Whiskey Sour Recipe
- 2 oz bourbon
- 1 oz lemon juice
- .75 oz simple syrup
If this version is too tart for you, but you’d still like to make a killer drink, you can opt for the following recipe
Whiskey Not as Sour Recipe:
- 1.5 oz bourbon
- .5 oz lemon juice
- 1 oz simple syrup
Method: Add the drink to a shaker tin and shake hard with ice for about 20 seconds. Pour and strain into a glass over fresh ice.
Before we go any further, we’ll give you some good tips for for using fresh citrus and simple syrup in cocktails.
Classic Whiskey Sour Recipe:
Sorry this on have 4 whole ingredients, but you should have eggs at your house ya bum, deal with it
- 2 oz bourbon
- 1 oz lemon juice
- .75 oz simple syrup
- 1 Egg white (Or 1/2 ounce of pasteurized egg whites)
Method: Add the drink to a shaker tin and shake hard with ice for about 20 seconds. Pour and strain into a glass over fresh ice. It should come out nice and frothy like the head of a good beer.
If you feeling fancy: Garnish with a Luxardo cherry if you have them
Before we go any further, we’ll give you some good tips for using fresh citrus and how to make simple syrup for your cocktails.
Lemons and other citrus
- 1 lemon = ~2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
- 2 tablespoons of liquid = 1 oz
This goes for limes as well, though limes are generally slightly smaller, so you may be just shy of an ounce.
Tips for juicing fresh citrus
If you’re juicing lemons, limes, or oranges, let the fruit warm up to room temperature. Warm citrus fruits will yield more juice when pressed or reamed than cold citrus
If you’re in need of a tool to juice, this is the top selling manual citrus press juicer on amazon (My prefered method). But you may prefer this cheaper, wooden citrus reamer from Oxo. The reamer also looks more badass.
Simple syrup recipe
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of white granulated sugar
Bring the water to a boil and then add granulated white sugar. Stir sugar until it dissolves. Make sure Let cool before adding to drink. You can make a less sweet version by cutting the sugar in half.
If that’s more work than you’re looking for, you can purchase bottled simple syrup online or at a decent liquor store.
Old Fashioned Cocktail
Most folks are pretty familiar with old fashioneds. For a lot of bars, especially in cities across the U.S., the old fashioned cocktail has become the new jack and coke. It’s the drink order patrons blurt out when they can’t figure out what they actually want, or what I get if they have a decent whiskey to make it with.
But there are a lot of ways to make old fashioneds.
Some come with muddled orange slices and cherries. In Wisconsin they use brandy and soda water (gross), or mix in sprite if you want a sweet old fashioned (If you are a classless oaf).
In Kentucky, an old fashioned is just a swigging bourbon straight from the bottle, the old fashioned way – get it?
But forget all that work. You can make a really simple old fashioned with just 3 ingredients. And it might be the best old fashioned you’ve ever had.
Old Fashioned Recipe:
- 2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
- .5 oz simple syrup (Or 1/2 tsp sugar and a teaspoon of water)
- 2-3 dashes of bitters (preferably a mix of orange bitters and Angostura bitters)
Method: First combine simple syrup or sugar and water and bitters in a pint glass or cocktail stirring vessel. Add ice. Stir for about 20 seconds. Strain into rocks glass with preferably a large single cube or little ice (gotta maintain that flavor!)
To tell if the drink is chilled and stirred enough, press the back of your hand to the portion of the glass with liquid, if the glass is cold, then your drink is good to go.
If you feeling fancy: Take a peeler or paring knife and slice off a section of orange peel. Avoid using the white pith.Express the peel over the drink and run it along the rim of the glass to get them nice orange oils into the drink. This adds a pop of orange flavor and wonderful aroma.
Other recipes may call for muddling an orange slice and maraschino cherry with the bitters and sugar and then mixing in your ice and whiskey, which you can do if you feel like giving yourself more work an a sweeter cocktail. If it doesn’t turn out looking red and tasting gross, congratulations you made a real Old Fashioned cocktail, not that abomination you got at Finny McCools sports pub the other night.
Irish Coffee Upgrade
An Irish Coffee is NOT just pouring a nip of Irish whiskey into a your cup of Yuban you’re having a break because Janice in accounting is being kind of a B today and you know it is gonna be a long one…. Anyways, that might get the job done, but you’ve sold yourself short if this is your only experience with an Irish Coffee.
The key to this cocktail is Baileys Irish Cream and Kahlua.
You can also make the drink with brown sugar and whipped cream, but we’re looking at simple Irish whiskey cocktails today.
If you’re looking for the right time to mix an Irish Coffee, it is the perfect holiday drink. Just what the good doctor ordered for dealing with in-laws and stress. Which means it’s great to give as gift. If you’re looking to kick your gift giving game up a notch this year, then try the BroBasket’s Irish Coffee Gift Basket.
Simple Irish Coffee Recipe:
- 6 oz. freshly brewed hot coffee
- 1 ½ oz jiger (what!) of Jameson or other Irish whiskey
- .5 oz Baileys
Method: Add Jameson, Baileys, and Kahlua to mug. Pour in coffee and use a spoon to quickly stir the drink to incorporate the coffee and alcohol.
If you feeling Fancy – Add a half ounce of Kahlua in there to take it to the next level!
Classic Irish Coffee Recipe:
This may be a bit too fancy for ya but if you would like to use whipped cream to make the drink extra special and you do not have some Redi Whip laying around, then take heavy whipping cream and stir or whip quickly with whisk. Slowly pour the whipped cream into your warm coffee, being careful to spoon it into the drink so the cream sits atop the coffee and whiskey mixture
2 ingredient Whiskey Cocktails
Sometimes, you don’t have the time or patience to mix a fancy cocktail. And that’s okay. At The Brobasket, we’re equal opportunity drinkers. If you’re having a good time, that’s what counts. But you don’t need to settle for a vodka soda or gin and tonic. You can make a unique and delicious cocktail with only two ingredients.
Whiskey and Sweet Tea Cocktail
This combines two southern classics. And makes for a easy summer cocktail for day drinking at a cookout. It’s also a nice change of pace to a whiskey and soda. Especially if sweet tea isn’t usually in your drink rotation.
Buying a large bottle or making your own Sweet tea is a smart investment because it’s a great mixer for basically any liquor, whether whiskey, vodka, or tequila. You can probably get away with mixing white rum with it, though I can’t say I’ve tried sweet tea and gin (Gin and Juice anybody?). But the gin & tea could be a hidden gem. So let us know if you try and it works.
Jack Daniels is a good whiskey for this cocktail.
Whiskey and Sweet Tea Cocktail Recipe:
- 2 oz. Jack Daniels or other whiskey
- 3 oz. Sweet tea like Lipton brand or brew your own
Method: Come on, we don’t need to lay this out for you. Mix it in a solo cup and sip all day!
Rye Whiskey and Apple Cider
Again, this is a simple drink that is just a bit different than your normal whiskey ginger. It’s flavors capture the fall season in a glass. And I gotta say, it would be right at home in a flask if you’re heading to a football game or just going for a hike in the woods to enjoy the autumn foliage.
It’s a no frills drink. You can use regular apple juice, but apple cider can easily be found in local grocery stores. The crisp apple flavor and natural sugars will beat a bottle of Motts on any given Sunday.
Why use rye? Well, we’ve written about our love for rye whiskey cocktails before. But the bold rye whiskey flavors, like mint, spice, and black pepper, will add more depth to this drink and compliment the apple flavors better than other whiskies.
Whiskey and Sweet Tea Cocktail Recipe:
- 2 oz. Rye Whiskey
- 3 oz. Apple Cider
If you want to add some extra flavor to this drink without much added work, then grate a cinnamon stick into the mix, or add a small pinch of ground cinnamon.
Now that you have read about all our simple bourbon cocktail recipes it’s time to make them and try them out, or impress your friends, family, and maybe even some strangers (Who are we to jude!)
Leave a comment letting us know which cocktails you liked best, which ones you didn’t, any additions you threw in there or some cocktail ideas of your own.
The Guys @ TheBroBasket.com