5 Bourbon Cocktails for Spring

Drink Lists Bourbon Cocktails
5 Bourbon Cocktails for Spring

We all know the Mint Julep is the traditional cocktail of the Kentucky Derby. But those Derby parties can be all-day affairs, and you have months of warm weather ahead of you beyond Derby Day. You’re going to need a variety of refreshing bourbon cocktails if you’re going to make it through spring. Here are a few more bourbon-based cocktails that aren’t the Mint Julep to sip while you’re rocking that seersucker this season.

Bourbon County Swizzle


1.5 oz. Bulleit bourbon
1 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
1/4 oz. ginger syrup
3 mint sprigs (take off leaves, remove stems)

Directions: Combine ingredients and dry shake. Strain into a highball glass and top with crushed ice and swizzle, keeping the mint on the bottom and top with more crushed ice. Garnish with 3 dashes each of Angostura & Peychaud’s bitters, a mint sprig, and candied ginger.

Bourbon (un)Milkshake

Recipe and photo by Jim Sabataso, The Palms Restaurant, Rutland, VT

1 oz. Bulleit bourbon
1/2 oz. dark créme de cacao
1/2 oz. Heering Cherry
1/2 oz. Bénédictine
2 oz. cold brew coffee
1 oz. aquafaba*
Club soda

Directions: Dry shake ingredients (except soda) for 10 seconds. Add ice, and shake again for another 15 seconds. Strain over fresh ice into a mason jar. Top with a splash of club soda, and five dashes of Angostura. Serve with a straw.

*Aquafaba is the viscous liquid byproduct of cooking chick peas or other beans or legumes. It is a quick and simple vegan substitute that thickens cocktails similar to egg. It’s also the liquid found in canned beans. Chick pea aquafaba works best for cocktails.

The Mumm Julep

mumm bourbon.jpg

3 oz. G.H. Mumm Champagne
1/2 oz. Old Scout Bourbon
1 sugar cube
6-7 mint leaves

Directions: In a julep tin or rocks glass, add mint leaves and sugar cube and a splash of water. Gently press mint leaves with a muddler to release oils. Add bourbon, Champagne, crushed ice and stir gently. Top with more crushed ice to mound. Garnish with a mint bouquet and strawberry.

Bulleit Kentucky Tea

tea bourbon.jpg

1 750ml bottle Bulleit Bourbon (1 part)
Combination of dried fruits, orange peels, cinnamon, and ginger (2 parts)
Black tea, brewed (2 parts)
2 bar spoons of lemon juice
2 bar spoons of simple syrup

Directions: Infuse bourbon in a large container with dried fruit and tea for 48 hours. Pour infusion into an ice-filled highball glass with lemon juice and simple syrup. Garnish with a mint sprig and orange wedge. Makes about 20 servings.

Blade and Bow New Fashioned


1.25 oz. Blade and Bow Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey
1.5 oz. simple syrup
3/4 oz. St. Germain
1 orange slice

Directions: Muddle orange slice in an old fashioned glass, and remove orange rind. Add ice, remaining ingredients, and stir. Top with a splash of soda. Garnish with an orange slice and cherry.

Jim Sabataso is a writer, journalist, and bar director for The Palms Restaurant Group in Rutland, Vermont. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @JimSabataso.

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