Skip to main content

Sip in style with these cocktails for National Bourbon Day

Sip in style for National Bourbon Day with these cocktail suggestions

Whisky, whiskey, bourbon or cognac with ice cudes on black stone table and wood background
stockfotocz / Adobe Stock

Today, June 14, is National Bourbon Day, a celebration of that quintessentially American spirit. If you’re looking blankly at your spirits cabinet tonight and wondering what you should pour yourself to toast the end of a hard week, then we have some suggestions for bourbon based drinks that you can settle in with.

Bourbon can be a little confusing to mix with, as all bourbons are whiskeys but not all whiskeys are bourbons. So, while you could technically use bourbon in any cocktail recipe that calls for whiskey, the results might not always be pleasing. Bourbon tends to lean toward the sweeter side, with its notes of vanilla and oak that come from the new oak barrels it is typically aged in. Different types of whiskey, such as scotch, tend to be much smokier and heavier than a bourbon.

National Bourbon Day cocktail suggestions

That means that you can embrace the lighter, fruitier notes in a bourbon and mix it with ingredients like citrus juice or amaros that wouldn’t necessarily go well with other whiskeys. One of the all-time great bourbon drinks, in my opinion, is the Paper Plane — an equal-parts mix of bourbon, Amaro Nonino, Aperol, and lemon juice. It’s juicy and complex, with sweetness and bitterness from the amaros playing alongside the fruitiness of the bourbon.

Another classic bourbon cocktail is the New York Sour, which is a variation of a classic whiskey sour. As well as the usual bourbon, lemon juice, and simple syrup, this version adds a float of red wine. That gives the drink a unique appearance, with a ring of deep red sitting atop it, and the combination of red wine and bourbon is surprisingly pleasing. This quirky drink dates back to at least the 1930s, and while it’s certainly unusual, it’s a lot more drinkable than you might imagine.

Of course there are other classics, like the Boulevardier (a nergroni variation using bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Campari) or the Manhattan (usually made with rye whiskey but works well with bourbon, too). Or you can always just sip your bourbon neat or enjoy the simplicity of an Old Fashioned.

Georgina Torbet
Georgina Torbet is a cocktail enthusiast based in Berlin, with an ever-growing gin collection and a love for trying out new…
This cocktail is a fusion of Italian and Mexican cultures
The Casa Julian combines Mexican tequila and Italian amaros
casa julian cocktail 4imzm3jy

Fusion food has had plenty of moments in the spotlight, with chefs bringing together ingredients and cooking styles from different cuisines to create intriguing new dishes. But the same principles can be applied to drinks too, by combining favorite cocktail styles from different cultures around the world.

A new cocktail recipe aims to do just that, combining the refreshing tradition of Mexican drinks with the bracing bitterness of Italian amaros. The chef of newly opened New York restaurant Amarena, Julian Medina, was inspired to combine the flavors of his travels in Italy with those of Mexico, where he was born. The Italian part of the equation comes from the Rome tradition of al fresco Happy Hours, when locals will enjoy a light aperitif or cocktail before dinner to soak up the last of the late afternoon sun. The Casa Julian cocktail brings together Italian Campari and Mexican tequila, adding lemon juice for zing and cucumber for freshness.

Read more
The best Cachaça you can get: Our top picks
Make it a Cachaça filled summer

Similar to rum, cachaça is a distilled spirit made from sugarcane. It bears a close resemblance to the other well-known sugarcane-base spirit, but a few glaring things differentiate it from the likes of Bacardi and Havana Club.

Like cognac or tequila, cachaça has a specific geographic designation. Before anything else, to be called a cachaça, it must be produced in Brazil. It also must have an ABV of at least 38% and a maximum of 48%. It’s so similar to rum that before 2013, some cachaça-producers even labeled it as “Brazilian rum.” Now, it has its designation, and while similar to rum, it’s rum.

Read more
New Scotch whisky from Formula One champion Jenson Button
It's an 18 year old blended Scotch commemorating the iconic Williams FW18
coachbuilt williams first release ezgif 6 e676ec8d1f

A new whisky is being released that aims to bring together the twin passions of Formula One and fine Scotch. Co-founded by F1 champion Jenson Button, the Coachbuilt brand is offering for its inaugural release an 18 year old blended Scotch.

The Scotch has been aged in a combination of ex-Sherry and ex-Bourbon casks, coming in at an abv of 48%. It is blended by another co-founder of the brand, George Koutsakis, using a 100% malted barley mash bill. The result is a fruity, spicy whisky with a smooth finish, designed for sipping neat or over ice.

Read more