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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
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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…
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