After a long, cold winter full of snowstorms and far too many nights in, spring is finally arriving. And with it come sunny days, outdoor restaurant hopping, and, of course, seasonal cocktails. From all things fruity and bright, to frozen drinks made to beat the heat, any springtime libation can and should be elevated with America’s favorite spirit: bourbon.
Tired of that Toddy? Read on for the ultimate list of the best bourbon drinks to sip as you watch the flowers bloom.
This cocktail will make you wish every day was Derby Day. Luckily, you don’t have to wait until April to sip this riff on the classic Mint Julep. To make one, add bourbon, rum, Crème de Pêche liqueur, mint simple syrup, rose water, and Angostura and orange bitters to a Julep cup over crushed ice. Top with the sparkling wine of your choice, and garnish with mint leaves and rose petals for a festive touch.
When in doubt, go with something classic. This cocktail dates back to the 19th century but has recently seen a resurgence in popularity (probably because it’s as easy to make as it is to drink). First, shake together bourbon, simple syrup, and muddled lemon, then strain into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with mint for a classic presentation, and a hint of spring.
Your childhood favorite just got a grownup upgrade. This boozy take on a cookies ‘n’ cream milkshake is the ideal beverage to cool off with on a hot spring afternoon. In a blender, add vanilla ice cream, Oreos, milk, and your favorite oaky bourbon. Pour into the glass of your choice, and garnish with an Oreo. This one’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Made with just three ingredients and a whole lot of Southern flair, this elevated take on a Jack and Coke uses bourbon that’s infused with fresh cherries. To make the drink, just add equal parts cherry bourbon and Coca-Cola (or Cherry Coke if you’re looking to take the cherry flavor to the next level) to a Highball glass or Mason jar, and garnish with whole cherries.
Berry season is around the corner. And when you’re sick of pies, tarts, and cakes, the best thing to do with your leftover berries is incorporate them into your favorite cocktails, such as a Whiskey Sour. In this riff on the classic drink, shake together bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, blackberries, and egg white (if desired), then strain into the glass of your choice. Garnish with the berries of your choosing.
Nothing celebrates warmer weather like a perfectly juicy peach. This cocktail extracts that sunny feeling into a fresh and light drink you’ll covet through the summer months. Start by freezing peach slices into ice cubes. Then, combine muddled peaches, bourbon, and lemon juice, and pour over your peach ice cubes. Top with pineapple juice and cracked black pepper for a drink that’s as good as vitamin D in a glass.