The Story Behind The Lynchburg Lemonade

This month, we’re heading outdoors with the best drinks for the backyard, beach, and beyond. In Take It Outside, we’re exploring our favorite local spots and far-flung destinations that make summer the ultimate season for elevated drinking.

Created in 1980 by Alabama restaurateur Tony Mason, the Lynchburg Lemonade is a drink with a storied legal past. Mason shared his recipe with a bar patron who happened to be a sales representative from the Jack Daniel’s distillery, who then took the recipe and released a version under the Jack Daniel’s brand — all without compensating Mason. Mason sued the brand for $13 million and won, but was awarded only $1 — bizarrely out of the judge’s pocket. Although the brand admitted that it learned the recipe from Mason in a company newsletter in 1982, the judgment was overturned on appeal after years of wrangling.

The concoction combines whiskey with orange liqueur, lemon juice, and lemon-lime soda. The citrusy twist to whiskey’s spice and earthy flavors forms a cocktail that has become a Southern favorite.


  • 1 ounce Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
  • 1 ounce orange liqueur (like triple sec or Cointreau)
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 ounces lemon-lime soda (like Sprite or 7UP)
  • Garnish: lemon wedge


  1. Combine whiskey, orange liqueur, and lemon juice in a highball glass.
  2. Add ice, top with soda, and garnish with lemon wedge.

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Updated: 2021-08-05

The Lynchburg Lemonade Recipe