Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Bourbon Cocktails

Buddy’s Busy

Buddy’s Busy cocktail in a stemmed glass with a topper of fresh whipped cream and nutmeg
Image: Kailley Lindman

Beer is football’s favorite drink. And for good reason—a refreshing beer pairs perfectly with long afternoons and salty snacks like chips and wings. But there’s no reason cocktails can’t make an appearance on game day. So for the 2016 football season, we asked a bartender from each NFL team’s hometown to provide the perfect cocktail to represent their team. Chicago bartender Christiana DeLucca created Buddy’s Busy to honor the Chicago Bears.

“This cocktail is an ode to the ’85 Bears and the fleeting Honey Bears cheerleaders. I have vivid memories of watching them both during that season, even at six years old,” says DeLucca. “It’s also an homage to Buddy Ryan’s 4–6 defense. That man is a legend, and this is my tip o’ the hat to him in cocktail form.”

The drink features bourbon, Bärenjäger and Jeppson’s Malört, plus honey, fresh lemon juice and chai. It then receives a topping of freshly whipped cream before it’s dusted with nutmeg. It’s hot, soothing and sports three kinds of liquor, so it’s ready to address celebratory moments as well as heartbreaking losses.

Bärenjäger is a German-made honey liqueur whose name translates to “bear hunter” and whose recipe dates back to the 18th century. It was originally formulated to lure bears out of their dwellings, but today it’s just a friendly addition to cocktails that provides some 70-proof honey sweetness to everything it touches.

Jeppson’s Malört is a bitingly bitter wormwood-based liqueur with a rabid following in Illinois—the state drink’s 90% of the bottles produced. Founded by Carl Jeppson, a Swedish immigrant living in Chicago at the time, Malört was intended to mimic besk brännvin, a style of extra-bitter wormwood schnapps that was popular in Sweden. That herbal bitterness is rounded out by the Bärenjäger and a dose of buckwheat honey. Lemon juice adds balance to the equation, before the drink receives a dose of chai black tea, a topper of freshly whipped cream and a nutmeg garnish.

“Served Toddy style, this cocktail is all about embracing the fall season,” says DeLucca. “Make a large batch, grab a thermos, and you’ve got the perfect tailgating cocktail to impress your friends.”


  • 1 1/2 ounces heavy whipping cream

  • 1 1/2 ounces Maker’s Mark 46 bourbon

  • 3/4 ounce Bärenjäger

  • 1/2 ounce Jeppson’s Malört

  • 3/4 ounce buckwheat honey (or clover honey)

  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 6 ounces Davids Tea Pumpkin Chai black tea (or any chai), hot

  • Garnish: nutmeg, freshly grated


  1. Add heavy whipping cream to an empty bottle, and shake for about 1 minute until lightly whipped.

  2. Add the bourbon, Bärenjäger, Jeppson’s Malört, honey and lemon juice to a mug or other glass, then add the hot tea.

  3. Top with the freshly whipped cream.

  4. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.