Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Bourbon Cocktails


Pink-hued Millionaire cocktail in ornate coupe glass with etched gold rim, dusted with nutmeg, on white marble background / Tim Nusog

The Millionaire is a traditional sour cocktail—those that feature a balance of a sweet element with an acidic agent like lemon or lime juice—that was thought to have been first created during Prohibition. However, several cocktails have claimed the Millionaire moniker over the past century, and versions differ wildly. Most are divided between the Millionaire No. 1, which contains Jamaican rum, sloe gin and apricot brandy, and the Millionaire No. 2, which is the bourbon-based sour you'll find here.

In addition to bourbon, the Millionaire features Grand Marnier (a French orange liqueur made with cognac), lemon juice, grenadine, absinthe and egg white. Use fresh lemon juice and homemade grenadine for the best results. The former is easy enough—just squeeze some lemons. Homemade grenadine is somewhat more complicated, but can be concocted easily at home with fresh pomegranates or pomegranate juice, pomegranate molasses, sugar, and orange flower water. Once you try it, you’ll never want to go back to the syrupy mass-produced variety found at grocery stores and dive bars.

If you’re unable to find absinthe, pastis works equally well. This liqueur is made with star anise, which provides its trademark licorice flavor, while absinthe employs wormwood and green anise. Egg while adds a silky texture that brings a rich, luxurious note to the drink in keeping with the cocktail’s rich and luxurious theme.

The Millionaire may be one of many, but it has inspired some variations of its own. In case you want to take your aspirational drinking to the next level, the Billionaire cocktail from New York bar Employees Only skips the egg white and orange liqueur and calls for absinthe bitters.


  • 2 ounces bourbon

  • 3/4 ounce Grand Marnier

  • 1/4 ounce absinthe or pastis

  • 1/2 ounce grenadine

  • 1/2 ounce egg white

  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • Garnish: nutmeg, freshly grated


  1. Add the bourbon, Grand Marnier, absinthe, grenadine, egg white and lemon juice into a shaker and dry-shake (without ice) vigorously.

  2. Add ice and shake again until well-chilled

  3. Double-strain into a chilled coupe glass.

  4. Grate nutmeg over the top of the drink.

What Can I Use In Place of Absinthe?

While a traditional Millionaire cocktail specifically calls for wormwood-based absinthe, this ingredients can be replaced with various types of pastis. Common brands like Pernod and Ricard will both work well in the drink, with Ricard offering more licorice-forward notes, and Pernod presenting heavier aspects of star anise. Other brands, like Henri Bardouin, will demonstrate more subtlety, for those seeking to keep these elements in the background.

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.