Saying farewell to summer doesn’t have to be shrouded in sadness, particularly when cooler weather invites the chance to cozy up with bourbon. Because while whiskey is an all-seasons drink, reaching for this deep, flavorful spirit feels particularly appropriate as temperatures begin to drop and days become shorter.
From refreshing sippers and stiff classics to heady stand-ins for dessert, these 11 bourbon cocktails star the quintessential American whiskey. Try one, or try them all.
The egg cream is a staple of bygone New York delicatessens. Here, it’s reimagined in a frothy, fizzy rendition spiked with bourbon. The heavy cream is brightened by coffee liqueur and orgeat, and a topper of club soda lengthens the drink with a dose of refreshing bubbles. Accompanying pastrami sandwich optional.
Bourbon Old Fashioned
Interpretations of the Old Fashioned abound, but this is the classic combination of bourbon, bitters, sugar and water. Hold the fruit, except for a zesty spritz of orange oil. The result is a crowd-pleasing drink that’s perfect for all occasions.
Rich maple syrup, synonymous with fall, meshes with bourbon in this delightful concoction. The addition of chilled lager also makes the drink alluring for beer aficionados, especially those who haven’t quite jumped on the cocktail train. Best of all, you can build this refreshing drink right in the glass.
Two-Hit Fig Punch
Hudson Baby Bourbon shares the spotlight with Sailor Jerry spiced rum in this vibrant punch, which is amplified by fresh figs, navel orange juice and lemon. The recipe is meant to serve a crowd. So break out this punch for one of the year’s last-hurrah barbecues, or whenever you need to impress a thirsty group.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
Among the renowned specialties at Employees Only’s New York and Singapore outposts is the Billionaire cocktail. It merges bourbon with fresh lemon juice and grenadine for a refreshing and easy-to-make drink. Absinthe bitters provide a luxe touch, but the cocktail only looks like a million bucks.
Last-Minute Mulled Wine
Just like pumpkin pie, the ubiquity of mulled wine on menus signifies a welcome shift in seasons. This recipe from San Francisco bartender H. Joseph Ehrmann unites bourbon with red wine and heightens the pair with a mélange of cinnamon and star anise. Mix one as the weather turns cooler, and you’ll have a house full of happy guests.
A rush of fresh ginger invigorates this libation with Basil Hayden’s bourbon and Crème Yvette, a liqueur made from violet petals and berries. Its compelling, spicy personality is further defined by simple syrup infused with star anise and black tea. Stir a couple of these, and you’ll be hopping.
Man o’ War
Named for one of the finest racehorses in history, the Man o’ War further proves that bourbon and sweet vermouth belong together. Here, the tried-and-true duo welcomes a burst of energizing citrus in the forms of fresh lemon juice and orange curaçao. Rather than racing around a track, you’ll be content to sit immobile as you savor this balanced concoction.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
Combat autumn’s barrage of creaky coughs with a soothing bourbon Hot Toddy. This spin on the timeless, grated-nutmeg-topped elixir enjoyed from a mug pays tribute to apples by marrying Laird’s bonded applejack with baked McIntosh apples. An apple a day...
Bourbon, Averna amaro and Ferreira tawny port create one powerful, boozy trifecta. After dinner, enlist this silky nitecap and settle in next to a flickering fireplace while you unwind for the night. Bongo drums, black beret and Jack Kerouac paperback not included.
Typically the Rickey, a tart heat-shunning highball, is made with gin. And by all means, try it with gin. But the official quaff of Washington, D.C., also satiates fierce thirsts when spawned from bourbon. Melded with lime and club soda, it can be a lifesaver on balmy late-summer evenings.