Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Bourbon Cocktails

6 Infused Bourbon Cocktails to Try Right Now

We bet you never knew how easy it is to make infused spirits at home.

Brown Butter Old Fashioned / Tim Nusog

Back in the early aughts, infused spirits were the bee’s knees. All of the coolest, craftiest, most culinary-savvy bartenders were making them. And now, 20 years later, infusions have not only stuck around but have prospered and become commonplace in bars, a testament to the technique’s significance in cocktail culture.

Infusing a spirit with a food ingredient is one of the best and easiest ways to express seasonality in a cocktail. You can take beets, carrots, basil stems, coffee grounds, or virtually any other seasonal food and impart its flavor and sometimes texture into a spirit. Bartenders prefer to use this method in cases where they feel a food complements the flavors of the spirit (for example, jalapeño peppers and tequila for a Spicy Margarita) and would prefer to layer the flavor into the alcohol as a single ingredient rather than create a syrup or other component, which would add more volume to the cocktail.

Depending on the characteristics of the food item the infusion method and time will vary. It’s also important to note that there are some safety rules to follow when infusing, since alcohol is a solvent and, in some circumstances, can extract unsafe elements of food if not done properly. We encourage beginners to follow recipes when starting out and to reference Cocktail Safe before striking out with your own infusions.

For the bourbon-lovers out there, we’ve rounded up six delicious infused-bourbon recipes to try.

  • Normandie Old Fashioned

    Normandie Old Fashioned / Tim Nusog

    There are few flavors that pair better with bourbon than coconut. It’s fresh, nutty, and slightly sweet, and reminiscent of a tropical vacation. This Old Fashioned spin created by Alex Day and Devon Tarby for The Normandie Club in Los Angeles uses coconut flakes to infuse bourbon, which is then split with apple brandy to form the base of the cocktail. Note that unsweetened coconut is always best to control the cocktail’s sweetness. A spiced almond demerara syrup adds body and further accents the coconut-infused bourbon, and a dash of the typical Angostura bitters adds warming spice elements. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Dracarys

    Dracarys Cocktail

    Temple Bar

    Are you a Game of Thrones lover? If so, then the Dracarys may sound familiar. The drink is named for the command word that Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, uses to direct her dragons to unleash their fire breath onto whomever she pleases. Given that the base of this cocktail is ancho chile-infused bourbon, you can guess where the name’s inspiration came from. The Dracarys is made in the style of a buck, meaning that it’s lengthened with ginger beer, and also gets a bit of the Italian bittersweet liqueur Amaro Montenegro for balance. Feel free to add a squeeze of fresh lime if you like to balance all that heat.

    Get the recipe.

  • Benton’s Old Fashioned

    Benton's Old Fashioned
    Benton's Old Fashioned using Libbey Master's Reserve glassware. / Tim Nusog

    This cocktail is one of the most famous to come out of New York City cocktail bar PDT. Created by Don Lee in 2008, this cocktail uses Benton’s bacon-fat-washed Four Roses bourbon as the base of this umami-rich Old Fashioned variation. The fat-washed bourbon gets paired with maple syrup and Angostura bitters before being garnished with an orange peel. This cocktail was instrumental in popularizing the then-brand-new fat-washing technique. The key to making this drink properly is procuring the bacon from Benton’s Country Ham; if you don’t, it’s not truly a Benton’s Old Fashioned… although any bacon fat will still taste delicious.

    Get the recipe.

  • Butter & Smoke

    Butter and Smoke cocktail

    Sen Sakana

    The Butter & Smoke was created by Zachary Gross, the beverage director at Sen Sakana, a Japanese-Peruvian restaurant in New York City. The cocktail has a base of pumpkin-butter-infused fat-washed bourbon, and the rest of the Old Fashioned-style recipe— smoked thyme, cranberry bitters, and a bitter aperitif—reads as if it’s a liquid accompaniment to a Thanksgiving dinner. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • Hailey's Comet

    Hailey's Comet cocktail
    Hailey’s Comet.

    Lafayette Park Hotel

    Hailey’s Comet comes from Hailey Coder, the lead bartender at The Park Bistro & Bar at the Lafayette Park Hotel in Lafayette, California. After she topped some fresh local peaches with a big dollop of Chantilly cream, she was inspired to create a cocktail that captured this seasonal flavor combination, while elevating it just a bit further. This fresh and fruity drink features a base of peach-infused bourbon, which is complemented by Pimm’s blackberry and elderflower liqueur, Giffard orgeat, lemon juice, and honey syrup, and is garnished with a delicate orgeat-Chantilly cream and fresh peach slices. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Brown Butter Old Fashioned

    Brown Butter Old Fashioned / Tim Nusog

    Brown-butter-washed bourbon is a favorite infusion among craft cocktail bartenders. In Louisville, Kentucky, you’ll come across it particularly often, but for good reason: It’s truly delightful. The process of washing the bourbon is simple: Heat unsalted butter in a saucepan until it lightly browns and gains a nutty aroma. (The key is to keep it moving in the pan so it doesn’t burn.) Then combine the browned butter with a bottle of bourbon in a heavy-duty Ziploc bag, toss it in the freezer overnight to freeze the fat, then skim off the solids. After you’ve made the bourbon base, which keeps for up to 2 months, the cocktail gets a dose of brown sugar syrup and Angostura bitters before it's garnished with an orange peel and a Luxardo maraschino cherry.

    Get the recipe.