Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Bourbon Cocktails

10 Bourbon Drinks That Beat the Heat

Brown spirit cocktails to cool you down.

Kentucky Mule cocktail / Tim Nusog 

Most everyone is a little obsessed with summer, what with all the three-day weekends and Summer Fridays and half-day Wednesdays... is that last one even real? Anyway, what might be best about summer are its drinks––icy Gin & Tonics, refreshing Shandys and crisp tumblers of bourbon. Wait, what?

Yes, bourbon. If you are like most people, you think clear spirits are for summer and dark spirits are for nursing during the bitter-cold months. Not so: There’s a world of bourbon-based summer sippers to help you cool off. These ten recipes will have you doing sun-drenched exhales, without trading an ounce of big bourbon flavor in the bargain.

  • Bourbon Rickey

    Bourbon Rickey cocktail Tim Nusog

    Ah, the Rickey. If you’ve ever been to Washington, D.C., in the summer, then you've maybe heard it was the birthplace of this sublimely refreshing, easy-to-make drink. D.C. celebrates Rickey Month each July and variations on the tall cooler abound. Though its gin cousin is more well known today, the Bourbon Rickey is perfect for the sweltering dog days of summer.

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  • Mint Julep

    Mint Julep cocktail / Tim Nusog 

    The Mint Julep is most often associated with the Kentucky Derby, which is a shame, because the Derby only lasts two minutes. The Julep, with its mountain of ice and burst of fresh mint, is a perfect drink all summer long, whether you’re at a pool party or lounging on your porch at sunset. And when served in the traditional Julep cup, it's sure to stay frosty until the last drop.

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  • Brown Derby

    Brown Derby cocktail / Tim Nusog


    Invented in Los Angeles during Hollywood’s heyday and named for that city's famous, hat-shaped diner, this classic is a surprisingly brisk combination of grapefruit juice, honey and bourbon. Honeyed sweetness, bitter tartness and the depth of bourbon play off one another in this dangerously sippable cocktail. Mix one up for your next evening cookout.

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  • Forbidden Sour

    Forbidden Sour / Tim Nusog

    Ever since Eden, it's known that forbidden fruit is that much sweeter. And this enticing mixture of pomegranate and bourbon is no different––well, except that it isn't a mortal sin to drink one. Although maybe it should be a sin for a drink to be so darn easy to make, yet pack such a flavor punch.

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    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • Bulldog Smash

    Bulldog Smash cocktail

    Peaches and bourbon: winning combination. This fruity, summery spin on the traditional Smash blends muddled summer peaches and lemon with bourbon, Cointreau and a kiss of sugar. Serve this one alongside homemade peach pie at your next barbecue or backyard picnic.

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  • Suffering Bastard

    Suffering Bastard cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Bourbon and gin, together at last? OK, maybe it's a little unexpected, but this classic midcentury drink pulls off the combination beautifully. This odd spirit couple gets a dash of lime juice and bitters, plus ginger ale to top for a sipper that's full of flavor yet still delivers maximum refreshment.

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  • Bourbon Strawberry Iced Tea

    Bourbon Strawberry Iced Tea cocktail / Tim Nusog

    You knew your Gram was dosing her sweet tea with bourbon anyway, right? This bourbon-spiked tea starts with muddled strawberries and lemon juice and is finished with a garnish of skewered berries and fresh mint. Pull this one out for your Fourth of July celebration.

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  • Family Traditions

    Family Traditions cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Inspired by a decidedly unpretentious combo of Mountain Dew and bourbon, this craft cocktail version is a bit of a party trick. But once you've made the citrusy Dew syrup and sugary Tang rim, it's a pretty straightforward assembly of bourbon, syrup and soda water. A much better way of Doing the Dew.

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    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • Paper Plane

    Paper Plane cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Like that perfect summer dress that transitions from day to night, this elegant cocktail created by bartending legend Sam Ross can just as easily be sipped at a sun-drenched lunch date as on a balmy evening. Aperol, Amaro Nonino and lemon juice combine with bourbon in equal parts for a smart, sophisticated drink that's as pretty as a picture.

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  • Kentucky Mule

    Kentucky Mule cocktail / Tim Nusog 

    The Moscow Mule is one of the more tantalizing contributions to the vodka lexicon: A simple union of spirit, lime juice and ginger beer. Naturally, this bourbon variation is thrilling. A generous mint garnish uplifts, creating an aromatic powerhouse of a warm-weather drink.

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