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Everyone loves summer when the sun is at its peak and you can casually drink in the daytime to beat the heat. Many people agree that the best thing about summer is refreshing drinks; whether it be a cool gin & tonic, a delightful beer panache, or – our favorite – a crisp summer bourbon cocktail!
Are you surprised? Don’t be. If you think hard liquor is suitable only during winters, you’re in for a very pleasant surprise. Here are some of the best bourbon cocktails for summer cool-off.
We understand that nothing is more soothing than a refreshing cocktail to sip on while you relax, which is why we have this guide for you highlighting 18 summer bourbon cocktails.
1. Blackberry Bourbon Smash
A perfect tangy and refreshing summer bourbon cocktail, the blackberry bourbon smash features crushed blackberries, mint, and lime to form a mildly sweet and boozy summer bourbon punch. Served with ice and a splash of soda to round out the flavor, it’s a deliciously refreshing sweet bourbon cocktail.
2. Boulevardier Cocktail
The boulevardier cocktail, with its vibrant red tone, is a stunning negroni made with bourbon rather than gin. Its smooth richness, bitter-spicy warmth, and perfectly balanced sweet boozy flavor make it one of the best bourbon drinks for summer.
3. Bourbon Rickey
Washington DC is the birthplace of this sublimely fresh summer bourbon drink made with lime juice and soda water. Although its gin alternative is more famous, the bourbon rickey is one of the most popular bourbon cocktails in the sweltering heat all around the United States, not just in its Capital city.
4. Bourbon Sour
Also known as Whiskey Sour, the Bourbon Sour is one of the best-known summer bourbon cocktails. However, this version complements spicy bourbon with tangy lemons and sweet maple syrup for maximum refreshment and enjoyment.
5. Bourbon Sidecar
One of the most classic sour bourbon cocktail recipes, the bourbon sidecar replaces the fruity flavors of brandy with the sweet and spicy tones of bourbon whiskey. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add rum to get a whole new bourbon drink recipe called “between the sheets.”
6. Bourbon Strawberry Iced Tea
Improving everyday drinks with alcohol is an age-old tradition, and bourbon strawberry iced tea is the latest addition to classic bourbon drink recipes. It begins with fresh strawberries and tangy lemons and finishes with a skewered berry and mint garnish.
7. Brown Derby
The brown derby is a surprisingly brisk blend of grapefruit extracts, honey, and bourbon with an LA origin. While sipping, you can feel the sweet honey, bitter acidity, and bourbon tones playing off each other, resulting in a delicious and refreshing beverage for you.
8. Bulldog Smash
Bourbon and peach have long been a winning combination. The bulldog smash puts a fruity spin on the regular summer bourbon drinks by blending crushed peaches and tangy lemon juice with bourbon, Cointreau, and a hint of sugar.
9. Family Traditions
Family Traditions is a craft cocktail inspired by the refreshing summer bourbon punch recipes made with Mountain Dew. Putting it together may look like a party trick, but once the dew syrup and tang rim are done, it’s just a simple blend of bourbon and soda water.
10. Forbidden Sour
The forbidden fruit has always been hard to resist, even as far back as Eden. However, drinking the Forbidden Sour, an enticing blend of pomegranate juice and bourbon, will not be considered a sin. This flavor-packed punch is one of the most refreshing and easy-to-make summer bourbon cocktails.
11. Gold Rush Cocktail
This Gold Rush Cocktail, with a retro name and sweet-sour tones, may sound like a last-century drink, but it’s a modernist twist of the legendary Whiskey Sour. The perfect blend of zingy lemons, sweet honey, and spicy whiskey makes it a top contender among sweet bourbon cocktails.
12. Kentucky Mule
The Kentucky Mule is a bourbon alternative to the famed Moscow Mule. This simplistic blend of hard liquor, lime extracts, and ginger beer creates one of the easiest bourbon drink recipes to make. Served with a generous garnish of fresh mints, it is an aromatic boozy extravaganza.
13. Maple Bourbon Smash
The Maple Bourbon Smash is a classy and refreshing summer bourbon cocktail. Unlike most heavy and boozy whiskey-based cocktails, this delicious variation of bourbon cocktail recipes features freshly mixed lemon and mint to put a light and tangy spin on the classic Mint Julep.
14. Mint Julep
Often associated with the Kentucky Derby, the Mint Julep is the king of refreshing summer bourbon cocktails. It is sure to keep you frosty till the last drop when served in a proper julep cup with tons of crushed ice and a fresh mint burst.
15. New York Sour
The New York Sour is among the most stunning and complex-looking bourbon cocktail recipes featuring bright two-toned layers. The lower Whiskey Sour layer is sweet and perfectly balanced with maple syrup, while a layer of red wine floats over the top, adding intrigue, complexity, sophistication, and fruity acidity.
16. Paper Plane
Created by legendary bartender Sam Ross, the Paper Plane is one of the most elegant and sophisticated summer bourbon cocktails. This picture-perfect masterpiece features an exquisite blend of Aperol, Amaro Nonino, bourbon, and lemon extracts in equal parts, ready to be royally sipped on, anytime, anywhere.
17. Suffering Bastard
The Suffering Bastard is a classic mid-century bourbon cocktail that beautifully pulls off the unexpected blend of bourbon and gin. It may sound like an odd liquor couple, but the splash of lime, dash of bitters, and ginger ale to top off this flavor-packed summer bourbon punch delivers maximum refreshment.
18. Whiskey Highball
The Whiskey Highball was developed somewhere around the twentieth century and is still considered a refreshing way to sip on bourbon. Out of all the bourbon cocktails recipes, this two-ingredient blend is easy to make and even easier to enjoy.
Still can’t choose the best bourbon cocktails for summer days? Get in touch with us to discover even better ways to beat the summer heat that involves bourbon barrels! Please read our blog to find more summer bourbon cocktails and recipes.