What Can You Mix with Bourbon: Exploring Bourbon Mixology

what can you mix with bourbon

Bourbon is a versatile and delicious spirit that can be enjoyed in many ways. While sipping it neat or on the rocks is a classic choice, mixing bourbon with other ingredients can create a world of flavorful and complex cocktails. In this article, we will dive into the realm of bourbon mixology and discover the various ingredients that can be paired with bourbon to create mouth-watering drinks. From classic recipes to unique combinations, we’ll provide you with plenty of ideas to elevate your bourbon experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore the world of bourbon mixology to create unique and exciting cocktails
  • Classic mixers like bitters, vermouth, and citrus can highlight the rich flavors of bourbon
  • Fruit juices, herbal liqueurs, and sweet vermouth can create a balanced and delightful drink
  • Bitters add depth and complexity to bourbon cocktails, creating unique and intriguing flavors
  • Sparkling wine and coffee can bring an elegant and robust touch to bourbon cocktails

Classic Bourbon Mixers

If you’re new to bourbon, or you’re looking for a simple yet tasty cocktail, classic bourbon mixers are an excellent place to start. These drinks showcase the smoothness of bourbon while balancing its rich flavors with complementary ingredients. Here are some of the best bourbon drinks that you can make with classic mixers:

Old FashionedBourbon, sugar, bitters, orange slice, cherry
ManhattanBourbon, sweet vermouth, bitters, cherry
Whiskey SourBourbon, lemon juice, sugar, egg white (optional)

The Old Fashioned is the most classic of the classic bourbon mixers, with its simple yet effective combination of bitters and sugar, while the Manhattan adds sweet vermouth for a more complex flavor. The Whiskey Sour is perfect for those who enjoy a little sourness, balanced by the sweetness of sugar or egg white.

Don’t forget to garnish your drinks with a twist of orange or a cherry to add an extra touch of sophistication to your cocktail!

Bourbon and Ginger Ale

Ginger ale adds a refreshing and effervescent twist to bourbon, making it a popular mixer among bourbon enthusiasts. This classic combination has been enjoyed for centuries and is often served at bars and restaurants as a signature cocktail.

To create a perfect bourbon and ginger ale drink, all you need is a highball glass, ice cubes, bourbon, and ginger ale. Depending on your preference, you can adjust the ratio of bourbon to ginger ale to achieve the desired taste.

Cocktail NameIngredients
Bourbon and Ginger2 oz. bourbon, 4 oz. ginger ale
Kentucky Mule2 oz. bourbon, 4 oz. ginger beer, 1/2 oz. lime juice
Spiced Ginger Bourbon2 oz. bourbon, 4 oz. ginger ale, 1/2 oz. cinnamon syrup

Bourbon and ginger ale cocktails are easy to make and are perfect for any occasion. The spiciness of ginger ale complements the smoothness of bourbon, creating a delightful and easy-to-drink cocktail.

So, the next time you’re in the mood for a refreshing and flavorful drink, try mixing bourbon with ginger ale. It’s a popular bourbon mixer for a reason.

Bourbon and Cola

A classic combination that has been enjoyed for decades, bourbon and cola create a sweet and bold drink that is always a crowd-pleaser. The sweetness of cola enhances the rich notes of bourbon, creating a harmonious balance of flavors. Below are two classic bourbon and cola cocktails that you can try at home:

Drink NameIngredientsInstructions
Kentucky Mule2 oz bourbon
ginger beer
lime juice
Fill a copper mug or highball glass with ice. Pour in the bourbon and lime juice. Top with ginger beer and stir gently. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Southern Buck2 oz bourbon
lemon juice
Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour in the bourbon and lemon juice. Top with cola and stir gently. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Both the Kentucky Mule and the Southern Buck are easy to make and perfect for any occasion. They are also versatile cocktails that can be customized to your liking. For a sweeter drink, add more cola, or for a stronger bourbon flavor, add less. You can also experiment with different types of cola to see which pairs best with your favorite bourbon.

In addition to these classic cocktails, there are also many variations that incorporate other ingredients like fruit juices or bitters. One popular variation is the Cherry Coke, which combines bourbon, cola, and cherry syrup for a sweet and fruity twist. Another popular variation is the Black Jack Cola, which adds a splash of lemon-lime soda to the classic bourbon and cola combination.

With so many options to choose from, bourbon and cola is a go-to mixer that can be enjoyed year-round. Whether you’re hosting a party or enjoying a night in, a bourbon and cola cocktail is sure to impress.

Bourbon and Fruit Juices

When it comes to bourbon mixers, fruit juices might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, the sweetness and tanginess of fruit juices can pair surprisingly well with the bold flavors of bourbon, creating a delicious and balanced cocktail. Here are some unique bourbon cocktail recipes that feature fruit juices as mixers:

Cocktail NameIngredientsPreparation
Orange Bourbon Smash2 oz bourbon, 1 oz fresh orange juice, 1/2 oz honey syrup, 4-5 mint leavesMuddle mint leaves with honey syrup in a shaker. Add bourbon and orange juice. Fill with ice and shake well. Strain into a glass over ice.
Cranberry Bourbon Sour2 oz bourbon, 1 oz fresh cranberry juice, 1/2 oz lemon juice, 1/2 oz simple syrup, 1 egg whiteShake all ingredients without ice to emulsify the egg white. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a glass over ice. Garnish with cranberries and rosemary sprig.
Pineapple Bourbon Punch2 cups bourbon, 1 cup fresh pineapple juice, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup honey syrup, 2 cups ginger aleMix all ingredients except ginger ale in a punch bowl or pitcher. Add ice and stir well. Top with ginger ale. Serve over ice in glasses. Garnish with pineapple slices and cherries.

These unique bourbon mixers are perfect for those who want to try something new and exciting, yet still want to enjoy the classic flavors of bourbon. Give them a try and discover a world of delicious cocktail possibilities!

Bourbon and Herbal Liqueurs

If you are looking to elevate your bourbon cocktails to new heights, consider adding herbal liqueurs to the mix.

Herbal liqueurs are aromatic and complex, bringing a unique flavor profile to your drink. With a long history of use in mixology, herbal liqueurs like Chartreuse and Benedictine have become staples in many cocktails. When paired with bourbon, they can create sophisticated and intriguing drinks that will impress any guest.

When choosing an herbal liqueur to pair with bourbon, it’s essential to consider the flavor profile. Chartreuse, for example, has strong herbal and floral notes that can complement the sweet and smoky flavors of bourbon. Benedictine, on the other hand, has a more complex flavor profile, with hints of honey, citrus, and spices that can add depth to a bourbon cocktail.

Herbal LiqueurFlavor ProfileBest Paired with Bourbon Cocktail
ChartreuseHerbal, floral, and spicyBijou: A classic cocktail that combines bourbon, green Chartreuse, and sweet vermouth, creating a well-balanced and aromatic drink.
BenedictineComplex, with hints of honey, citrus, and spicesVieux Carre: A New Orleans classic that combines bourbon, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, and bitters, creating a rich and flavorful drink.

When using herbal liqueurs in your bourbon cocktails, it’s essential to measure the ingredients precisely to achieve the perfect balance of flavors. Start by using small amounts of the liqueur and adjust to your taste preferences.

Overall, adding herbal liqueurs to your bourbon cocktails can take your mixology game to the next level. Experiment with different flavors and recipes to find your perfect match.

Bourbon and Sweet Vermouth

When it comes to bourbon mixers, sweet vermouth is an ideal pairing for those who prefer a well-balanced, complex cocktail. Vermouth’s sweetness complements the rich flavors of bourbon while adding a depth of character to the drink.

Two classic cocktails that use bourbon and sweet vermouth are the Boulevardier and the Black Manhattan. The Boulevardier is made with equal parts bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Campari, and garnished with an orange peel. The Black Manhattan combines bourbon, sweet vermouth, and black walnut bitters, and is garnished with a cherry.

BoulevardierBourbon, sweet vermouth, CampariOrange peel
Black ManhattanBourbon, sweet vermouth, black walnut bittersCherry

For those who prefer a lighter touch of sweet vermouth, try a Manhattan variation called a Perfect Manhattan. This drink combines bourbon, sweet and dry vermouth, and is garnished with a cherry.

When choosing a sweet vermouth for your bourbon cocktails, look for quality brands such as Carpano Antica Formula or Cocchi Vermouth di Torino. And remember to always stir, not shake, your bourbon and sweet vermouth cocktails to maintain the integrity of the drink.

Bourbon and Bitters

Bitters are a crucial component of many bourbon cocktails, providing them with complexity and depth of flavor. If you’re looking to create classic, well-balanced drinks, the combination of bourbon and bitters is an excellent place to start. Here are a few bourbon mixers and cocktail recipes that incorporate bitters:

Bourbon CocktailMain IngredientsBitters Used
Old FashionedBourbon, sugar, water, bittersAngostura bitters
ManhattanBourbon, sweet vermouth, bittersAngostura bitters
SazeracBourbon, absinthe, sugar cube, Peychaud’s bittersPeychaud’s bitters

When it comes to bitters, there are various options to explore. Angostura bitters are the most common, but Peychaud’s bitters, orange bitters, and aromatic bitters are also popular choices. Experiment with different combinations to find your perfect mix.

Bitters can be added in various ways, either by dashing or spraying them directly into your drink, or by infusing your bourbon with them beforehand. Infusing your bourbon with bitters can be an excellent way to create unique and complex flavors that perfectly complement your chosen mixer.

If you’re new to using bitters, start with small amounts and gradually increase the quantity until you achieve the desired flavor. Remember, a little goes a long way with bitters, so be sure not to overdo it.

Overall, adding bitters to your bourbon cocktails is an excellent way to elevate your mixology game and create balanced and flavorful drinks. Try incorporating them into your next cocktail and see the difference they can make!

Bourbon and Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine and bourbon might seem like an unlikely pairing, but they can create delightful cocktails that are perfect for special occasions or celebrations. The effervescence of sparkling wine adds a touch of elegance and lightness to the boldness of bourbon, creating a balanced and sophisticated drink.

To mix bourbon and sparkling wine, you can use a ratio of one part bourbon to three parts sparkling wine. You can also add a splash of elderflower liqueur or a dash of bitters to create a more complex flavor profile.

Cocktail NameIngredientsInstructions
Bourbon Fizz1 1/2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz honey syrup
3 oz sparkling wine
Shake bourbon, lemon juice, and honey syrup with ice. Strain into a glass, top with sparkling wine, and garnish with lemon peel.
French 75 with Bourbon1 oz bourbon
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 oz sparkling wine
Shake bourbon, lemon juice, and simple syrup with ice. Strain into a glass, top with sparkling wine, and garnish with lemon peel.
Bourbon Bellini1 1/2 oz bourbon
1 oz peach puree
3 oz sparkling wine
Combine bourbon and peach puree in a glass. Top with sparkling wine and stir gently. Garnish with fresh peach slices.

Experiment with different combinations of sparkling wine and bourbon to find your favorite cocktail. You can also try using different types of sparkling wine, such as prosecco or champagne, to create unique and exciting drinks.

If you’re looking for a bourbon pairing suggestion for a special occasion, you can’t go wrong with a bourbon and sparkling wine cocktail. It’s a perfect way to celebrate with friends and family while enjoying the rich flavors of bourbon.

Bourbon and Coffee

For coffee lovers who also enjoy bourbon, combining the two can create an indulgent and comforting cocktail. Bourbon and coffee cocktails can be served hot or cold, with a range of flavors and ingredients. Here are some ideas for delicious bourbon and coffee drinks:

Bourbon and Coffee RecipesDescription
Bourbon Espresso MartiniA modern twist on a classic cocktail, this bourbon espresso martini combines the richness of coffee with the smoothness of bourbon, shaken with chocolate liqueur and espresso and garnished with coffee beans.
Bourbon and Cold BrewA refreshing and easy-to-make cocktail, bourbon and cold brew can be simply mixed with a splash of cream and a pinch of cinnamon for a delicious twist.
Bourbon Caramel LatteSweet and creamy, this bourbon caramel latte combines the flavors of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon, making it a perfect indulgence for cold winter evenings.
Bourbon Irish CoffeeA classic and warming cocktail, the bourbon Irish coffee combines bourbon, brewed coffee, and Irish cream liqueur, garnished with whipped cream and cocoa powder.
Bourbon Spiked Hot ChocolateA decadent and comforting drink, this bourbon spiked hot chocolate combines the rich flavors of creamy hot chocolate with the boldness of bourbon and a hint of vanilla.

When pairing bourbon with coffee, it’s essential to balance the flavors, so the two components complement each other. Bourbon tends to have a bold and robust flavor, so adding a sweet and creamy element, like caramel or whipped cream, can create a smooth and balanced drink. Also, using cold brew coffee instead of hot coffee can add a refreshing twist and prevent the cocktail from becoming too heavy.

Experiment with these recipes and create your own bourbon and coffee cocktails, perfect for any occasion. Whether you prefer it hot or cold, sweet or bitter, there is a bourbon and coffee combination out there for everyone.


Are you ready to take your bourbon experience to the next level? With these bourbon mixology tips and cocktail ideas, you’ll be able to unleash your inner mixologist and create a variety of delicious drinks.

Remember, don’t be afraid to experiment and try new combinations. The beauty of bourbon mixology is that there are endless possibilities for creating unique and exciting cocktails.

Whether you prefer classic recipes like the Old Fashioned or want to try something new like bourbon and coffee, there’s a bourbon cocktail out there for everyone.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite bottle of bourbon, gather your ingredients, and start mixing. Cheers to the wonderful world of bourbon mixology!


What can you mix with bourbon?

There are plenty of options for mixing bourbon! Classic mixers include bitters, vermouth, and citrus, which can be used to make delicious cocktails like the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, or Whiskey Sour. You can also try mixing bourbon with ginger ale, cola, fruit juices, herbal liqueurs, sweet vermouth, bitters, sparkling wine, or even coffee for unique and flavorful drinks.

What are some popular bourbon mixers?

Some popular bourbon mixers include ginger ale, cola, fruit juices like orange, cranberry, or pineapple, herbal liqueurs like Chartreuse or Benedictine, sweet vermouth, bitters, sparkling wine, and coffee. These mixers can all enhance the taste of bourbon and create a variety of delicious cocktails.

What are some classic bourbon cocktail recipes?

Classic bourbon cocktail recipes include the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Whiskey Sour, Kentucky Mule, Southern Buck, Boulevardier, and Black Manhattan. These recipes feature a combination of bourbon with mixers like bitters, vermouth, citrus, ginger ale, cola, or sweet vermouth for a timeless and flavorful drink.

What are some unique bourbon mixers?

Some unique bourbon mixers include herbal liqueurs like Chartreuse or Benedictine, sparkling wine, coffee, and flavored bitters. These mixers can add complexity and depth to bourbon cocktails, creating unique and intriguing flavor profiles.

Can you suggest any bourbon pairing suggestions?

Sure! Bourbon pairs well with mixers like ginger ale, cola, fruit juices, herbal liqueurs, sweet vermouth, bitters, sparkling wine, and coffee. Experimenting with these mixers can lead to fantastic flavor combinations and exciting bourbon cocktails.

Are there any tips for bourbon mixology?

When it comes to bourbon mixology, it’s essential to balance the flavors and experiment with different ratios of bourbon to mixer. Start with classic recipes and then get creative with unique combinations. Don’t be afraid to try new ingredients and flavors to elevate your bourbon experience.

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