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Bourbon Made Easy

With so many options and such versatility, it's easy for the bourbon connoisseur or novice to find a drink they like.

Coming at this article with the perspective of predominately a beer drinker, I hope to provide a basic overview of some simple yet enjoyable drinks that involve bourbon. As someone who doesn't drink that much of it, I can say that I've alway appreciated this particular drink because of it's visual sophistication, the exacting process it takes to make and the fact that unlike nearly everything else in our society now that is a mile a minute, making and even enjoying bourbon takes time, patience, diligence and a long-term vision. 

What's even more interesting to me is the self-customizing nature of bourbon. Unlike beer which is typically consumed directly out of the bottle it was packaged in, or direct from a tap, bourbon is at least as often as not consumed following some type of customizing of the original product. This customizing has, like most things in 2017 almost limitless options and combinations to choose from, making it a fun yet potentially overwhelming process to select which way to go. Not only must you select the ingredients to use in augmenting your bourbon, you must also select the right bourbon; decisions decisions! 

Hot Toddy

This is a great mix if instead of tea you want some fun juice while a bit under the weather. Of course being sick is not a prerequisite for this drink, as it can be enjoyed in sickness and in health. It's best to use an American or Canadian bourbon with this drink which also calls for lemon and honey. 

Get the recipe here.

The Manhattan

A classic drink, seen in movies, high-end bars, and sophisticated house parties for decades. This is indeed a drink to impress move. This drink is not quite as simplistic as others on this list, but it's elegance, flavor and sparkle are worth the extra effort. To make a manhattan you will need Rye Whiskey, Sweet Red Vermouth and some bitters. Mix chill and enjoy! 

Get the recipe here.

Old Fashioned

Straight to the point and nearly raw. This popular cocktail draws its name as much from its no-frills composition as it does its vintage. Just your favorite bourbon, a cube of sugar and a few bitters poured over the rocks and you're good to go. Indeed it's not only people with drinking problems that enjoy and consume this vanguard of tradition, anyone and everyone can and does enjoy a throwback every now and then. 

Get the recipe here.

Whiskey Sour

While the name is a bit deceiving and even misleading given the fact this drink is not bitter or sour in the classic sense of the definition, it's still a very popular drink that is simple to make and more times than not will result in a favorable reaction from guests. This drink is a mix of lemon juice, simple syrup or honey and whiskey served chilled over the rocks. 

Get the recipe here.

Ginger Highball

This baby is another that is long in the tooth. Highly popular with 20th-century British people, this drink is applied best to casual outings, perhaps during the week after work and consists of whiskey (any kind will do), lemon slices, and ginger ale. Layer the lemon slices and ice then pour in the whiskey and top with the ginger ale. 

Get the recipe here.

Spiked Southern Tea

This versatile drink feels like summer, but can be served hot or cold. If going with the iced version preparing it ahead of time and giving it some time to chill is best. It is made up of bourbon, real maple syrup, and black tea. Enjoy on the deck, roof or in a front porch rocking chair. 

Get the recipe here.

Bourbon Vanilla Shake

What could be better than easily combining desert with a nice cold one? But buyer beware due to their sweet non-alcohol tasting flavor, these babies can very easily be consumed in multiples very quickly and that you will live to regret. Some like to turn them into popsicles as a way of controlling how much is consumed at one time. Regardless these tasty treats are made with vanilla ice cream, vanilla extract, and bourbon. 

Get the recipe here.

Mint Julep

The official drink of the Kentucky Derby, this concoction is made of mostly bourbon with some mint and perhaps a touch of syrup to take some of the heat off. Crushed ice is the way to go here so if there is no crushed ice available, break out your mallet and plastic bag and get smashing. Blowing off steam before drinking is always a good idea, it means you're likely to enjoy the drinks more and consume less of them, a true win win. 

Get the recipe here.

Irish Coffee

A meal in a glass and one that is in most cases safe to drink on your lunch break or before heading into the office in the morning. A tasty combination of calming whiskey with the pick me up power of coffee, enhanced by the filling sensation of cream. Mixed together hot or iced, this drink is extremely popular, easy, and can be consumed at almost any time.

Get the recipe here

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