Bourbon Cocktails For The Winter Season
Image Credit: Mint julep | Unsplash

Bourbon is one of the best choices for winter due to its warmth and mouthfeel. If bourbon was to be summed up in four words, they would be grains, water, wood, and time. High-quality bourbon is aged in an oak barrel, has 51% corn, and has to be 160 proof at the time of distillation. All of the flavor in the best bourbon comes from only the grains and the wood in the barrel. This makes bourbon a great base for your winter cocktails, which will keep you warm during the coldest months of the year. We’ve got some of the best bourbon-based cocktails to add to your list of winter cocktails that will make getting through the cold season a breeze.

Bourbon Old Fashioned

Mix two ounces (~60 ml) of bourbon, ½ ounce of simple syrup (simple syrup is a 1:1 mix of sugar and water brought to a boil, and then cooled), 2 dashes of aromatic bitters, 7 dashes of orange bitters. This will go well with the orange garnish at the end. Add some ice and stir this mix for around 25 to 30 seconds.

Peel an orange, then squeeze the juice from the peel into the drink. Rub the peel around the tip of the cocktail glass so you get a burst of that orange taste right before the drink. Drop the orange peel into the glass.

(If you don’t want to use simple syrup, just use a sugar cube.)

And there you have it—a delicious Old Fashioned to get you through a cold winter evening. 

Bourbon Martini

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This is basically a Manhattan with bourbon. Add two ounces of bourbon to a chilled glass (because this is a martini!). Add one ounce of sweet vermouth, 2-3 dashes of aromatic bitters, and some ice. Stir the mix for 15–20 seconds. Be careful not to overdo this, or you’ll dilute the drink by breaking the ice. You can add 2–3 cherries on a toothpick and use that as a garnish. Simple, glorious, and an absolute gem of a cocktail for the colder months. Legend has it that the bourbon martini saved the bourbon industry, and it’s easy to see why! 

Pineapple Bourbon Lemonade

If you’re in the mood for something more playful and citrusy, this is a great cocktail. Three strong ingredients that you can just enjoy on a winter evening This also has a low ABV, so you can drink it over a few days without feeling too much guilt.

Add 2.5 ounces or 75 ml of bourbon to a tall steel glass. Squeeze out the juice from a lemon or two to make 30 ml of lemon juice, and add this to the tall glass. Next, add 120 ml or 4 ounces of pineapple juice to this mix. Try to use fruit juice that has no added sugar. Unsweetened pineapple juice, by itself, will add a fair amount of sugar to this cocktail. Now, add some ice to your tall glass and shake it for 15–20 seconds. Shaking it like this will break down the citrus and even out the flavor.

Next, add some ice to a cocktail glass of your choice. Then, pour your drink over the ice, and garnish with a cherry for a tinge of sweetness. Your Pineapple Bourbon Lemonade is now ready to spread holiday cheer.

Bourbon and Apple Cider

This is as simple as it can get. All you need is bourbon, apple cider, a few spices, and a dab of citrus. Drop some (or a lot of) ice in a shaker or your tumbler of choice. Add 60 ml of your favorite bourbon to the ice. Then, add 60 ml of apple cider to the mix. For the citrus flavor, you can squeeze 1/3 of an orange into the mix. Shake it well for 30 seconds until the juice gets a foamy texture. Once you’re done shaking, strain this blend into a glass.

We’ll add some exotic taste with the help of spices—cinnamon and nutmeg. Grate the cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle them on top of the drink. You can garnish the cocktail with an orange twist or peel. One round of this bourbon cocktail, and you’ll wonder what’s all the fuss about cold weather because you’re feeling warm and cozy.

Mint Julep 

This is one of the most popular bourbon cocktails ever. This is a great drink for the summer heat, but it also works great in the winter months as well. It dates back to the late 18th century, and we’re going to have it like the old days so we’re warm for the winter. The mint-bourbon mix will need to be left overnight for the best taste. Add 20 ml of simple syrup to your mixing glass (1:1 sugar-water ratio). Then, drop some mint leaves into the syrup. Next, add 50 ml of bourbon, preferably a stronger variety. Use a little more of whatever you have in the cocktail if you don't have higher ABV bourbon.

Next, you have to lightly crush the mint leaves in the glass using a pestle. Technically, this is called "bruising" the mint. Make sure you don’t shred the mint leaves when "bruising" them. As mentioned earlier, to get the perfect mint julep, you need to set this infusion aside for a few hours, preferably overnight, so it soaks up the flavors. The next day, pour some crushed ice into your cocktail glass and strain your mint-bourbon mixture into the glass. Make sure the overnight mint leaves do not drop into your cocktail. Stir the mix for 30 seconds, or until there is frosting on the outside of the glass. You can garnish with a fresh mint leaf or two, and your Mint Julep is ready.