Kentucky is known for a great many things — corn, horse racing, and bluegrass chief among them — but our personal favorite is a liquor that’ll be your best friend one day and your worst enemy the next: bourbon. The Bluegrass State is responsible for around 95% of the world’s supply, and it shows when you consider the number of cocktails (made with that sweet, sharp bourbon, of course) that carry its name. The next time you’re in a bourbon bar or cocktail bar — which should be tonight, by the way — make sure you try out one (or all, we won’t tell) of these three certified Kentucky bourbon cocktails.
- Mint Julep: Ahh, the signature cocktail of the Kentucky Derby! Mint juleps are known for their ability to soothe the bite of bourbon with the refreshing taste of mint, creating a perfect balance between too much and not enough.Ingredients:
- 2 oz bourbon whiskey
- 2 tsp water
- 1 tsp powdered sugar
- 4 mint leaves
Using a highball glass, muddle the mint, sugar, and water. Fill the glass with ice, add the bourbon, and stir until the glass is frosted. Garnish with a mint sprig if you’re feeling fancy, and enjoy.
- Kentucky Mule: A Kentucky twist on a classic, this drink prefers bourbon to vodka — just like us.Ingredients:
- 2 oz bourbon
- .5 oz fresh lime juice
- Ginger Beer
- Mint sprigs
- Glass: copper mug or highball
Add the bourbon and lime juice to the glass of your choice. Fill it with ice and top with ginger beer, then garnish with the mint sprigs.
- Midnight Cowboy: This rich and creamy cocktail adds a little extra liquor and a lot more cream. We recommend waiting until after the race to enjoy this drink.Ingredients:
- 2 oz bourbon
- 2 oz dark rum
- 1 oz heavy cream
Shake the bourbon, rum, and heavy cream in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain the contents into a chilled cocktail glass, and serve. Drinking has never been easier!
These three incredibly simple mixed drinks hardly even merit a trip to your nearest cocktail bar — at less than four ingredients each, you’d be hard-pressed to argue about the cost of running to your local liquor store and just stocking up on everything you need. However, you’ll be missing out on the nightlife and expertly made craft cocktails if you decide to stay in; indulge a little, and explore a whiskey bar near you!