7 Drinks that Compliment Bourbon like Nothing Else

Introducing Guest Blogger Harold Camaya

Harold Camaya has been closely studying wine industry trends for quite some time. Intrigued by the booming growth of this sector, he takes interest in penning down his views providing quality insight on current wines and different liquor trends, particularly whiskey & wine.


Bourbon is one of the keys to style when it comes to preparing a cocktail. The secret of whipping up a magical cocktail lies in choosing the right combination of liquors and pairing it with food of the right type and flavour.

So here are 7 of the best drinks that unravel the magic of bourbon.


1.  Whiskey Sour


Source: liquor.com

The beauty of whiskey sour lies in its simplicity. Although rye and bourbon are interchangeable in this one, bourbon’s softer flavour makes our taste buds ecstatic when it meets the bite of fresh lemon juice. Both Buffalo Trace and Elijah Craig are a superb choice for a sour. As these are traditional mash bill bourbons with a real high corn content, this compliments both sweet and spicy foods alike.

2.  Mint Julep


Source: punchdrink.com

Mint julep has its soul tied with the Kentucky Derby. This frosty and refreshing beverage is easy-to-make, but gently muddled fresh mint is a must for the julep. Maker’s Mark is a good choice for a julep, although W.L. Weller will also work fine. Mark is a well-known wheat bourbon and hence used at much lower proofs; giving room to mild but spicy dishes to flourish. Barbecued meat and briskets pair nicely with Julep.


3.  Perfect Pearl Manhattan Cocktail


Source: liquor.com

Perfect Pearl Manhattan is just the “perfect” smoky cocktail you can ever dream of. Having a base of Bulleit bourbon combined with Dolin sweet and dry Vermouth and a Lagavulin scotch rinse; Manhattan has a rather strict recipe with not much space for experimentation.

Bulleit is a high rye bourbon and is spicier and drier than most others. Jambalayas, ribs, savoury cornbreads etc. fare nicely for the Manhattan.


4.  Whiskey Smash


Source: liquor.com

This is a must-have if you are a mojito lover. It is basically a mojito with rum replaced by bourbon whiskey and lemon in place of lime. The flavour of mint is strong in this concoction, which dominates the cocktail. Whiskey smash must be prepared while keeping the ratio of the ingredients in mind. Softer bourbons like Maker’s Mark works fine in a whiskey smash.

Even if the Mark is a soft bourbon, the mint gives Smash the strength it portrays and develops. Hence foods with stronger spices go well with this drink.

A Smash is a nice and light preference for the curious buds out there.


5.  Old Fashioned


Source: liquor.com

Being an IBA Official Cocktail, the Old Fashioned cocktail is one of a kind. A real potent mix, it is the simplicity of this beverage that gives it ample room for experimentation. Knob Creek is a good choice for this one.

The Old Fashioned is a cocktail with varying strengths and hence can accompany a large assortment of foods. Be it spicy and crispy grilled bacon with cheese dressings, a retro salad prep or simply a small salty red cabbage one-pot snack as a side dish, the Old Fashioned is always worth gold.


6.  Blushing Betty


Source: seriouseats.com

Betty can always be the mascot of winters! A quite addictive citrus-based beverage, Blushing Betty demands the bourbon to be of a lighter tone; letting the grapefruit juice shine its magic to the prime. Light bourbons like Wild Turkey works well here. Wild Turkey is generally a high proof bourbon and hence is watered down for Betty. Light snacks or food with a lower spice content is a preference for this cocktail.


7.  Moto Guzzi


Source: Pinterest

If you like your drink strong and dark, Moto Guzzi could be a favourite. The 120-plus proof Booker’s Bourbon is the general choice for Guzzi, but lower proofs can also be used in increasing ratios against the bitter vermouth. Moto Guzzi is one of the most general choices for after-dinner digestive because of the strength and the high proof of the Booker’s bourbon.


Be it light or strong, bourbon always puts the taste buds on a twirl. Although there are standard recipes available, you can always make your own modifications and make up your own one. So keep mixing, whipping up those fine cocktails and enjoy! Cheers!