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Spicy Bourbon-Citrus Cocktail

Spicy Bourbon-Citrus Cocktail

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The ice in this spicy grapefruit cocktail dilutes the drink over time, so you can keep sipping well into the party.


  • 5 Fresno chiles, halved lengthwise, plus 1 whole, for serving
  • 1¾ cups fresh grapefruit juice
  • Lime wheels (for serving)

Recipe Preparation

  • Combine halved chiles and bourbon in a pitcher and let stand 30 minutes. Fish out chiles and discard. Stir vermouth, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup into spicy bourbon; chill until cold.

  • Add lime wheels and whole chile to pitcher just before serving. Serve in rocks glasses filled with ice.

  • DO AHEAD: Cocktail can be mixed 3 hours ahead. Keep chilled.

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 200 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 19 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 17 Protein (g) 0 Sodium (mg) 170Reviews Section

Spicy Bourbon-Citrus Cocktail - Recipes

Active Time: 20 MinsTotal Time2 Hours 20 Mins
Yield: Serves 10

This refreshing punch will make your next cocktail party or happy hour the talk of the town. Spicy ginger and bourbon (our Test Kitchen recommends using Bulleit Bourbon) give this big-batch cocktail a bite that’s balanced out by fresh orange and lemon juices and sparkling mineral water (such as Topo Chico). The homemade ginger syrup is easy to prepare and can be made up to three days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. There is no need to peel the ginger root because it will eventually be strained out of the cooked syrup, however, you should scrub the ginger clean if the skin is dirty. Be sure to squeeze fresh citrus instead of using the bottled stuff it doesn’t take long and makes all of the difference in this recipe. Big-batch drinks like this one are ideal for entertaining because you can prepare them ahead of the party, and scale them up if needed. If you want to make Spicy Bourbon-Citrus Punch in advance, simply combine all of the ingredients except the sparkling water and orange slices in a large pitcher one day in advance. Store the punch in the refrigerator. When it is party time, add the orange slices and stir the punch (in the pitcher or transfer to a punch bowl) to combine all of the ingredients. Serve in glasses over ice. Cheers!

23 of the Best Bourbon Cocktails

From a classic old fashioned to brand new twists, these are the bourbon recipes your cocktail shaker needs.

Often relegated to the chillier months of the year, bourbon is a true American-born spirit. Whether you like your bourbon drinks potent, like a classic boulevardier, or prefer something with a fresher, more fruity twist, we've got recipes that prove that bourbon can be the right choice for every palette and season.


1 oz bourbon
.5 oz Patron Citronge orange liqueur
7 dashes of Angostura bitters
7 dashes of Peychauds bitters
1 lemon twist

Add all ingredients (except champagne) into a chilled mixing vessel and stir for 15 seconds. Pour into a chilled coupe, top off with champagne and garnish with an extra long lemon twist.

2 oz bourbon
.5 oz winter spiced simple syrup*
2 dashes orange bitters
2 dashes aromatic bitters
Cinnamon stick

Stir ingredients with ice. Strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

*To make the winter spiced simple syrup, simmer 1:1 simple syrup with clove, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg.


2 oz simple syrup
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 oz bourbon
2 oz fresh lemon juice
2 tsp orange marmalade
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 egg white

Boil simple syrup and rosemary in a small saucepan, and allow it to cool to room temperature. Strain the syrup and add it to a shaker with bourbon, lemon juice, and marmalade. Add ice and shake. Pour into a glass with ice. Add maple syrup, orange juice, and egg white to the shaker. Shake until frothy and pour over cocktail. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Served at the Chandelier Bar in Las Vegas.


8 oz hot water
1 tea bag
2 oz bourbon
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp lemon juice
1 lemon slice

Pour hot water into mug and steep tea for two to three minutes. Remove tea bag and add honey, whiskey, and lemon juice. Stir. Garnish with lemon slice.


1 oz bourbon
1 oz crème de cacao
1 oz half and half
One egg white
Dash of simple syrup
Dash of salt

Combine ingredients in shaker, add ice, shake vigorously, strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with nutmeg, cranberries ,and a sprig of rosemary.


2 oz bourbon
.5 oz maple syrup
.5 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

Muddle thyme then combine ingredients and serve on the rocks. Garnish with a lemon peel.


2 oz Basil Hayden's bourbon
.75 oz limoncello
.5 oz orange juice
.25 oz lemon juice
.25 oz simple syrup
1 dash of cranberry bitters
1 egg white

Shake hard with ice. Serve up in coupe glass.


1.5 oz Maker&rsquos Mark Bourbon
1 tsp fresh lemon Juice
4 oz Kentucky Ale-8-One (if unavailable, substitute your favorite ginger ale)
8 dashes Angostura bitters

Build all of the ingredients except for soda in a highball glass with ice. Top off with Kentucky Ale-8-One and stir once.

By Chef Newman Miller of Star Hill Provisions in Loretto, Kentucky


2 cups cream
2 cups whole milk
1 cup Woodford Reserve bourbon
.75 cup sifted powdered sugar
Half of a vanilla bean
Fresh grated nutmeg

In a metal bowl over an ice bath, whisk sugar, cream, milk, and bourbon until nice and frothy. Add vanilla bean and strain through fine mesh strainer into pitcher. Place pitcher in freezer for 30 minutes to an hour stirring on occasion. Pour into glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.


2 oz Elijah Craig bourbon
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
.75 oz agave syrup
2 cherry tomatoes
5 fresh basil leaves

Muddle tomatoes and four basil leaves. Add other ingredients and shake over ice. Strain into an old fashioned glass with ice. Garnish with a basil leaf.

Created by Ruben Bansie and served at Bar Velo in Brooklyn, New York


2 oz Peerless bourbon
1 tsp Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup
4 large peach slices
2 dashes black walnut bitters
Orchid for garnish

Muddle 2 Peach slices in a mixing glass, add all other ingredients and stir with ice for about 15 seconds. Double fine strain into a rocks glass full of crushed ice and garnish with remaining peach slices and orchid.


1.5 oz Hudson Baby Bourbon
1 oz Aperol aperitif
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz honey syrup
Half-dropper of Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters

Add ingredients to shaker with ice and shake to chill.


1.5 oz Elijah Craig Bourbon
1 oz Paul Masson Brandy
1 oz Giffard Banana Liqueur
3 Dashes Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and serve with a large ice cube.


.25 oz Amaro CioCiaro
.25 oz maraschino liqueur
.75 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
1.5 oz Old Forester Bourbon

Prepare cocktail in a mixing glass, fill with ice, stir for 25 seconds, let sit a few seconds more while preparing coupe glass. Pour cocktail, squeeze lemon zest over cocktail, discard the lemon, and garnish with maraschino cherry.


1.25 oz Maker's Mark Bourbon
Hot apple cider
Dash of allspice
Tall cinnamon stick
Lemon slice

Add bourbon to a mug. Fill mug with hot apple cider and dash of allspice. Garnish with tall cinnamon stick and lemon slice.


1.5 oz Bulleit Bourbon
1 tsp lemon juice
.5 tsp sugar
Orange slice
Maraschino cherry

Add bourbon, lemon juice, and sugar to cocktail shaker. Shake with ice and strain into chilled rocks glass. Garnish with orange slice and maraschino cherry.


1.5 oz Elijah Craig Small Batch bourbon
1 oz Campari
.75 oz Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth
Orange peel

Build ingredients in a mixing glass, using a jigger. Add ice and stir with bar spoon. Strain with a julep strainer into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with spritzed orange peel.


1 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
.5 oz Aperol
.5 oz Amaro Montenegro
.5 oz lemon juice
.75 oz simple syrup
3 oz Rare Tea Cellars Emperor's Lemon Meritage tea, steeped

Combine above in a metal shaker. Submerge the bottom of the shaker in another shaker filled with hot water and stir to combine and warm ingredients. Pour into a mug and top with hot tea. Garnish with a few gratings of cinnamon.


2 oz Cutler's 33 Bourbon
.5 oz organic lemon juice
.75 oz strawberry purée
.75 oz honey
Lavender flowers

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour over ice in a stemless wine glass. Garnish with honeycomb and fresh lavender.


1 part Knob Creek Single Barrel
1 part Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur.
5 parts Punt e Mes
.25 parts fresh lemon juice
Garnish with Luxardo Maraschino Cherries on skewer

Combine all ingredients in a glass. Add ice and stir. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with cherries.


2 oz bourbon
1 oz Oloroso sherry
.5 oz Ancho Reyes chili liqueur
.5 oz Benedictine

Combine all above ingredients in an Old Fashioned glass, add cubed ice and give a short stir. Garnish with an orange peel.

Created by Kimberly Rosselle and served at Trick Dog in San Francisco


1.5 oz Drambuie
.5 oz Hudson Baby Bourbon
.5 oz Oloroso Sherry
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Star anise

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Stir until well chilled and strain into chilled coupe. Garnish with star anise.


2 oz bourbon
1 oz ginger syrup*
1 oz unfiltered apple juice
1 oz lemon juice
A few cracks of black pepper

Combine all ingredients, shake, and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with an apple ball.

*Ginger Syrup: 2 oz. of ginger to 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water. Simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool. Strain. Store in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

The Mint Fedora &ndash A Bourbon Grapefruit Cocktail

It should be no surprise &ndash I make a lot of random cocktails on a whim. I use whatever ingredients I have on hand at the time, usually from some other recipe test or product review. One thing I try to keep around is a bottle of low-sugar juice &ndash usually pomegranate, cranberry, or grapefruit &ndash for a mixer. These have a nice flavor that pairs well with all your base liquors, but lower calories than some of the higher sugar juices out there. The low sugar also leaves me the opportunity to adjust the sweetness to my mood.

This bourbon grapefruit cocktail &ndash which I&rsquove jokingly named the Mint Fedora with the help of a friend &ndash is one of the results of these experimentations. Loosely based on a classic cocktail called the Brown Derby, this version swaps in homemade mint simple syrup for the traditional honey, and some tropical bitters to highlight the citrus and add a warm spicy note. A fresh mint leaf garnish brings a lovely aromatic component to the drinking experience (and looks beautiful in the glass).

Distillation and Proof

Traditionally, bourbon is double distilled to ensure smoothness and quality, though that's not a requirement. Bourbon cannot, however, be distilled to more than 160 proof (80 percent alcohol by volume, or ABV) initially.

Bourbon must go into the barrel at no more than 125 proof (62.5 percent ABV). If the distillate is higher than that, it must be diluted with water before it goes into a barrel.

Bourbon may not be bottled lower than 80 proof (40 percent ABV), though many are stronger than that. Some are bottled at cask strength (or barrel proof), meaning that they are not diluted with water between the barrel and the bottle.

9 Divine Whiskey Cocktails You'll Fall for This Season

After the endless glasses of rosé, fruity cocktails, and frozen margaritas, it's time to throw in the (beach) towel and say hello to fall. Crisp and cool autumn nights call for comforting cocktails made with darker spirits like smoky mezcal, bitter amaro, and &mdash our personal favorite &mdash whiskey. To avoid the same whiskey sour recipe (come on &mdash we know you can do better than that), we've rounded up the best whiskey cocktails to get you ready for fall.

Note: We've listed ingredients you can easily shop online, but perishables and produce we recommend buying in stores.

This cocktail is served at New York City's upscale Mexican restaurant and bar Bodega Negra at Dream Downtown. It's boozy, slightly spicy, and packed with classic cold-weather flavors, including caramel, cherry, and oak. A lighter and slightly citrusy scotch like Glenmorangie 10 works best in this recipe, and we recommend serving this stunning libation in your fanciest coupe.

Smoking Scorpion


Mix all ingredients in a chilled coupe glass. Garnish sides of glass with salt.

Recipe courtesy of Inigo Salazar, Bodega Negra at Dream Downtown

It doesn't get much more autumnal than this comforting cocktail featuring Laphroaig Select Scotch Whisky, apple brandy, maple syrup, and bitters from Los Angeles-based mixologist Devon Tarby. The sweetness from the maple syrup and slight peaty smokiness from the scotch make this a well-balanced and damn delicious drink for fall.

Needle in the Hay


Stir all ingredients together with ice until slightly chilled but still boozy. Strain over fresh ice into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Recipe courtesy of Los Angeles Mixologist Devon Tarby

This riff on the classic Hot Toddy from Angry Orchard is the perfect in-between weather beverage to have on-hand as the nights start to get a bit cooler. Hard cider adds extra crispness and acidity to the traditional water- or tea-based libation, mingling with Irish whiskey in a boozy yet savory blend. Now, all you'll need is the perfect glass mug.

Orchard Toddy


  • 1 bottle Angry Orchard Crisp Cider
  • 4 ½ ounces Irish whiskey
  • 3 ounces honey ginger syrup
  • 3 ounces water
  • 2 ounces lemon juice

Add all ingredients to a slow cooker and set at low heat. Allow to heat up and then serve and garnish with a lemon wheel studded with cloves. If using a stovetop, add all ingredients to a small saucepan and simmer over low heat. Be careful not to allow the mixture to get too hot, because the alcohol will boil off.

Recipe courtesy of Angry Orchard

Served at New York's The Rickey at Dream Midtown, this Walnut Sazerac provides a fun twist on the classic absinthe-laced cocktail. Walnut liqueur adds a nutty warmth to spicy rye whiskey, while Peychaud's bitters add just the right amount of subtle citrus.

Chill a rocks glass and coat with absinthe. In mixing glass add Dickel Rye, Nocello Walnut Liqueur, and the Peychaud&rsquos bitters. Add ice and stir to temperature. Strain into chilled, absinthe-coated glass. Garnish with lemon.

Recipe courtesy of Adam Koelb, The Rickey at Dream Midtown

13 Creative and Cozy Fall Cocktails to Warm You Right Up

Crisp and chilly nights call for comforting fall cocktails made with darker spirits and classic autumn ingredients, like tart apple cider, fragrant cinnamon, and rich maple syrup. To avoid that same-old hot toddy recipe (you can do better than that!), we've rounded up the best fall cocktails for fully embracing sweater weather. Here are our favorite cozy fall cocktails to warm you up.

Note: We've listed ingredients you can easily shop online, but perishables and produce we recommend buying in stores.

For the first few weeks of fall when warmer summer temperatures still linger, a slightly tart and refreshing fall cocktail is what we crave. This recipe from Woodford Reserve combines juicy cranberry and raspberry flavors with their expertly crafted bourbon for an early fall cocktail that's as boozy as it is refreshing. Sorghum adds just a touch of mild molasses-like sweetness, making this cocktail the perfect transitional beverage to take your taste buds from summer to fall.

Woodford Reserve Eclipse


  • 1 ½ ounces Woodford Reserve Distiller&rsquos Select Bourbon
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1 ounce fresh raspberry juice
  • ½ ounce Chambord
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • 2-3 drops sorghum syrup to top

Combine bourbon, Chambord, cranberry juice, raspberry juice, lime juice, and sorghum in a shaker shell with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a chilled glass. Top with a dash of club soda, and garnish with a speared black raspberry and lemon or lime twist.

Recipe courtesy of Woodford Reserve.

If you're hosting friends and family for happy hour or looking for an easy-to-make batched fall cocktail, look no further than this creative Boozy Apple Cider recipe from our friends at Delish. This recipe uses actual hollowed-out apples as the glassware, which means 1) yes, you can eat the cup, and 2) cleanup just got a whole lot easier. Apple cider, cinnamon, and whiskey? Yes, please!

Boozy Apple Cider


  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 1 ½ cups cinnamon whiskey, such as Fireball
  • ½ cup caramel
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish
  • 8 fresh apples
  • Fresh lemon juice, for brushing

In a slow cooker, combine apple cider, whiskey, cinnamon sticks, and caramel. Cook on low until warmed through, about 2-3 hours.

To make apple cups: Slice off the top of each apple. Use an apple corer to remove the inside of the apple until you&rsquore about a half-inch from the bottom of the apple. Squeeze lemon juice inside the apple cups to prevent apples from browning.

Ladle hot cider into apple cups. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Delish.

Meyer Lemon Drop

When life gives you Meyer lemons, make this softened take on a lemon drop. Meyer lemons are in season from November to March, so the holidays are the perfect time to take advantage of these unique fruits. They’re considered a cross between a standard lemon and a mandarin orange, so their tartness is subdued. Place the candies in a Ziplock bag to finely crush. It’s easier to get a nice thick ring on the glass by holding it in one hand and sprinkling the candy dust on with the other.

Earl Grey Cocktail

In many families, giving oranges as a gift at Christmas is part of their family tradition. This hearkens back to the gold, spices and gifts of the Three Kings and the gold that Saint Nick left in people&rsquos stockings. We wanted to capture some of that wonderful flavor of oranges and spice for our Earl of Orange tea cocktails.

Likewise we thought a spiced orange syrup would be the perfect starting point.

Our spiced orange syrup is a delicious combination of sweet and spice. Made with fresh orange zest and fresh squeezed orange juice, there is a full bold burst of orange flavor. To bring a nice bit of holiday spice, we added in some traditional Sur La Table Mulling Spice, cinnamon, clove and star anise.

The combination of spice and citrus makes for a complex sweet syrup that has an incredible perfume as well.

Menus & Tags

This is a great recipe. I added club soda and ginger liqueur instead of ginger beer. but loved the concept.

Very light and refreshing, reminded me of summer. Tastes amazing if you use fresh-squeezed oj vs the bottled stuff. I added a little bit of simple syrup but if you're into gin, you won't need it.

Added club soda, the bubbles were fun. The type of ginger beer really made a difference. We tried with "Fiery", which is really sweet, and true ginger beer that is really spicy and it changed a lot.

Slightly too sweet to be truly refreshing, but very tasty nonetheless. Next time I'll play around with it (maybe substitute lime juice for the oj?).

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