Bourbon lemonade is inspired by a cocktail Patty and I tried recently in Portland Maine. While it uses some of the same basic ingredients, we did put our own unique spin on it. It’s a phenomenal and refreshing cocktail that’s also a little more sophisticated than the name implies. If your wife buys a 5-pound bag of lemons when she actually only needed three lemons, this is a great way to use the surplus.
My lemonade-inspired cocktail is made with bourbon, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, rhubarb bitters (interesting fruity and tart bitters), fresh mint, and a splash of ginger beer. It almost sounds like a spin on a bourbon mule or whiskey smash but it’s definitely more of a citrus-forward cocktail than anything.
If the thought of whiskey scares you to death, I’m here to assure you this is not a big whiskey-forward drink. I think all whiskey lovers and haters alike can find at least some common ground with this one.
How to Double Strain a Cocktail?
This cocktail calls for double straining. Double straining is pouring a cocktail through two strainers as you fill your glass. Straight-up cocktails with fresh muddled fruits or herbs benefit from being poured through a fine-mesh strainer to avoid bits of fruit or herbs floating in the drink.
Strain the cocktail using your shaker’s hawthorn strainer, and let it pass through another fine mesh strainer as you pour into a coupe glass. Any mesh strainer will do. While this isn’t 100% necessary, it makes for slightly better presentation and no flecks of mint.
Do I Really Need Bitters?
This is up to you. Rhubarb bitters are a little hard to come by. I wouldn’t say they’re essential for the cocktail but they do add another layer of dimension. Substitutes could be any fruity/citrusy bitters such as cherry, cranberry, lemon, plum, grapefruit, or orange. I personally love bitters in cocktails because it adds unique subtle flavors. I would not add your basic aromatic cocktail bitters in this one as it won’t quite jive.
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A citrusy, tart, and slightly sweet bourbon cocktail that will remind you of fresh lemonade. Thanks to the mint and ginger beer, this cocktail takes on a new level of complex flavor.
- 1 1/4 ounces bourbon
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 2–3 fresh mint leaves, gently muddled
- 2 dashes Fee Brothers rhubarb bitters
- Splash ginger beer or soda water
- Gently muddle the simple syrup and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker.
- Add all remaining ingredients except the ginger beer. Fill with ice and shake.
- Double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Top with a splash of ginger beer for a little fizz.
You can use ginger beer or soda water to add a splash of bubbles. Whichever you have on hand or prefer!
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 148
- Sugar: .6g
- Sodium: 16mg
- Fat: 0.2g
- Saturated Fat: 0.2g
- Carbohydrates: 12.9g
- Fiber: 0.1g
- Protein: 0.2g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: lemonade cocktail, bourbon cocktails, bourbon lemonade