A refreshing blackberry bourbon lemonade recipe with a kick! Bourbon whiskey is paired with ripe blackberries, lemons and muddled mint perfect for summer!
Nothing is better than wrapping up a long day by putting on your comfy pants and having your favorite drink in hand. Even though an ice cold glass of organic 2% milk has been my drink of choice lately, my husband Jason likes a more refined and aged glass of whiskey.
To spoil the hubs a little bit for helping with all of the baby “nesting,” I wanted to create a whiskey cocktail made especially for him.
I told Jason that I would make him a gentlemen’s summer drink and needless to say, that put a smile on his face. With Baby Gavin on the way, I couldn’t exactly try the recipe. So once I added the whiskey to it, I pulled Jason into the test kitchen for a little mixed drink R&D. Together we created a yummy (or so I’ve heard) blackberry bourbon lemonade!
Summer time means plump and juicy berries, and I recently purchased a package of blackberries from Trader Joes that were delicious. There’s also nothing more refreshing than a fresh glass of fresh squeezed homemade lemonade. I thought that the combination of juicy and robust blackberries, with tangy lemons, would be a perfect balance with a barrel aged whiskey, which resulted in a refreshing blackberry bourbon lemonade.
A little bit of molasses from the brown sugar adds just the right touch of sweetness and body to the drink and complements the smokiness of the bourbon. Muddling fresh mint and lemon peel adds some nice aromatics when you take your first sip, it’s delicious (again, so I’ve heard).
Now for the magic touch, some of the bourbon options could be Knobb Creek, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels or Marker’s Mark. Any of these will work! If you like a little fizz to your drink, lemon flavored soda or soda water will make this cocktail more thirst-quenching. Jason is not a fan of carbonated drinks, so we didn’t go that route.
To keep your cocktails nice and chilled and prevent diluting the flavor too quickly, try using a silicon sphere ice maker. I bought a set of Tovolo sphere ice molds for Jason for his birthday, and he loves them! The large ice spheres are easy to make, just refilling and freezing as you go. The molds come in a pack of two, and it’s under a $10 investment, definitely worth it when you enjoy nicer aged whiskeys.
This blackberry bourbon lemonade is a crowd pleaser for your guests on those warm summer evenings. I have a hard time drinking whiskey straight, and this recipe allows you to enjoy the taste of the bourbon balanced with the fresh berries and lemon. This is a drink everyone can enjoy and if you like a stronger cocktail, pour away!
What is Bourbon Whiskey?
Bourbon is a whiskey made of distilled grains (at least 51% corn, barley, malt and rye), water and yeast for fermentation. The FDA standards for making “Straight Bourbon Whiskey” require that the spirit is produced in the USA. It also says that it has to be distilled at less than 160 proof (80% alcohol by volume), a grain mix of at least 51% corn, have no additives besides water, aged in new charred white oak barrels for a minimum of two years (Resource: Jim Beam). All bourbons are whiskeys, but not all whiskeys are bourbon!
- 2 cups blackberries
- 12 mint leaves
- 1 lemon , (4 slices)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup brown sugar simple syrup , ¼ brown sugar dissolved in ¼ water
- 4 ounces bourbon , - Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, or Knob Creek, more if desired
In a bowl or pitcher, muddle the blackberries, mint leaves and lemon peel together until the juice is gently extracted from the berries. Leave some of the berries intact.
Add the lemon juice, brown sugar simple syrup and bourbon whiskey to the blackberry mixture. Stir to combine.
Add ice to 4 glasses. Place a small strainer over each glass, then carefully pour even amounts of the tasty cocktail into each glass. If you like some pulp in your drink, feel free to add some to each glass. Garnish with whole blackberries, a fresh slice of lemon and mint if desired.