Winter Cocktails

It’s cold. It’s a vortex of cold, even. And it’s not even February yet.  Places that have never, ever seen snow are getting hit hard with freezing rain and ice.

Nothing warms your better on a cold winter evening than a warm fire and a well-made cocktail.

Here, I outline four great winter cocktails all made with bourbon. Because, what else would you make them with?

The Old Fashioned
This is a classic, with a twist.  The original was crafted at The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. 80% of the world’s bourbon is produced in Kentucky, so it’s no surprise the Old Fashioned would find it’s home there.  While the traditional version doesn’t contain any muddled fruit, newer variants do. And, in my view, it’s the muddled fruit that makes this cocktail amazing.
Place one orange slice in the bottom of an old fashioned glass.  Top with a dash of sugar. Add a splash of Sprite. Use a spoon to muddle this until the sugar is well-blended with the juices.
Top with ice. Add 1.5 oz of bourbon. Stir. Top off with Sprite or water. (Sprite will make it sweeter, of course). Garnish with a lime wedge and a cherry.
Whiskey Sour
Old Fashioned Whiskey Sour
Another classic, this is very simple to make and simply delicious. Very nicely warming on a cool winter night.
2 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. lime juice
1 TSP brown sugar
place in a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake.
Pour over ice in an old fashioned glass.
Egg Nog
Four Roses® Egg Nog
  • Beat separately yolks and whites of 6 eggs.
  • Add 1/2 cup of sugar to yolks while beating.
  • Add 1/4 cup of sugar to whites after they have been beaten very stiff.
  • Mix egg whites with yolks.
  • Stir in 1 pint of cream and 1 pint of milk.
  • Add a pint of bourbon and 1 oz. Jamaica Rum. Stir thoroughly.
Makes 5 pints — perfect for your any winter gathering, not just for the Holidays.
Serve very cold and top with grated nutmeg.
The Toasty Tobaggan
The Toasty Toboggan bourbon cocktail
A winter favorite, for sure!
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Hot Water
  • Fresh Grated Nutmeg

In a saucepan, heat 4 ounces of water, maple syrup and bourbon. Remove from heat. Add butter and stir until butter is melted. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and whipped cream.

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Kentucky Derby Pie Cake

No, it’s not Kentucky Derby season yet.  But delicious desserts are delicious anytime, right? And delicious desserts baked with bourbon are even better.

Around the Holidays, I was thinking about a different dessert to bake for friends and family.  I’ve previously baked a Tiramisu cake — it’s fabulous and rich and goes great after a Holiday meal.  But, I wanted to try something new.

Being a Kentucky native, I’ve made Kentucky Derby Pie from time to time for my friends.

But, I wanted a cake. A wonderful, delicious, rich cake.

So, I searched for Kentucky Derby Pie Cake.

And found this amazing recipe over at BrownEyedBaker.

Sure, it’s for cupcakes. But you can always adapt a recipe.

And adapt it I did.

Her amazing recipe calls for making the whole thing from scratch.  But, I sometimes like to take shortcuts. So, I used a mix. YES! It’s true.

Here’s the Kentucky Derby Pie Cake I baked to rave reviews this Holiday season:

1 Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Golden Cake Mix

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

2 Tablespoons Bourbon

3 Eggs

1 1/2 cups butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup heavy cream

That made a pretty thick, beautiful (and tasty) cake batter.

I divided it into two 8 inch round cake pans and baked at 350 for about 25 minutes.

I made the frosting and bourbon-butter glaze as directed:

For the Vanilla-Bourbon Frosting: 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2½ cups powdered sugar

Pinch salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon bourbon

For the Butter-Bourbon Glaze: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter ¼ cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon bourbon

After the cake cooled, I frosted it, then topped it with mini chocolate chips, chopped pecans, and the glaze.

It was amazing! Very rich, very satisfying, lots of good bourbon flavor.

For more on living the Gentleman’s lifestyle, follow me @SterlingGent

A Gentleman and a Cocktail

A true gentleman appreciates a good cocktail.  And has recipes at hand for at least a few.

Now that summer is here, it’s time to show off your ability to make a great, refreshing summer drink.

Cocktails aren’t just for you, of course, they’re for your guests, too.

One of my summer favorites is a concoction I’ve called “Kentucky Tea.”

Here’s how to make a single:

Place a slice of orange, a slice of lemon, and a slice of lime in the bottom of an Old Fashioned glass.  Add just a bit of sugar.  Muddle with a spoon to make a citrus paste.

Top with crushed ice.

Add 2 oz. of Bourbon.


Add 3-4 oz. of Iced Tea — I make my tea strong and sweet, so most of the time omit the sugar in the above step.  If your tea is not sweetened, do use the sugar.


Garnish with a lime or lemon slice if you like.


Alternatively, you may wish to make Kentucky Tea for a few friends.

Start with 4-5 orange slices, 4-5 lime slices, and 4-5 lemon slices.  Top lightly with crushed ice.

Add 8 oz. of your favorite Bourbon.

Add 16 oz. of Tea.

Stir vigorously.

Serve in a tall glass over crushed ice.

Garnish with lime.

So, there you have it.  One great recipe for a delicious summer cocktail.

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Snow, Slush, and Bourbon

A gentleman always appreciates a good drink.  And today is a day that has kept many a gentleman away from work due to snow.  And it seems as if even more gentlemen may see snow (in the Mid-Atlantic) this evening.

What to do when the weather turns cold in early March? Enjoy a fine, warming bourbon, of course.  Nothing warms the body (and soul) of a gentleman quite like a good bourbon.  The cold weather may call for straight bourbon, no mixing.  That way, you get the warmth of the burn and no “sugar-coating.”

Nevertheless, a good Old-Fashioned Cocktail could also do the trick.

I make mine like this:  Take one orange slice and place in the bottom of an Old-Fashioned glass.  Top with a sugar cube or small spoon of sugar.  Splash with water or sprite (if you like it sweet).  Muddle with a spoon.  Top with crushed ice to fill the glass.  Add 1.5 oz. of your favorite bourbon.  Mix.  Top off with Sprite or water based on your preference.  Add a cherry and a slice of lime.  Enjoy!

If you’re at home all day with nothing else to do but read enlightening blogs, it may be more fun after a couple of Old-Fashioneds.

Now, if you’re new to bourbon or just want to expand your options, our friends over at Bourbon and Banter have a great review of Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve.  They’ve got lots of other good stuff, too.

So, have a great snow, slush, rain, cold — whatever day.  And enjoy some bourbon while you’re at it.