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Bourbon libations fit for the bird

A little for the turkey, a little for you.

When you’re glazing your boozy bird, you might need a little something to wet your whistle – or prepare you for the onslaught of in-laws and other Thanksgiving Day diners.

So, here are a few bourbon beverages for you to sip on, or to serve your guests.

They all come from, which includes a bartender guide, terminology and suggested drinking games.



3/4 ounce sweet vermouth

2 1/2 ounces bourbon

1 dash Angostura bitters

1 maraschino cherry

1 twist orange peel

Combine the vermouth, bourbon whiskey and bitters with 2 to 3 ice cubes in a mixing glass. Stir gently, don’t bruise the spirits and cloud the drink. Place the cherry in a chilled cocktail glass and strain the whiskey mixture over the cherry. Rub the cut edge of the orange peel over the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink to release the oils but don’t drop it in.


1 teaspoon Ricard pastis

1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar

2 dashes Peychaud bitters

1 teaspoon water

2 ounces bourbon

1 twist lemon peel

Pour Ricard into a glass and swirl around to coat the glass; discard any excess. Place the sugar, Peychaud bitters and water into the glass and muddle with the back of a teaspoon. Almost fill the glass with ice cubes. Pour the bourbon over the ice cubes, add a twist of lemon peel, and serve.


2 ounces bourbon

2 dashes Angostura bitters

1 splash water

1 teaspoon sugar

1 maraschino cherry

1 orange wedge

Mix sugar, water and angostura bitters in an Old-Fashioned glass. Drop in a cherry and an orange wedge. Muddle into a paste using a muddler or the back side of a spoon. Pour in bourbon, fill with ice cubes, and stir.

Bourbon Slush

7 cups water

3 cups bourbon

12 ounce frozen lemonade

6 ounce frozen orange juice

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups strong tea

Mix all ingredients a day ahead and place in freezer. When ready to serve, take out of freezer and put desired amount in blender for a second or put in a bowl and mix till it is semi-liquified. Serve in Old-Fashioned glasses.

Bourbon Sour

2 ounces bourbon

1 ounce lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar

1 slice orange

1 maraschino cherry

In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the bourbon, lemon juice and sugar. Shake well. Strain into a whiskey sour glass, garnish with the orange slice and cherry.

Whiskey Smash

2 pieces lemon

2 to 3 mint leaves

3/4 ounce simple syrup

1 1/2 ounces bourbon

1 ounce water

Muddle the lemon, mint, water and simple syrup in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add bourbon, shake, and strain into an Old-Fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint, and serve.

Whiskey Hot Toddy

1 1/2 ounces bourbon

1/4 ounce lemon juice

3/4 ounce simple syrup

1 slice lemon

1 clove

4 ounces hot water

Mix in a heat-resistant glass, and fill with hot water. Add a lemon slice speared with a clove, and serve.