Bourbon's versatility makes it an excellent drink for all seasons and all occasions. Aside from drinking it neat or on the rocks, bourbon can be used to make delicious two-ingredient cocktails that simplify the art of cocktail making while preserving the complexity of the bourbon itself.
If you are looking to elevate your home bartending skills without the hassle of complicated recipes, look no further than two-ingredient bourbon cocktails. With just two basic ingredients, you can unlock a new world of possibilities and create impressive cocktails that you can enjoy with friends or family.
Whether you prefer experimental twists or classic concoctions, these cocktails will allow you to savor the essence of bourbon and are sure to become your go-to favorites. Here are some easy two-ingredient bourbon cocktails to make at home.
Nothing beats enjoying a bourbon lemonade during the summer. This sweet and refreshing cocktail is great for when the temperatures rise and will help you beat the heat. You can make it within less than 5 minutes, and it also goes down easy, leaving you with a spicy finish after each sip.
- 2 ounces Bulleit Bourbon
- 4 ounces fresh lemonade
Fill your glass with ice cubes, leaving enough room for the lemonade and bourbon. Pour the fresh lemonade and bourbon into the glass. Stir gently to mix the ingredients. If you want to garnish the drink, use a lemon wedge or mint sprig to make it appear fancy.
Additionally, even flavored lemonade, such as limeade, strawberry lemonade, and pink lemonade, can be used when making this cocktail.
Bourbon Buck (Ginger Ale)
If you are looking for a simple and refreshing bourbon cocktail, the Bourbon Buck is a great option. This iconic two-ingredient cocktail combines the lively fizz of ginger ale with the smooth richness of bourbon to make a delightful drink.
- 2 ounces Buffalo Trace Bourbon
- 5 ounces ginger ale
In an ice-filled Collins or Highball glass, pour in your bourbon. Add the ginger ale, stir, and then serve. Squeeze a lime wedge on the drink and drop it in, if desired.
The traditional Paloma is a tequila-based cocktail that contains more than two ingredients. However, for those who enjoy the complexity and depth of bourbon, the Bourbon Paloma offers an exciting variation on the traditional one by swapping out the tequila with bourbon. This drink features a combination of Bourbon and grapefruit, which results in a unique blend of sweet, citrusy, and rich flavors.
- 2 ounces Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
- 4 ounces grapefruit juice
Add the ingredients into a glass with ice and stir gently. You can choose to garnish your cocktail with a grapefruit slice or lime wedge. If you prefer a salted rim, wet the rim of your glass with a grapefruit slice and dip it in salt before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Bourbon and Root Beer
Root beer goes incredibly well with bourbon because of its creaminess and notes of mint and licorice. The combination is delicious and super easy to make.
- 2 ounces Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Barrel Finish Bourbon
- 6 ounces root beer
Pour the bourbon and root beer slowly into a glass and stir to combine the two ingredients. Garnish with a cherry or orange wedge, if available. Serve and enjoy!
Bourbon and Tonic
Let's be honest, there is no spirit that doesn't pair well with tonic water. Tonic increases bitterness but also makes the bourbon cocktail incredibly refreshing. It complements the vanilla and caramel notes of bourbon, creating a unique variation on a classic highball cocktail.
- 3 ounces Bulleit Bourbon
- 4 to 6 ounces of tonic water
To make this drink, put the bourbon in a glass and add ice. Top it off with a high-quality tonic and stir.
Note: If you choose strong tonic water, the bitterness may overpower the bourbon's taste. For optimal results, use lighter and somewhat sweeter tonic water.
Bourbon and Iced Coffee
It's no surprise that coffee goes well with bourbon. These two ingredients come together to create a delicious and invigorating cocktail.
- 2 ounces Maker's Mark Bourbon
- 4 ounces chilled iced coffee
Fill a glass with ice cubes and pour the bourbon over the ice. Add the chilled iced coffee and stir the mixture. You can add some syrup if you prefer a much sweeter cocktail.
Bourbon and Cream Soda
You won't find this combination often in the cocktail market, but it is fantastic. Bourbon and cream soda were made to go together. The vanilla in cream soda really compliments the vanilla notes in the bourbon, so it is a fantastic choice if you want to add some softness to aged and woodier bourbons.
- 2 ounces Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey
- 3 to 4 ounces cream soda
Stir all the ingredients in a glass containing ice. If desired, add a splash of cream on top of the drink and garnish with a cherry or lime.
The Boilermaker is a popular cocktail known by many for its simplicity and ability to showcase the flavors of both beer and bourbon. The combination of these two ingredients creates a simple but robust drink.
- 1 ½ ounces Jim Beam Bourbon
- 1 can or bottle of beer
Pour a shot of bourbon into a glass and open a bottle of your preferred beer. You can choose to either drop the shot of bourbon into the beer or serve them alongside each other. If you enjoy them side by side, take a shot of your bourbon and chase it with a sip of the beer. Continue alternating your sips between the beer and bourbon until both of them are finished.
This drink is a variation on the famous Rusty Nail cocktail, which is made with scotch and Drambuie. If you are unfamiliar with Drambuie, it is a sweet scotch whisky liqueur made with spices, herbs, and honey.
When bourbon is substituted for the scotch, the cocktail becomes less arid and more mellow, sweet, and caramel-like.
- 2 ounces Buffalo Trace Bourbon
- 1 ounce Drambuie
To a mixing glass or cocktail shaker, add the bourbon and Drambuie. Stir the mixture slowly for 20 to 30 seconds to combine the ingredients. Pour the cocktail through a strainer into a glass with ice. If desired, add an orange twist or cherry for garnish.
Bourbon and Hard Seltzers
Wondering if you can add bourbon to your hard seltzer? The answer is yes. Hard seltzers come in a variety of flavors, such as watermelon, orange, black cherry, lemon, and grapefruit. You can choose your favorite and significantly boost your cocktail with bourbon and a slice of fruit for garnish.
- 2 ounces Angel's Envy Straight Bourbon
- 6 ounces hard seltzer (pick your preferred flavor)
Fill your glass with ice cubes and top up with bourbon. Top it off with the flavor-infused hard seltzer. Gently stir the ingredients, and if you want to garnish, add a wedge of lime or lemon.
Bourbon and Lemon Lime Soda
Bourbon and lemon lime soda are definitely a match made in heaven. The sweet, citrusy soda flavors complement bourbon's distinct characteristics.
- 2 ounces Buffalo Trace Bourbon
- 4 ounces lemon lime soda (like Sprite)
Pour the bourbon and lemon lime soda into a glass with ice. Stir to properly mix the ingredients and garnish with a lime wedge, if desired.
The above two-ingredient bourbon cocktails are proof that sometimes less is more when creating a refreshing and flavorful drink. With just a bottle of bourbon and a complementary mixer, you can easily whip up delicious drinks that showcase the complex and rich flavors of bourbon. So, grab your favorite bourbon, stock up on a few ingredients, and enjoy making these cocktails in the comfort of your own home.
Are There Any Modifications or Variations You Can Make to Two-Ingredient Bourbon Cocktails?
Absolutely! Two-ingredient bourbon cocktails can be modified or customized to suit your taste preference. You can add a dash of bitters, a splash of citrus juice, or experiment with various flavored syrups to enhance your cocktail's flavor profile.
Can I Add Garnishes or Decorations to Two-Ingredient Bourbon Cocktails?
While most two-ingredient cocktails are frequently served without garnishes or decorations, you can improve the aroma and presentation of your drink by adding a simple garnish like a cherry, lemon twist, or mint sprig.
What is the Best Bourbon for Cocktails?
When choosing a bourbon for cocktails, avoid buying a costly nuanced bottle that's particularly made for sipping only. You should also avoid using super high proof bourbon with a strong flavor profile that will overpower other ingredients.
Instead, opt for a smooth and more balanced bottle that will complement the ingredients in your cocktail without masking their tastes. Some of the best bourbons for cocktails include the Four Roses Small Batch, Maker's Mark, and Angel's Envy Straight Bourbon.
Do I need any special equipment to make these cocktails?
No, you don't need any special equipment. A standard cocktail shaker, mixing glass, or even a sturdy glass and a stirring spoon will suffice. It's all about simplicity and enjoying the process.