3 Garden-Inspired Bourbon Recipes

There’s nothing more American than a good glass of bourbon. In fact, by definition, bourbon is the American whiskey, distilled in the U.S., stored in new charred oak barrels, and at least 51% corn.  With vanilla, oak, and caramel notes, bourbon is the best whiskey for cocktails.

Here are 3 garden-inspired bourbon recipes sure to make your list of cocktail favorites.

bourbon in front of gardenuity grow bag

1. Holy Basil Muscadine Sour

These complex flavors will transform your typical bourbon drink into an elegant cocktail. This bourbon recipe contains sour muscadine juice, a sweet holy basil simple syrup, and orange bitters to complement your favorite bourbon. It’s a drink that’ll have you feeling like a real mixologist.


For the cocktail

  • 1 ½ oz. bourbon
  • 2 oz. fresh muscadine or scuppernong juice
  • ½ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ oz. Holy Basil Simple Syrup
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • Basil leaves, for garnish

For the simple syrup

  • 1 bag holy basil tea
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ tsp. grated orange zest


For the simple syrup:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat 2 cups water to a low simmer.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Steep tea for 3 minutes and remove.
  4. Add sugar and orange zest to saucepan.
  5. Stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved.
  6. Pour through a fine mesh strainer and chill.

For the drink:

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients.
  2. Shake thoroughly, then strain over ice.
  3. Garnish with an orange twist and basil leaves.

2. Queen Bee Bourbon Cocktail

This unique bourbon recipe is a sweet-tooth dream. With thyme and honey syrup + a dash of amontillado sherry, this queen bee cocktail is the kind of drink that makes an impression. Serve it at your next party, and people will be praising your bartending skills for months to come.


For the cocktail

  • 1 ½ oz. bourbon
  • ¾ oz. Amontillado sherry
  • ¾ oz. Thyme & Honey Syrup
  • ¼ oz. lemon juice
  • 1 dash bitters
  • Thyme sprig, for garnish

For the honey and thyme syrup

  • 1 large piece fresh thyme
  • 1 cup hot water (near simmering temperature)
  • 1 cup honey


For the thyme and honey syrup:

  1. Combine the thyme and hot water in a small bowl and let steep for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the honey and stir until completely dissolved.
  3. Let stand 5 minutes, then remove thyme and chill.

For the drink:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker and fill with ice.
  2. Shake. Then, strain into a glass filled with fresh ice and garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme.

3. The Classic Mint Julep

Famous for its Southern charm and appearances at the Kentucky Derby, the mint julep is an American classic. Although it’s quite a simple bourbon recipe, its flavor is anything but. With freshly harvested mint for muddling, this cocktail has a garden appeal we simply can’t resist.


For the cocktail

  • 10-12 mint leaves
  • ¼ oz. Turbinado Syrup
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • Mint sprig and powdered sugar, for garnish

For the turbinado syrup

  • Raw, unrefined sugar
  • Water


The turbinado syrup:

  1. Heat two parts sugar to one part water in a saucepan over medium heat until dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and chill.

For the mint julep:

  1. Add the mint leaves and the turbinado syrup to a glass. Lightly muddle.
  2. Add the bourbons and fill ¾ of the cup with crushed ice.
  3. Stir 10–12 times with a bar spoon to dilute.
  4. Once diluted, remove spoon, add a straw and top off your cocktail with a small dome of crushed ice.
  5. Garnish with a mint sprig and a dust of powdered sugar.

Craving more cocktails? Check out our editor’s picks for fall!