Bourbon Lemon Rosemary Cocktail
This Bourbon Lemon Rosemary Cocktail is a modern twist on a classic drink. With herb-infused simple syrup and a bright citrus flavor, this rosemary drink is perfect for happy hour.
If I were given some sort of quiz on classic cocktails, I would fail miserably. Granted, I’ve never worked as a bartender, so why would I know?
Unless you’re asking for something like a gin and tonic where the ingredients are literally listed right there in the name, I’m probably going to have to do a quick Internet search before I can make you a classic drink.
Then, I decided I wanted to make some more creative lemon cocktails, so I was like “Oh, I know! I’ll make a whiskey sour, except for the sour . . . I’ll use lemon.”
Well you know what? Whiskey sours *usually* call for lemon. That’s just the standard sour part of the drink. Oops! Guess I wasn’t really being all that original, huh?
Completely original or not, this Bourbon Lemon Rosemary Cocktail is delicious and perfect for whenever you have extra lemons and rosemary on hand.
Putting a modern twist on a bourbon sour with this rosemary cocktail:
One of my favorite ways to put a modern twist on any classic cocktail is by using a homemade flavored simple syrup as the sweet element.
Classic simple syrup is literally just 1 part granulated sugar and 1 part water, gently heated until the sugar dissolves. It could NOT be simpler.
And for very little additional work, you can make an infused simple syrup by doing something as simple as throwing some herbs, whole spices, or fruit peels into the mixture as it heats.
My rosemary simple syrup post gives you all the details you’ll need to make a homemade flavored syrup for this rosemary cocktail. The recipe card in that post yields about 2/3 cup simple syrup.
You will need 1/2 cup simple syrup to make the 4 bourbon lemon cocktails in the recipe card below, in this post.
The ingredients for this rosemary bourbon cocktail are easy to find:
- bourbon – no need to break out the super high end, sipping bourbon for this bourbon lemon cocktail, but it should be a good middle of the road bourbon. I usually use Bulleit for both this drink and my bourbon glazed salmon.
- lemon juice – the fresh stuff, squeezed from fresh lemons. I don’t recommend the juice from the plastic lemon for this rosemary cocktail.
- granulated sugar – you’ll need this to make the simple syrup for this rosemary bourbon cocktail. If you like things caramel-y, you could also make the simple syrup with brown sugar instead.
- rosemary – you’ll need 2 large sprigs to make the simple syrup, and then a smaller sprig to garnish each cocktail glass of this rosemary drink. If you have a garden full of basil, try my basil cocktails instead!
Do I have to use bourbon for this rosemary drink?
Bourbon used to be my “winter liquor,” and I would stash it away during the warmer months, where I’d opt for vodka or gin.
But since I always have a ton of rosemary growing in my garden, this cocktail works for summer, too! Extra rosemary can also be used to make lemon herb baked sockeye salmon or butternut squash noodles.
But, if you don’t like bourbon at all, you’re still in luck. I’ve tested this exact rosemary cocktail recipe using vodka and gin, and it’s delicious with both of those spirits as well.
Substitute an equal amount of vodka or gin for the bourbon called for in the bourbon lemon cocktail below. I also have additional recipes for a rosemary gin cocktail and a grapefruit vodka cocktail with rosemary that you may enjoy.
If brandy is more your speed, be sure to try my brandy old fasioned. It’s not a rosemary drink, but it’s still a great cocktail.
Serve some snacks with this bourbon lemon cocktail!
My prosciutto sandwich recipe has an herby mayo that echos the rosemary flavor in this drink.
- 8 ounces (1 cup) bourbon
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) fresh lemon juice
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) Rosemary Simple Syrup
- Ice cubes, for shaking and serving
- 4 small rosemary sprigs, for garnish (optional)
- Add bourbon, lemon juice and simple syrup to large cocktail shaker. Top shaker with ice; cover and shake well.
- Fill 4 double old fashioned glasses with ice; divide bourbon mixture between glasses. Serve cocktails garnished with rosemary sprigs, if desired.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 184Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 0g
This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.