Bourbon Lemonade Cocktail

This tangy and sweet cocktail is easy to make and perfect for a hot day.  Many bourbon lemonade cocktail recipes skip the triple sec entirely, but we found it provides a nice addition to the drink by serving as a bridge from the bourbon’s spice notes to the citrusy flavor of the lemonade.  Our tasters found this version a bit more smooth and refreshing than mixes without triple sec.


Switching the base bourbon proves the simplest and best way to vary the Bourbon Lemonade Cocktail.  While we used Redemption Bourbon, Bulleit and Buffalo Trace represent other nice choices.  Keep in mind, higher rye content bourbons provide a bit more of a spicy note that plays nicely with lemonade.  Jim Beam Honey provides another interesting alternative, but when making this variation we eliminated the triple sec finding that including both a flavored bourbon and triple sec just did not play.  On that note, of course, you can swap out the brand of triple sec, but we always love Cointreau and included it in the final recipe.

Technique wise, some just give the Bourbon Lemonade Cocktail a quick stir and serve.  This method certainly tastes fine, but with anything citrus, we prefer more agitation than a stir provides so we simply rolled the drink.  As a rule, shake cocktails containing citrus; however, with this drink shaking versus rolling did not dramatically alter its texture in a favorable manner and contributes to excessive dilution as you enjoy the drink.

This is because shaking introduces more water into the drink as opposed to rolling.  So, a quick roll sufficiently mixes the ingredients, saves the bartender a few seconds of work, and melts less ice than a shake.  The bottom line though if we joined you for a bourbon lemonade in your backyard, none of us would complain if you stirred it, shook it, or rolled it–just understand the majority of this recipe is water (lemonade) and dilution during consumption remains a big factor.

We love the bourbon lemonade in a simple highball glass, but others use a rocks glass and simply build the drink right in the glass by stirring the ingredients and then adding ice.  By scaling the ingredients a bit, this can be served in a taller Collins Glass, which makes a nice presentation, but the extra consumption time from a larger serving size leads to more dilution on the last few sips as previously discussed.  So if you plan to serve the Bourbon Lemonade Cocktail outside, keep this in mind.  Finally, we garnished with a lemon wheel and a cherry, but you really cannot go wrong on this one provided you start with lemon and let your creativity run.

Bourbon Lemonade Cocktail

Lemon Wheel And Cocktail Cherry Garnish on Bourbon Lemonade Cocktail
Refreshment for hot summer afternoons
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Cocktail
Servings 1


  • Collins glass
  • Shaker



  • ice cubes
  • 1 oz Bourbon whiskey
  • 3 oz lemonade
  • 1 oz Triple Sec


  • 1 lemon wheel
  • 1 Cocktail cherry


  • Top a collins glass with ice cubes.
    Topping the collins glass with ice for cocktail making
  • Add Bourbon whiskey, lemonade, and Triple Sec to the glass.
    Adding ingredients to the Bourbon Lemonade Cocktail
  • Grab the top of the shaker and roll the cocktail for twenty seconds. Pour the cocktail back into the collins glass when finished rolling.
    Rolling Bourbon Lemonade Cocktail from shaker to the collins glass
  • Garnish with a lemon wheel and a cocktail cherry.
    Bourbon Lemonade Cocktail on the bar top

Bourbon Lemonade Cocktail ingredients -- lemonade, Triple Sec, Bourbon whiskey, and lemon

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