Bourbon and Ginger

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

If you’re craving a cocktail that’s both bold and refreshing, look no further than this Bourbon and Ginger recipe! It’s an easy-to-make drink that’s bursting with flavor.

Bourbon and Ginger Recipe

Embrace the breeze of spring with this simple Bourbon and Ginger recipe it is an everyday ! Crafted with Bourbon, ginger ale, and a touch of lemon, this spicy cocktail is the perfect mix for spring.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

189 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 4-6 oz Ginger Ale
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon wedge, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Bar spoon or long stirrer

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Bourbon: Pour 2 oz Bourbon over the ice.
  • Add Ginger Ale: Top up the glass with 4-6 oz Ginger Ale.
  • Stir: Stir gently to mix the ingredients.
  • Garnish: Garnish with a lemon wedge (squeeze it in the drink and drop it in the glass).

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Bourbon: If you don't have Bourbon on hand, rye whiskey or Scotch can be substituted. Both will change the flavor profile slightly but still make for a delicious cocktail.
  • Ginger Ale: If you're not a fan of ginger ale, you can use ginger beer for a spicier kick. Alternatively, club soda with fresh ginger juice can also work.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Bourbon Substitute: There are non-alcoholic whiskeys available that do a decent job mimicking the flavor of Bourbon.
  • Proceed As Usual: I use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

  • Check Your Brands: Most bourbons and ginger ales are vegan, but some brands may use animal products in their production process. I check the brand's website or contact them directly to confirm their vegan status.
  • Proceed As Usual: After confirming my vegan ingredients, I follow the original steps to enjoy a delicious vegan cocktail.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
189
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
12
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
15
g
5
%
Sugar
 
15
g
17
%
Potassium
 
3
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
5
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.3
mg
2
%

 

Bourbon and Ginger Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Embrace the breeze of spring with this simple Bourbon and Ginger recipe it is an everyday ! Crafted with Bourbon, ginger ale, and a touch of lemon, this spicy cocktail is the perfect mix for spring.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 189

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 4-6 oz Ginger Ale
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon wedge - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Bar spoon or long stirrer

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Bourbon: Pour 2 oz Bourbon over the ice.
  • Add Ginger Ale: Top up the glass with 4-6 oz Ginger Ale.
  • Stir: Stir gently to mix the ingredients.
  • Garnish: Garnish with a lemon wedge (squeeze it in the drink and drop it in the glass).

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Bourbon: If you don't have Bourbon on hand, rye whiskey or Scotch can be substituted. Both will change the flavor profile slightly but still make for a delicious cocktail.
  • Ginger Ale: If you're not a fan of ginger ale, you can use ginger beer for a spicier kick. Alternatively, club soda with fresh ginger juice can also work.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Bourbon Substitute: There are non-alcoholic whiskeys available that do a decent job mimicking the flavor of Bourbon.
  • Proceed As Usual: I use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

  • Check Your Brands: Most bourbons and ginger ales are vegan, but some brands may use animal products in their production process. I check the brand's website or contact them directly to confirm their vegan status.
  • Proceed As Usual: After confirming my vegan ingredients, I follow the original steps to enjoy a delicious vegan cocktail.

What is a Bourbon and Ginger?

A Bourbon and Ginger is a whiskey-based bourbon and ginger ale cocktail. This drink is relatively easy to make, requiring only two ingredients: Bourbon and ginger ale. The simplicity of the ingredients allows for easy preparation, making it a popular choice for both home mixologists and professional bartenders.

A side shot of a Bourbon and Ginger cocktail in a highball glass on a coaster placed on a table surrounded by a beige cloth, a red cloth, a cest with three limes and two lemons, and a shaker

What is a Bourbon and Ginger made of – The ingredients

These are the ingredients you need to create a Bourbon and Ginger:

  • Bourbon: This is the main spirit in the cocktail. It provides a rich, sweet, and slightly smoky flavor.
  • Ginger Ale: Adds a spicy and sweet element to the drink. It also gives it a fizzy texture.
  • Lemon Wedge: Used as garnish. It adds a tangy note that balances the sweetness of the bourbon and ginger ale.
  • Ice Cubes: Chills the drink and dilutes it slightly, making it smoother and more enjoyable to sip.

Bourbon and ginger ale laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Bourbon and Ginger?

Discover the simplicity of making Bourbon and Ginger with our detailed steps:

1
<p>Start by filling a highball glass with ice cubes. This will ensure that your drink stays cold for a longer period.</p>

Start by filling a highball glass with ice cubes. This will ensure that your drink stays cold for a longer period.

2
<p>Pour two ounces of Bourbon over the ice. You can adjust the amount of Bourbon to your liking, but two ounces is a standard serving.</p>

Pour two ounces of Bourbon over the ice. You can adjust the amount of Bourbon to your liking, but two ounces is a standard serving.

3
<p>Top the Bourbon with four to six ounces of ginger ale. The ginger ale adds a sweet and spicy flavor that complements the strong, smoky taste of the Bourbon.</p>

Top the Bourbon with four to six ounces of ginger ale. The ginger ale adds a sweet and spicy flavor that complements the strong, smoky taste of the Bourbon.

4
<p>Stir the mixture gently with a long spoon or a cocktail stirrer. This will help to combine the bourbon and ginger ale without causing the drink to become too fizzy.</p>

Stir the mixture gently with a long spoon or a cocktail stirrer. This will help to combine the bourbon and ginger ale without causing the drink to become too fizzy.

5
<p>For an added touch of flavor, squeeze a wedge of leme into the drink. The tartness of the lemon will balance out the sweetness of the ginger ale and the strong flavor of the Bourbon.</p>

For an added touch of flavor, squeeze a wedge of leme into the drink. The tartness of the lemon will balance out the sweetness of the ginger ale and the strong flavor of the Bourbon.

6
<p>Finally, garnish the drink with a lemon wedge. This will not only make your drink look more appealing, but it will also add a refreshing aroma that enhances the overall drinking experience.</p>

Finally, garnish the drink with a lemon wedge. This will not only make your drink look more appealing, but it will also add a refreshing aroma that enhances the overall drinking experience.

Variations

Looking to broaden your horizons? Here are some top selections we love:

  • Kentucky Mule: This one swaps the usual vodka for bourbon, blending it with spicy ginger beer and a splash of lime juice. The bourbon adds a warm, rich undertone that complements the ginger’s heat perfectly. I enjoy the depth of flavor bourbon brings to this mix; it feels robust and satisfying.
  • Bourbon Cider Mix: This combines bourbon with apple cider, creating a wonderful balance of warmth and sweetness. The apple cider adds a fruity, autumnal twist that pairs beautifully with the bourbon’s caramel notes. This combination feels like a cozy, seasonal treat, perfect for colder days.
  • Ginger Old Fashioned: This one retains the classic elements of an Old Fashioned but adds ginger for an extra kick. The ginger infusion brings a spicy, refreshing twist that enhances the traditional bourbon, bitters, and sugar blend. I love how the ginger’s warmth pairs with the bitters’ complexity, adding a refreshing zing to every sip.
  • Spiced Honey Bourbon Old Fashioned: This features a delightful mix of bourbon, honey, and a blend of warm spices. The honey adds a natural sweetness that mellows the bourbon, while the spices introduce a festive, aromatic layer. This blend feels like a comforting, holiday-inspired treat, making it perfect for festive gatherings.

History and Origin

The marriage of bourbon and ginger ale into a single cocktail likely happened during the early 20th century. This was a time when mixed drinks were becoming increasingly popular across America. Combining Bourbon’s sweet warmth with ginger ale’s spicy fizz proved to be a hit.

The drink itself is believed to come from the horse’s neck, a simple tonic made with ginger ale, ice and a twist of lemon. The tonic was upgraded with brandy at first and later with bourbon. 

Another theory suggests that the cocktail originated during Prohibition. During this period (1920-1933), when alcohol was illegal in the U.S., people would often mix their homemade spirits with other ingredients to mask their poor quality. Ginger ale was commonly used because its strong flavor could hide the taste of bad liquor.

A Bourbon and Ginger cocktail, shot from above, in a highball glass on a beige surface surrounded by Bourbon and ginger ale.

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FAQ

How many calories does a Bourbon and Ginger drink contain?
A standard version typically contains 1.5 ounces of Bourbon, and 6 ounces of ginger ale has approximately 150 calories. However, this can vary depending on the bourbon and ginger ale brands used.
How strong is a Bourbon and Ginger cocktail?
The strength of a the cocktail depends on the proof of the Bourbon used. If you use a bourbon that is 80 proof (40% ABV), the cocktail will be about 10%-15% ABV (30 proof) due to dilution from the ginger ale.
What type of alcohol is used in a Bourbon and Ginger drink?
As the name suggests, the drink uses Bourbon as its primary alcohol. Bourbon is American whiskey distilled primarily from corn and aged in new charred oak barrels.
What kind of glass should I serve a Bourbon and Ginger?
Traditionally, it's served in a highball glass. This tall, straight-sided glass allows plenty of ice and mixer, making it perfect for this refreshing cocktail.
What does a Bourbon and Ginger taste like?
The cocktail offers a delightful balance between the rich, sweet flavors of Bourbon and the spicy, crisp taste of ginger ale. The result is a smooth, refreshing cocktail with hints of vanilla, caramel, oak, and spice.
What is the Bourbon to ginger ale ratio in Bourbon and Ginger?
The typical ratio is one part bourbon to two-three parts ginger ale. However, you can adjust this ratio to suit your taste preference.
How should I serve my Bourbon and Ginger?
A classic way to serve your drink is over ice in a highball glass. This method, also known as "on the rocks," helps to keep the drink cold and slightly dilutes the Bourbon, making for a smoother, more refreshing cocktail.
Can I make a Bourbon and Ginger ahead of time?
Yes, you can mix it ahead of time. However, adding the ice just before serving is best to prevent dilution.
Is there a specific brand of Bourbon that works best in Bourbon and Ginger?
While any bourbon will work, some prefer brands with a higher rye content for their spicier flavor profile. Ultimately, the choice of Bourbon comes down to personal preference.
Can I use diet ginger ale in my Bourbon and Ginger?
Yes, you can use diet ginger ale. This will reduce the calorie content of the drink but may slightly alter its taste.

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