Refreshing summer bourbon cocktails to celebrate National Bourbon Day

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Summer bourbon cocktails, blueberry lemonade summer smash, photo by Cristine Struble

Lemonade is a popular summer drink. As a companion to summer favorites like, hamburgers, hot dogs and almost anything grilled, lemonade can quench a thirst. Poured over a big cup of ice, lemonade can make the hottest day seem more bearable.

Using lemonade in a refreshing bourbon cocktail is a wonderful pairing. The tart lemonade can balance the smoky, oak notes in a bourbon. But, a good cocktail needs a liquor, sour and sweet.
Another summer favorite is blueberries. Adding a few blueberries to the lemonade bourbon mix makes for an excellent combination. The resulting cocktail has all three elements for a balanced beverage.

This blueberry lemonade bourbon sipper was our Memorial Day barbecue cocktail of choice. A few modifications can be made to the basic recipe. First, if you like savory elements, basil is a good herb to add. A few pieces of ripped basil can make a lovely addition.

Also, a floater can add some bubbles to the bourbon cocktail. Personally, I like a ginger beer for the spicy notes. A sparkling water or club soda would work, too.

Blueberry lemonade bourbon sipper by Cristine Struble

1 ½ oz bourbon
3 oz lemonade
10 blueberries, fresh or bourbon soaked
Dash of lemon bitters
Ginger beer, optional

In the bottom of a highball glass, muddle 7 blueberries.
Pour bourbon, lemonade and bitters into the glass and stir
Top with ice and a splash of ginger beer, if desired
Garnish with remaining blueberries