5 (Bourbon Based) Batch Cocktails That Will

Wow Your Guests

The line up

I LOVE specialty cocktails! 

It may be because of my party planning background or the joy I get to see my friend's faces when I tell them what beautiful concoction is in the punch bowl or drink dispenser. Either way, specialty cocktails done right are always a sure fire way to get people excited! 


A few of my biggest tips or rules, which ever you prefer, are as follows when it comes to mastering the art of loving people well with food and drink.


1. ALWAYS GARNISH - It is typically very easy and you usually already have the garnishes from the recipe you are using! Cue this next blog post up to read How To Properly Garnish A Cocktail To Make It More Exciting.

2. DITCH THE ICE MACHINE - When it comes to certain cocktails, in particularly dark ones, I will always encourage you to use ice molds. They are so exciting to use on guests but hardly anyone actually buys them! Trust me, this one time purchase will change your cocktail game forever. 



This bourbon peach lemonade recipe by 

Half Baked Harvest  is first on the list because it could not be easier or more refreshing!!! 

With only 3 simple ingredients, this cocktail packs a punch when it comes to flavor without breaking your budget.


Simply throw everything in the blender, top it off with some cut up peaches and sprigs of thyme and you have a classy batch cocktail to last you the night!

Tip: Strain cocktail while pouring into pitcher to prevent any pulp.

Photo credit: Half Baked Harvest


  • 1 cup ripe peach slices

    • I'd get about 5 peaches total for recipe and garnish.

  • 1 cup bourbon

  • Fresh peaches and thyme, for garnish 


1. In a blender, combine the lemonade and peaches and blend until smooth. Pour into a large pitcher.

2. Add the bourbon, stirring to combine. Chill until ready to serve. 

3. To serve, fill glasses with ice and garnish with fresh peaches and thyme. Drink!


Photo credit: Salt & Wind

I can smell those sweet autumn spices just looking at the photo! 

This smoked whiskey cocktail by Salt & Wind is exactly what you've been dreaming of as you've patiently awaited the fall season. Forget the days of simply adding whiskey to cider, this is your grown up recipe to excite your friends taste buds and show your family that they are worth more than Jack and juice.

This is the cocktail recipe that will cause friends to call you up on the middle of the night and ask, "what's the name of that tea you put in to make it smokey again???"

And all for $20!


  • 8 cups unfiltered apple cider

  • 1 Fuji apple

  • 4 whole cloves

  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks

  • 1 medium orange, sliced

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1 cup aged rum, whiskey, or bourbon


1. Fill a medium saucepan with apple cider, apple, cloves, cinnamon sticks, orange slices, and honey and bring to a boil over high heat.

2. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let the cinnamon and cloves infuse until desired strength, about 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Remove cover, raise heat, and bring back to a boil.


4. Once it reaches a boil, stir in lapsang souchong tea, reduce heat to a simmer, and let steep to desired strength, about 4 to 6 minutes.


5. Strain mixture, stir in alcohol, and ladle into cups or let cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Serve hot.


Mint Juleps are one of those cocktails that people our age have often heard about but have never actually tried. Which makes this batch cocktail all the more exciting for friends to try! 

It is always exciting to introduce friends to something new, especially when it comes to cocktail since most people play it safe when ordering drinks at restaurants. I want to encourage you to be that friend in the group who brings people out of their comfort zone and introduces them to all kinds of new and exciting things! Soon, they will also be excited to share their new discoveries and recipes! 

And as always, I recommend taking those few simple extra steps by sugar rimming the glass and garnishing with mint!



  • 2 cups mint sprigs, divided

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 1/2 liter Kentucky bourbon

  • Ice

  • Chilled water or soda water




1. Make ahead: Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil to let the sugar dissolve completely.


2. Remove from heat and add 1 cup mint leaves. Let rest to cool completely and steep. Around three hours is best.

3. Add the bourbon to the chilled mint syrup in a large pitcher.


4. To serve: Fill a cup most of the way with ice, then pour in enough minty bourbon to reach about the halfway mark. Top with ice water or chilled soda water and garnish with fresh mint.


For big batch mint juleps, making a syrup is a more effective way to get the flavor that doesn't require you to muddle enough mint for each serving.

Recipe by Wide Open Eats



If you like grapefruit then friend is this batch cocktail for you! And you can thank your trusty friend HGTV for the recipe.

With basically 2 steps to make it, this drink is simple, yet looks complex, which is exactly what I love! 

The colors are gorgeous, as grapefruit typically is, but the bourbon aspect will also please the men in the group, making it a win win! 

My personal favorite is the ginger aspect since it is a flavor that livens up any recipe! And make any already unique cocktail especially exciting.

So if you are looking for a cocktail recipe that will liven up any party and get people excited as soon as they lay eyes on the spread, then you have hit the jackpot! And all for under $20! 


Serves 10-12

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 cups water

  • (4 inch) piece of ginger, grated

  • 1 1/2 cups lime juice

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

  • 3 1/2 cups grapefruit juice

  • 2 cups bourbon

  • Fresh grapefruit and lime slices for garnish, if desired

Photo credit: HGTV


1.Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat to create a simple syrup, stirring frequently to dissolve sugar completely. Remove from heat and cool slightly before proceeding.


2. Add cooled simple syrup and remaining liquid ingredients to a large bowl or drink dispenser. Add grated ginger and stir to fully combine.

3. Chill drink before serving. To serve pour chilled drink over ice and garnish with fresh grapefruit and lime.



And for our last Big Batch Bourbon Based Cocktail Recipe For Under $20, the crowd favorite; The Big Batch Old Fashioned.

Anyone who loves bourbon loves a good old fashioned and who better to turn to for a big batch recipe than my all time favorite, Bon Appetit.

For these cocktails, and honestly almost any dark cocktail, I always want to encourage you to take the extra step and surprise people with large whiskey ice cubes. A one time purchase of these ice molds will always make your guests feel planned for and overly appreciated, almost like your giving them the "good ice" if that were a thing. :) 

Trust me, it may be small, but when it comes to sparking joy and excitement in others, these small things are the way to do it! 


Serves 8

  • ¼ cup of water 

  •  ½ cup sugar

  • 3½ cups of whiskey

  •  ½ cup of water

  •  ½ ounce of bitters.  (Prying the built-in dasher thing off the bitters bottle will make this easier to pour.) 


1.To make your extra sweet simple syrup, boil ¼ cup of water and add ½ cup sugar to it. Stir vigorously until sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside and let cool.

2. Add cooled simple syrup and remaining liquid ingredients to a nice drink dispenser. DO NOT REFRIGERATE.

3. When it comes time to serve, add a large whiskey ice cube to each glass and pour until the drink gets to about half way up the glass. The ice will melt into the drink and water it down as the night proceeds but if friends prefer a more watered own old fashioned, just tell them to stir away! 

Tip: You can often find really nice decanters at Goodwill for like $3! Trust me, all of your friends will feel so classy and excited when you pour them their cocktail from a crystal decanter.

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