“The Champ” Bourbon Cocktail

Lieutenant Dan’s got a killer summer cocktail for you today. This version of an easy Whiskey Sour, called “The Champ” is a bourbon cocktail with a refreshing twist!

Lt. Dan, AKA the hubs, is back from his cocktail hiatus and ready to share a fresh summer cocktail we’ve been sipping all month.

Take it baby…

"The Champ" Bourbon Cocktail - Whiskey Sour | ASpicyPerspective.com #cocktail #summer #whiskey #bourbon

I have been asked a lot lately “how is it that Mrs. Spicy comes up with all those varied recipes?  I could never do that!”  To which my standard reply is “because she is gorgeous and smarter than you!” (Not really, but I figured putting that response in here couldn’t hurt!)

What I really say is that it is a combination of several things including practice, tasting experience, an understanding of flavor combinations, passion, creativity and mostly repetition.  Many of her recipes are built on some framework of flavor that she has done before and is being tweaked or added to for the latest concoction.

She has built this knowledge/experience over years of trial and error – as well as constantly introducing new ingredients and flavors.

"The Champ" Bourbon Cocktail - Whiskey Sour | ASpicyPerspective.com #cocktail #summer #whiskey #bourbon

This idea brings me to the topic of this post – the home bar.

Those who know me well, know that I have many of the traits described above when it relates to cocktails: practice, tasting experience, passion, repetition, etc…  I have been told a few occasions that I can make pretty good cocktails.  BUT, like many home cooks I have found myself in a rut of creativity – always making the same things without really branching out to try different flavors. This is mostly because I don’t know those flavors and how to use them!

It’s like the home cook who makes outstanding lasagna and beef stew… and that’s it!  They are afraid to make an Asian or a Mediterranean dish because of how it may turn out or just simply don’t know where to start.  I could make a great Martini or Manhattan, but had no idea how to concoct (or enjoy) a Negroni or a Vesper.

"The Champ" Bourbon Cocktail - Whiskey Sour | ASpicyPerspective.com #cocktail #summer #whiskey #bourbon

Knowing that Mrs. Spicy was going to expect a cocktail post at least once a month, I decided to branch out and begin to try new flavors. As well, to really understand the framework in which cocktails were developed – hopefully this would increase my own flavor profile and allow me to bring you better cocktails.  If you looked at my home bar a year ago it was pretty simple:  vodka, gin, tequila, soda, tonic, maraschino cherries (I don’t use them anymore, but I still love to just eat them out of the jar!), scotch and maybe bourbon to mix with coke.  Now I have these items with additions like Campari, flavored bitters, Lillet, Fernet, Cynar, Luxardo, infused vermouths, Old Tom gin, multiple bourbons, etc…

My overall flavor profile has increased just by trying new things – and my overall offering to guests has not only gotten bigger but improved as well.

So to the home cook out there, go pick up some fish sauce, chili paste, peanuts and a wok and see what flavors you may have been missing (its not as difficult as you may think).  And to the home mixologist – get some Lillet for Vesper’s and some Campari for Negroni’s and serve your guests something other than just a Gin and Tonic!

With all that in mind – I hope you enjoy the cocktail for this month – “The Champ”.  It is a classic spin on the Whisky Sour, adding the flavors of apple brandy and mint.  Extremely refreshing for summertime BBQ’s or sitting on the porch swing.



Yield: 1 cocktail

Prep Time: 2 minutes

The Champ Bourbon Cocktail - Whiskey Sour


  • 1 oz. bourbon (I prefer Buffalo Trace or Bulleit)
  • 1 oz. apple brandy
  • 3/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • mint for garnish


  1. Fill a glass and a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour the ingredients into the shaker and shake vigorously for 30-60 seconds.
  2. Pour into the glass. Lay the fresh mint in the palm of your hand. Clap your hands together to release the oils from the mint and garnish the glass.

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32 Responses to ““The Champ” Bourbon Cocktail”

  1. #
    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — June 26, 2013 @ 5:40 am

    Thanks Lt. Dan for guest posting and for your recommendations for the home bar! The Big Lug and I adore bourbon. Your “The Champ” Bourbon Cocktail Whiskey Sour sounds absolutely divine and a must-make cocktail this summer…like, ASAP!


  2. #
    Brianne Collier — June 26, 2013 @ 6:22 am

    I’ll have to find something to make using ‘Old Tom Gin’ for Old Tom… :) XOXO


  3. #
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — June 26, 2013 @ 6:37 am

    sounds great to me


  4. #
    Kevin @ Closet Cooking — June 26, 2013 @ 6:57 am

    What a nice, easy and refreshing drink!


  5. #
    Maria — June 26, 2013 @ 7:15 am

    Such a pretty drink!


  6. #
    shelly (cookies and cups) — June 26, 2013 @ 7:38 am

    This sounds amazingly perfect!


  7. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — June 26, 2013 @ 7:40 am

    what a great drink the Lt. prepared for us! Cheers to you two!!


  8. #
    marla — June 26, 2013 @ 7:42 am

    TOTALLY a champ….love bourbon. Great recipe!


  9. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — June 26, 2013 @ 7:54 am

    This is lovely, Sommer! Definitely the man’s answer to summer cocktails, haha. I know I’d enjoy it, too!


  10. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — June 26, 2013 @ 8:14 am

    All over this. And in it. And splashing it in my face.


  11. #
    Heather Christo — June 26, 2013 @ 8:39 am

    beautiful drink!!


  12. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — June 26, 2013 @ 9:07 am

    This looks great. I’ve been on a bourbon kick myeslf lately!


  13. #
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — June 26, 2013 @ 10:14 am

    I love your thinking. There are so many fabulous flavors out there, I’ve just barely touched on them. I just bought a bottle of bourbon last week, a recommendation from Heather/Farmgirl Gourmet. Smooth and yummy…love your cocktail!


  14. #
    Leah | So, How's It Taste? — June 26, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

    This sounds so good. I’ll take two!


  15. #
    naomi — June 26, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

    love your husbands’s taste in cocktails! This is a must make.


  16. #
    Noble Pig - Cathy — June 26, 2013 @ 6:14 pm

    Love the apple brandy in here! And yes she is wonderful and gorgeous…that can never hurt.


  17. #
    Nessa — June 26, 2013 @ 5:36 pm



  18. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — June 26, 2013 @ 9:34 pm

    Perfect for summer, love this cocktail!


  19. #
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — June 26, 2013 @ 10:55 pm

    Lt. Dan surely knows great cocktail!


  20. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — June 27, 2013 @ 3:15 am

    This would totally hit the spot! It’s 5 oclock somewhere!


  21. #
    Katie — June 27, 2013 @ 7:47 am

    I could totally get on board with this cocktail – sounds perfect for summer like you said!


  22. #
    ashley - baker by nature — June 27, 2013 @ 10:42 am

    We are HUGE bourbon fans, so I know we’ll be making this beauty very soon!


  23. #
    Colette @ Coco in the Kitchen — June 27, 2013 @ 11:00 am

    Oh….apple brandy. I must get some!


  24. #
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — June 27, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

    I love whiskey sours. I could totally use one of these right now!


  25. #
    Carolyn — June 28, 2013 @ 5:08 am

    This is one I have to give a try. I love a new cocktail!


  26. #
    Shaina — June 30, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

    Great cocktail, and I love that your liquor cabinet/bar selection is expanding. There’s so much you can do with only a few extra ingredients.


  27. #
    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — June 30, 2013 @ 5:55 pm

    This looks good! I need to get my hands on some apple brandy.


  28. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — July 10, 2013 @ 10:40 am

    Oh wow, does this look good! Love it!


  29. #
    Marly — July 11, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

    Yes!! Perfect summertime drink…or anytime drink for that matter!


  30. #
    Liz | Gimme Some Style — July 15, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

    Yum! This sounds SO good! I will definitely be making this in the near future! Seems like a great summer cocktail!


  31. #
    Nancy Long — July 5, 2014 @ 7:03 pm

    hubby love Wild Turkey 101 and coke, will have to try this one on him



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