“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.


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32 comments on ““The Champ” Bourbon Cocktail

  1. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchenposted June 26, 2013 at 5:40 am Reply

    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 Collierposted June 26, 2013 at 6:22 am Reply

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

  3. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.posted June 26, 2013 at 6:37 am Reply

    sounds great to me

  4. Kevin @ Closet Cookingposted June 26, 2013 at 6:57 am Reply

    What a nice, easy and refreshing drink!

  5. Mariaposted June 26, 2013 at 7:15 am Reply

    Such a pretty drink!

  6. shelly (cookies and cups)posted June 26, 2013 at 7:38 am Reply

    This sounds amazingly perfect!

  7. Julie @ Table for Twoposted June 26, 2013 at 7:40 am Reply

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

  8. marlaposted June 26, 2013 at 7:42 am Reply

    TOTALLY a champ….love bourbon. Great recipe!

  9. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cookingposted June 26, 2013 at 7:54 am Reply

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

  10. Bev @ Bev Cooksposted June 26, 2013 at 8:14 am Reply

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

  11. Heather Christoposted June 26, 2013 at 8:39 am Reply

    beautiful drink!!

  12. Paula - bell'alimentoposted June 26, 2013 at 9:07 am Reply

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

  13. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesposted June 26, 2013 at 10:14 am Reply

    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?posted June 26, 2013 at 2:31 pm Reply

    This sounds so good. I’ll take two!

  15. naomiposted June 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm Reply

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

  16. Noble Pig - Cathyposted June 26, 2013 at 6:14 pm Reply

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

  17. Nessaposted June 26, 2013 at 5:36 pm Reply


  18. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchenposted June 26, 2013 at 9:34 pm Reply

    Perfect for summer, love this cocktail!

  19. Kiran @ KiranTarun.composted June 26, 2013 at 10:55 pm Reply

    Lt. Dan surely knows great cocktail!

  20. Averie @ Averie Cooksposted June 27, 2013 at 3:15 am Reply

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

  21. Katieposted June 27, 2013 at 7:47 am Reply

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

  22. ashley - baker by natureposted June 27, 2013 at 10:42 am Reply

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

  23. Colette @ Coco in the Kitchenposted June 27, 2013 at 11:00 am Reply

    Oh….apple brandy. I must get some!

  24. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggiesposted June 27, 2013 at 4:43 pm Reply

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

  25. Carolynposted June 28, 2013 at 5:08 am Reply

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

  26. Shainaposted June 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm Reply

    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 Konfidenceposted June 30, 2013 at 5:55 pm Reply

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

  28. Nutmeg Nannyposted July 10, 2013 at 10:40 am Reply

    Oh wow, does this look good! Love it!

  29. Marlyposted July 11, 2013 at 12:21 pm Reply

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

  30. Liz | Gimme Some Styleposted July 15, 2013 at 7:45 pm Reply

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

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  32. Nancy Longposted July 5, 2014 at 7:03 pm Reply

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