Bourbon Sour with Lemon & Rosemary

Lori Yates | Foxes Love Lemons

This bourbon sour with lemon & rosemary is a modern twist on a classic cocktail. This herb-infused whiskey drink is perfect for the fall and winter months!

Bourbon Sour with Lemon & Rosemary Photo

If I were given some sort of quiz on classic cocktails, I would fail miserably. Granted, I’ve never worked as a bartender, so why would I know? Unless you’re asking for something like a Gin & Tonic where the ingredients are listed right there in the name, I’m probably going to have to do a quick Internet search before I can make you a drink.

For example, for this month’s lemon-centric recipe, I was like “Oh, I know! I’ll make a whiskey sour, except for the sour... I’ll use lemon.” Well you know what? Whiskey sours usually call for lemon. That’s just the standard sour part of the drink. Oops! Guess I wasn’t really being all that original, huh?

But still, one of my favorite ways to put a modern twist on any classic cocktail is by using a homemade flavored simple syrup as the sweet element. Classic simple syrup is literally just 1 part granulated sugar and 1 part water, gently heated until the sugar dissolves. It could NOT be simpler.

Bourbon Sour with Lemon & Rosemary Picture

And for very little additional work, you can make an infused simple syrup by doing something as simple as throwing some herbs, whole spices, or fruit peels into the mixture as it heats.

Bourbon used to be my “winter liquor,” and I would stash it away during the warmer months, where I’d opt for vodka or gin. Now, I enjoy bourbon year ‘round, but I still think it tastes better in the colder part of the year. Call me crazy.

And to me, rosemary screams “autumn!” to like no other herb, with the exception of possibly sage. This Bourbon Sour with lemon & rosemary is meant to be a cocktail that you can enjoy now, and all the way through the chilliest time of year. Drink up with your favorite people!

Bourbon Sour with Lemon & Rosemary Image

Bourbon Sour with Lemon & Rosemary Recipe

    5 Servings


For the Rosemary Simple Syrup:
  • 3 sprigs ofs Rosemary, Large
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Water
For the Cocktail (per cocktail):
  • 1 1/2 ounces Bourbon
  • 1 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 ounce Rosemary Simple Syrup
  • Ice Cubes, For shaking and serving
  • sprigs of Rosemary, For garnish (optional)


To Make the Rosemary Simple Syrup:

  1. Place rosemary on cutting board and gently hit sprigs with back of knife to release their flavor and aroma.
  2. Transfer rosemary to small saucepot; stir in sugar and water. Cook over medium heat 4 to 6 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer to jar or container and refrigerate until completely cool, or up to 5 days. Makes about ½ cup syrup.

To Make the Cocktail:

  1. In cocktail shaker, combine bourbon, lemon juice, Rosemary Simple Syrup and ice; shake well.
  2. Serve over additional ice, garnished with rosemary sprig, if desired.


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Lori Yates

About Lori

Lori loves lemons, English muffins, and her puppy, Izzy. She writes about all three on Foxes Love Lemons. If you love lemon too, you're going to love all of Lori's posts, because she's our Lemon fanatic!