How to Choose a Cocktail Syrup for Bourbon

How to Choose a Cocktail Syrup for Bourbon

How to Choose a Cocktail Syrup for Bourbon

When it comes to bourbon or whiskey cocktails, the sky's the limit. There are so many different possibilities for flavors and combinations that the only challenge is deciding which ones to try first! 


Product photograph of four cocktail syrups. Text reads How to choose a cocktail syrup for bourbon

I have four small-batch cocktail syrups in my online store: Caged Heat, Crimson Smoke, Cherry Bomb, and Fairy Dust. Each syrup was created for home mixology and home bars. My goal with these syrups is to make your home bar the hottest spot in town! 

My syrups are made in California and are zero-alcohol, gluten-free, and approximately 100 calories per 2 oz. serving. Check out our variety case that includes our four unique syrups.

While I am outlining cocktail recipes that involve whiskey, any of these handcrafted syrups can be enjoyed with zero alcohol. Just mix 2oz of your preferred syrup with soda water for a refreshing alcohol-free mocktail.

One important decision you'll need to make when creating bourbon cocktails is what kind of syrup to use. Cocktail syrups can add a lot of flavor and complexity to your drinks, and they're perfect for enhancing the taste of the whiskey. In this blog post, I'll discuss how to choose a syrup for your bourbon cocktails and provide some delicious recipes that will show you just how versatile these drinks can be.


Caged Heat & Cherry Bomb Syrups


Did you know that bourbon is a type of whiskey? And that all bourbon can be whiskey but not all whiskey can be bourbon. Interesting, right? Food & Wine has a great article that showcases the differences between whiskey and bourbon. Check it out here.

When it comes to bourbon cocktails, various syrups can be used. The most popular type of syrup for these drinks is probably a sweet and sour mix. This mixture of sugar, water, and citric acid is perfect for adding sweetness and tartness to cocktails. It's also very versatile, meaning that it can be used in a variety of different drinks. 

This is where Caged Heat comes in. If you're looking for something a little more unique, then Caged Heat syrup will be your new best cocktail friend.

Caged Heat syrup is made from a blend of Tamarind, Ghost Pepper chilies, and Cardamom. It gives drinks a spicy kick. It's perfect for those who love bold flavors, and it can really enhance the bourbon flavor.

Caged Heat was created to make a consistently spicy Bourbon Sour, but it also tastes excellent with tequila and mezcal to make a spicy margarita. Check out the Desert Heat recipe here. 


Photograph of Caged Heat cocktail syrup with two coffee mugs


Another common syrup that's often used in bourbon cocktails is grenadine. This sweet and syrupy syrup is made from pomegranate juice, sugar, and water, and it gives drinks a bright red color and fruity flavor. In my collection of syrups, I choose to use Cherry Bomb instead of grenadine. 


Cherry Bomb syrup gives something sweet and fruity to any cocktail recipe. It is made from black cherries, dark roasted coffee, and bittersweet cacao. Cherry Bomb adds a delicious tart flavor to any recipe. I even enjoy Cherry Bomb swirled into a cold brew coffee. It's a perfect zero-alcohol mid-day pick me up. I have a client in Venice Beach that plates their chocolate deserts over a drizzle of Cherry Bomb!


Photograph of a bottle of Cherry Bomb cocktail syrup with two glasses full of ice and liquid 

Cocktail Recipes

Once you've chosen a syrup, it's time to start creating cocktails! One of my favorite recipes is the caged heat old fashioned. This drink combines caged heat cocktail syrup with bourbon whiskey, bitters, and orange peel. It's perfect for those who love spicy drinks, and it's sure to impress any guests you invite over. 


Another great Caged Heat recipe is the whiskey sour. This drink is made with bourbon whiskey and lemon juice, and it's perfect for those who find spicy to be refreshing.


The Caged Heat Sour

2oz Bourbon

1oz Caged Heat syrup

1oz Lemon Juice

Instructions: Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a glass. Garnish with an orange peel. Enjoy!


Another great Caged Heat recipe is the Hottest Toddy - especially when it's cold outside, and you can curl by the fire with a flavorsome drink. 


Need the perfect Hot Toddy mug? I have some for sale in my store.


The Caged Heat Hottest Toddy

1 1/2 oz bourbon

3/4 oz fresh lemon juice

1/2 oz Caged Heat syrup

1 T honey

Instructions: Boil 1-2 cups of water, depending on the size of your favorite coffee mug. Meanwhile, add the bourbon, lemon, and Caged Heat syrup to the same mug. Once your water is boiled, pour it over the other ingredients, add honey to taste, and stir with a spoon. Careful, it's a hot one.


The Cherry Bomb Old Fashioned

2oz Bourbon

1oz Cherry Bomb Syrup

2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Instructions: Mix ingredients together over ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain over a large ice cube in a rocks glass. Garnish with 3 luxardo cherries on a pick.


The Cherry Bomber

2oz Bourbon

1oz Cherry Bomb Syrup

Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a glass. Garnish with a lime. Enjoy!


No matter what kind of syrup you choose, we know that you'll love these delicious bourbon cocktails! Cheers!



Check out my library of cocktail recipes for more ideas. 

Pick up a variety case of my handcrafted, small-batch syrups.

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