Don't Be Afraid To Mix Limoncello With Bourbon

Although summer is flying by, we've still got plenty of time to enjoy the season with family, friends, and fun. If you're anything like us, summertime is best enjoyed with food and drinks. Why settle for the usual suspects — barbecue and burgers with beer — when you can explore new and uncharted territories of cuisine and mixology? Enter your new favorite summer cocktail ingredients: limoncello and bourbon.

Limoncello, a liqueur originating in Italy, is renowned for its zesty lemon flavor and bright sweetness. When combined with bourbon's typical caramel, vanilla, and oak notes, the candied taste of limoncello can offset its boldness, creating a harmonious balance between sweet and sour elements. Bourbon's complex blend of flavors, often influenced by the grains used during its production and the aging process in wooden barrels, complements the simplicity of limoncello's citrus focus. The two spirits work together to create a more layered and nuanced drink, enhancing the overall experience.

Once you mix these two unsuspecting beverages, your eyes will open to a new world of bold, boozy possibilities. 

The best limoncello-bourbon cocktails

Now that we've covered how well limoncello and bourbon mesh, we've got a few tasty cocktail recipes to help you put these synergistic flavors to use. 

Do you love a tart whiskey sour? Give this simple libation an Italian twist with a bourbon base, then add a dash of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and limoncello over ice to create a vibrant cocktail that packs a tangy punch. If this recipe is too sour for your tastebuds, balance it with a dash of maple syrup or a classic simple syrup.

Are you feeling sophisticated? Assemble an old fashioned with a lemony kick. The heart of the drink remains the same — bourbon. However, this zesty old-fashioned comes with a hefty dose of lemon flavor. Mix bourbon with limoncello and aromatic bitters over a sugar-dipped ice cube for an old-school cocktail with a citrus twist. Garnish with a lemon peel, or add even more citrus flavor by keeping it classic with an orange peel — but don't forget the cherry!

If you want to sip like Giada De Laurentiis, recreate her Italian spin on a hot toddy by combining limoncello, bourbon, ginger syrup, candied ginger, fresh lemon juice, and steaming-hot water. With this chef-approved recipe in your repertoire, you'll be ready for the fall as soon as the leaves turn brown. Whichever way you combine bourbon and limoncello, always drink responsibly!