Cocktails Inspired by the Tennessee Whiskey Trail

Updated: Jun 20


Exploring the Tennessee Whiskey Trail was an adventure I will never forget! It took us from one end of Tennessee to the other, from the Mississippi River to the Smoky Mountains, and everywhere in between. It turned this girl from "I don't know what cocktail I want to order" to "I'll have an Old Fashioned with George Dickel Select". I'm no expert, but I know what I like.


We discovered that we love weekend road trips to small towns we've never heard of, and we love making cocktails with the goodies we bring home! And there's more to the Tennessee Whiskey Trail than just whiskey. With 27 distilleries spread out across all three grand divisions of the state, the possibilities are endless. Here are a few of my favorites.



Not So Old Fashioned


This is the perfect drink to kick off a list of the best Tennessee Whiskey Trail cocktails. It may be more than 150 years old, but it will never go out of style. This classic drink needs no introduction, and you don't have to be "old" to enjoy it!



Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Tennessee Whiskey (ask me what my favorite is)

  • Large ice cube and several small ones

  • Bitters

  • Sugar cubes

  • Orange and cocktail cherry (optional)

* Supplies needed: cocktail beaker, muddler, cocktail spoon and strainer


Directions:


Prepare your drinking glass by running a slice of orange peel around the rim. Place a large ice cube (or 2 - 3 small ones) in it. In a cocktail beaker (or separate glass), put two sugar cubes. Add 2 - 3 dashes of your favorite bitters and muddle it with the sugar cubes. Add whiskey and a few cubes of ice. Stir with a cocktail spoon 30 times. (yes, you have to count!). Pour the liquid over the large ice cube in your drinking glass by using a cocktail strainer. Garnish with an orange twist and/or cherry.


* Substitution: 1 tsp of simple syrup can be used instead of the sugar cubes


Serve in:

Small tumbler glass


Tennessee Toddy


A Tennessee twist on the classic hot toddy. Hot tea, lemon, honey, and your best Tennessee whiskey. Guaranteed to cure anything you've got!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Honey

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice 

  • 2 oz Tennessee Whiskey

  • 6 oz Hot Herbal Tea


Directions:


Prepare tea and set aside. Put honey, lemon juice, and whiskey into the glass first. Add tea while still hot and stir.


Serve in:


Glass/ceramic tea cup or Irish Coffee mug


Redneck Russian


Who needs vodka when you have white corn whiskey? And no one does it better than George Dickel. This White Russian recipe has gone country...and it's delicious! But be careful. This drink will knock you on your butt faster than a pickup truck on a dirt road.


Ingredients:

  • 2 oz White Corn Whiskey 

  • 2 oz Kahlua Coffee Liqueur 

  • 2 - 4 oz Heavy Cream or Half and Half

  • Crushed Ice

Directions:


Fill glass 3/4 of the way full with crushed ice. Add the White Corn Whiskey and Kahlua. Slowly pour the cream over the top to achieve the "layered" look. Keep in mind this is for presentation only, stir it up before you drink!


* Substitutions: Moonshine can be used instead of white whiskey, and half and half or milk can be used instead of cream.


Serve in:


Tall tumbler glass




Nashville Breeze


Gin doesn’t immediately come to mind when you think of the Tennessee Whiskey Trail. In fact, I’ve never been a Gin drinker, but the Tennessee Dry Gin made by H Clark Distillery made me a believer! Herbal Tea, simple syrup and lemon juice combine perfectly with the botanicals in this Gin to make a delicious summer cocktail that will transport you to the hills of Tennessee.


Tennessee Dry Gin - H Clark Distillery, Thompson's Station TN

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Gin 

  • 3 oz Tazo Passion Tea 

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice (about half a lime)

  • Lime wedge


Directions:


Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake a few times. Pour over ice and garnish with a lime wedge.


Serve in:


Short tumbler glass




Dark & Spicy


A Dark and Stormy with a southern kick to it. We took this classic drink and used Corsair Distillery’s Spiced Dark Rum to give it a little something special. This one rolls in like a good old fashioned summer thunderstorm!


Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Spiced Rum

  • Dash of Lemon Bitters

  • 6 oz Ginger Beer


Directions:


Fill glass with ice. Add simple syrup, spiced rum and lemon bitters. Top with ginger beer and stir gently. Garnish with lemon wedge.


Serve in:


Moscow Mule mug or any tall glass




Smoky Mountain Lemonade


A little sweet, a little shine, and a whole lotta yum! We discovered this at Bootlegger's Distillery, the best little moonshine shack in the state of Tennessee. This cocktail will take you straight to the mountains and have you hearing banjos.


Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Fruit Flavored Moonshine (Blackberry is my favorite)

  • 4 oz Lemonade

  • Crushed or cubed ice


Directions:


Combine moonshine and lemonade in a glass and stir. Serve over ice. Find a rocking chair and a front porch.


Serve in:


Mason jar (c'mon, it's moonshine!)


Feeling inspired? Try these out and let me know what you think!


Visit my Travel Inspired Cocktails page to find more deliciously fun recipes.


If you enjoyed reading this, here are some other articles you might be interested in:

Adventures on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail

Bourbon Cocktails of Summer

A Perfect Weekend on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Cinco de Margarita!


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