Bourbon Cocktail Recipe with Grilled Lemon Simple Syrup

5 from 2 votes
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We love Bourbon Cocktails in our house and this one just made it to the top of the list. A Grilled Lemon simple syrup is the base, then we add our favorite bourbon and a few dashes of cherry bitters. It’s an easy bourbon cocktail recipe and one that will impress anyone.

Bourbon Cocktail with Grilled Lemon Simple Syrup

This cocktail is perfect, whether looking for a summer bourbon cocktail, or just something creative while grilling outside. I say that because it is so easy to make. All you need are the grilled lemons and some bourbon. Add a touch of bitters to make the cocktail pop.

  • We start with grilled lemons and use those to make a simple syrup.
  • We then make the cocktail with the simple syrup as the base.

Or you can use the same base for a classic grilled whiskey smash cocktail.

How to Make Simple Syrup

A typical simple syrup uses a ratio of 1 part water to 1 part sugar.

In this case we modify to include the water and the grilled lemon juice. Because of the natural sugars from the lemon, we also reduce the sugar of a typical simple syrup so it doesn’t come out too overly sweet. Start with our guide on how to grill lemons for the juice and use as base for simple syrup.

The ratio for the Grilled Lemon Simple Syrup is:

  • 1 part water
  • 1 part grilled lemon juice
  • 3/4 part sugar
Two bottles of grilled lemon simple syrup
Grilled Lemon Simple Syrup 2 ways (the one on the left is made with Meyer lemons, the darker one on the right is using regular lemons)

The sugar will dissolve and sweeten the liquid for any cocktail or beverage.

Simply add the water, grilled lemon juice, and sugar to a small sauce pan over medium heat, stir to incorporate and then cool it down. Store in the fridge for a week or up to 10 days.

Bitters for a Bourbon Cocktail

There are many options for bitters. Bitters are a botanically infused liqueur that take on a specific flavor profile to enhance a cocktail. In the case of this one, we use cherry bitters. Any fruit based bitters will work.

Making the Bourbon Cocktail

With any cocktail you can either make in a shaker or in the glass and stir. For this one we mix directly in the glass for each drink.

  • Place 3 ice cubes (or a large cocktail cube, using a mold like this) in a low ball glass.
  • Add 2 1/2 ounces of bourbon and 2 1/2 ounces of grilled lemon simple syrup.
  • Add three dashes of bitters.
  • Stir and enjoy.

For an easy bourbon cocktail, it doesn’t get better than this. And it is worth the extra step of grilling the lemons.

Bourbon Cocktails with grilled lemon simple syrup

Other Great Cocktails

About Vindulge

Mary (a certified sommelier and recipe developer) and Sean (backyard pitmaster) are co-authors of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Fire + Wine, and have been creating content for the IACP nominated website Vindulge since 2009. They live in Oregon on a farm just outside Portland.

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Bourbon Cocktails with Lemon Simple Syrup
5 from 2 votes

Bourbon Cocktail Recipe with Grilled Lemon Simple Syrup

Grilled lemons infused into a simple syrup and mixed with bourbon and bitters. A great summer cocktail.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktails


Grilled Lemon Simple Syrup

Bourbon Cocktail (Individual Cocktail Portions)

  • 3 cubes ice
  • 2 ½ ounces bourbon
  • 2 ½ ounces lemon simple syrup
  • 3 dashes cherry bitters


Simple Syrup

  • In a small sauce pan over medium heat combine the water, grilled lemon juice, and sugar. Simmer and stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves (about 10 minutes).
  • Remove from heat and let cool. Store in a mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

For the Bourbon Cocktail

  • In a low ball glass, add ice cubes. Using a cocktail jigger add bourbon and simple syrup to the glass and 3 dashes of the bitters. Stir and enjoy.


The simple syrup yields 2 cups of grilled lemon simple syrup and should be good for up to 6 total cocktails. 


Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Sodium: 44mg | Potassium: 46mg | Sugar: 52g | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 cocktails
Calories: 369
Keyword: best bourbon cocktails, bourbon cocktail, bourbon cocktail recipes, bourbon cocktails, summer bourbon cocktails
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About Mary

I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. Looks like the calculator overstated the sugar in the simple syrup and applied to the drink. We just adjusted and validated the new kCal count. Thanks for pointing that out.