Bourbon Lift Cocktail Recipe

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Bourbon Lift Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


The Bourbon Lift is a modern classic that combines the rich warmth of bourbon with the smooth sweetness of coffee liqueur and orgeat. It's a twist on the traditional Irish Coffee, but with a unique nutty flavor and a creamy texture that's elevated by the effervescence of club soda.

  • Origins: The exact origins are a bit murky, but it's a cocktail that has gained popularity in craft cocktail bars.
  • Popularity: It's particularly favored by those who appreciate a sophisticated, yet approachable drink.
  • Occasions: Perfect for a brunch or as a delightful after-dinner cocktail.

How Bourbon Lift Tastes?

The Bourbon Lift offers a creamy texture with a rich, nutty sweetness balanced by the boldness of the bourbon. The effervescence of the club soda provides a refreshing finish to this indulgent cocktail.

Interesting facts about Bourbon Lift

  • The orgeat syrup adds a subtle almond flavor that complements the coffee and bourbon.
  • Dry shaking the ingredients before adding ice helps to emulsify the heavy cream, creating a richer foam.
  • The 'lift' in the name refers to the technique of pouring club soda to raise the creamy foam above the rim of the glass.



The backbone of the cocktail. Bourbon brings a warm sweetness and notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak. Using 1.5oz balances the potency with the flavors. Less would weaken the drink; more would overpower.

Alex Green

Coffee Liqueur

It adds a deep, rich coffee flavor and sweet undertones. A 0.5oz is just enough to complement the bourbon without turning the drink into a caffeine kick.

Emma Rose

Heavy Cream

This gives the cocktail a luxurious texture and slight sweetness. Too much can make it too thick, too little, and you'll miss out on the creaminess.

Mary Mitkina


This sweet almond syrup adds complexity and a nutty flavor. It's a delicate balance; more can overwhelm with sweetness, less and you lose the nuance.

Alex Green

Club Soda

The effervescence of club soda lightens the drink, giving it a refreshing lift. It's added to taste, so you can't really go wrong, but overdoing it can dilute the flavors.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Bourbon Lift Drink

  1. Combine 1 1/2 ounces of bourbon, 1/2 ounce coffee liqueur, 1/2 ounce heavy cream, and 1/2 ounce orgeat in a shaker.
  2. Dry-shake vigorously for 10 seconds without ice.
  3. Add ice to the shaker and shake again until well-chilled.
  4. Strain into a Collins glass.
  5. Gently top with chilled club soda, pouring from a height to create a 'lift' of foam.
  6. Add a final splash of soda to ensure a frothy head rises above the glass.
  7. Serve with a straw.

Pro Tips

  • Chill your Collins glass beforehand to keep the cocktail cold longer.
  • When pouring the club soda, aim for the center of the drink to maximize the 'lift' effect.
  • For an extra touch of elegance, garnish with a few coffee beans or a light dusting of nutmeg.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Chocolate Desserts: The rich flavors of bourbon and coffee liqueur complement dark chocolate beautifully.
  • Nuts: Try pairing with almond or pecan-based snacks to echo the nutty notes of orgeat.
  • BBQ: The smoky sweetness of bourbon can stand up to the robust flavors of barbecued meats.

Drink Pairings

  • Coffee: A nice espresso or cold brew can enhance the coffee notes in the cocktail.
  • Amber Ale: The maltiness of the beer can complement the sweet and nutty flavors in the cocktail.

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What you could change in Bourbon Lift

  • Bourbon: You can substitute with another type of whiskey if bourbon is not available.
  • Coffee Liqueur: Kahlúa is a popular choice, but any coffee liqueur will do.
  • Heavy Cream: For a lighter version, half-and-half or even whole milk can be used, though the foam will be less rich.
  • Orgeat: Almond syrup can be used as a substitute, but the flavor profile will slightly change.

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And of course - twists🍹

Irish Lift

  • Replace bourbon with Irish whiskey for a different profile.
    • Ingredients: 1.5oz Irish whiskey, remaining ingredients the same.
    • Recipe: Follow the original Bourbon Lift recipe, using Irish whiskey instead.
    • The Irish whiskey brings a lighter, often smoother character, with less sweetness than bourbon.

Vegan Lift

  • Use coconut cream instead of heavy cream for a vegan-friendly version.
    • Ingredients: Substitute heavy cream with same amount of coconut cream.
    • Recipe: Follow the original recipe, using coconut cream.
    • Coconut cream adds tropical notes and is less dense, creating a lighter texture.

Spiced Lift

  • Add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg for a spiced twist.
    • Ingredients: Original ingredients plus a pinch of your chosen spice.
    • Recipe: Combine all ingredients, sprinkle spice on top before serving.
    • The spices bring warmth and an aromatic complexity, playing well with bourbon's sweetness.

In case you forgot basics how to make Bourbon Lift

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

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Frequently Asked Questions on Bourbon Lift

What type of glass is ideal for serving a Bourbon Lift?

A Collins glass is the traditional choice for a Bourbon Lift to accommodate the frothy head created by the club soda.

How can I achieve the best 'lift' effect when adding club soda?

Pouring the club soda from a height and aiming for the center will create the best frothy head, known as the 'lift' effect.

Can the Bourbon Lift be made in advance?

It's best served fresh due to the frothy texture and effervescence, but you can pre-mix the base and add the club soda just before serving.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of a Bourbon Lift?

Yes, you can create a mocktail version using a non-alcoholic bourbon alternative and a coffee-flavored syrup instead of liqueur.

What's the significance of using orgeat syrup in this cocktail?

Orgeat syrup adds a sweet almond flavor and contributes to the creamy texture of the cocktail.

How important is it to use heavy cream in the Bourbon Lift?

Heavy cream contributes to the rich and creamy texture; however, lighter alternatives can be used if preferred.

Can other flavors of liqueur be used to make variations of this cocktail?

Certainly! While it won't be a classic Bourbon Lift, feel free to experiment with different liqueurs to create your own variations.

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