Bourbon Renewal Cocktail Recipe

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Bourbon Renewal 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 7, 2024


The Bourbon Renewal cocktail was created by bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler in the late 1990s at the renowned Clyde Common bar in Portland, Oregon. This modern classic is a twist on the classic Whiskey Sour, incorporating crème de cassis for a fruity touch. The cocktail quickly gained popularity and has become a favorite among bourbon enthusiasts.

  • The Bourbon Renewal is a modern classic
  • Created by Jeffrey Morgenthaler in the late 1990s
  • A twist on the classic Whiskey Sour with crème de cassis

How Bourbon Renewal Tastes?

The Bourbon Renewal is a well-balanced cocktail with a mix of sweet, sour, and fruity flavors. The bourbon provides a strong, oaky backbone, while the crème de cassis adds a rich, fruity sweetness. The lemon juice and simple syrup bring a bright, tart contrast, and the Angostura bitters add depth and complexity.

Interesting facts about Bourbon Renewal

  • The Bourbon Renewal is named after the concept of 'urban renewal'
  • Crème de cassis is a sweet, dark red liqueur made from blackcurrants
  • The cocktail is often garnished with a lemon wheel and a cherry



Used for its complex, oaky sweetness; it's the soul of this drink. 2 oz gives the right kick - too much, and you'll forget the name of your first pet; too little, and you'll wonder where the party is. Without it, it's like a book club without books!

Mary Mitkina

Crème de Cassis

Brings a sweet, berry richness. 0.5 oz is a hint of mischief, any more could lead to a fruit basket revolt. Skip it, and the drink loses its fruity whisper.

Alex Green

Lemon Juice

Freshness and zing! 1 oz wakes the drink up like an alarm clock. Less, and you might as well sleep in; too much might make you pucker up more than your first kiss. No lemon juice? Then, it's just not a Bourbon Renewal.

Emma Rose

Simple Syrup

Smooth sweetness to balance the tart. 0.5 oz is like the mediator in a sour-sweet debate - we don't want a sourpuss or a sugar rush. Without it, the cocktail could be mistaken for a sour-face competition.

Mary Mitkina

Angostura Bitters

The cocktail's spice rack. A dash adds complexity like a twist in a good plot; skip it, and your cocktail's story might be a tad bland. A mystery without the mysterious character!

Alex Green

Garnish: Lemon Wheel & Cherry

For the eyes and the final flourish. The cherry's like dotting the 'i', the lemon wheel like crossing the 't'. Without them, the cocktail's outfit is incomplete!

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Bourbon Renewal Drink

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the following ingredients:
    • 2 oz bourbon
    • 0.5 oz crème de cassis
    • 1 oz lemon juice
    • 0.5 oz simple syrup
    • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  2. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well until chilled
  3. Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice
  4. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a cherry

Pro Tips

  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor
  • Chill your glass before serving for a cooler cocktail
  • Try using a high-quality bourbon for a smoother taste

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Steak: The rich, robust flavors of Bourbon complement the charred, meaty flavors of steak.
  • Barbecue Pork: The sweet and tangy notes of the crème de cassis and lemon juice work well against the smoky flavors of barbecue.
  • Spicy Wings: The heat from the wings will be balanced by the cocktail's sweetness and acidity.
  • Dark Chocolate Desserts: The Bourbon's deep flavors will pair nicely with the bitterness of dark chocolate.

Drink Pairings

  • Chilled Water: To cleanse the palate between sips.
  • Coffee: Post-meal, the bitter notes of coffee complement the sweetness of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Bourbon Renewal

  • Bourbon: Can be replaced with another type of whiskey
  • Crème de Cassis: Can be substituted with blackcurrant jam or syrup
  • Simple Syrup: Can be replaced with honey or agave syrup

Explore all drinks starting with B here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Renewal

Swap Bourbon for a smoky Scotch. This drink will transport you to a roaring bonfire under the stars. Not for the faint-hearted - it really turns up the heat.

Ingredients: 2 oz Scotch Whisky, rest remains the same.

Berry Renewal

Add a medley of berry juices for a summer punch. Berries bring the party, and in this twist, they're the life of it. Perfect for when life gives you berries, not lemons.

Ingredients: Add 0.5 oz of mixed berry juice, rest remains the same.

Sparkling Renewal

Top with a splash of Prosecco. Let's raise the stakes with some bubbly! It's like Bourbon Renewal got a promotion. Celebrate the little victories with this sparkling twist.

Ingredients: Add a Prosecco topper, rest remains the same.

In case you forgot basics how to make Bourbon Renewal

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

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

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Bourbon Renewal

What type of Bourbon is best for a Bourbon Renewal?

A high-quality, smooth bourbon is typically recommended to make a Bourbon Renewal. The choice of bourbon can significantly impact the taste of the cocktail.

What type of cherries are used for the garnish?

Maraschino cherries or fresh cherries can be used as garnish. However, the choice of cherry can depend on personal preference.

Is Bourbon Renewal considered a sweet or sour cocktail?

The Bourbon Renewal is a well-balanced cocktail. It has the sweetness from the Bourbon and Crème de Cassis, and the sourness from the lemon juice, providing a sweet, sour, and fruity flavor.

How can I make my own simple syrup?

Simple syrup can be made by mixing equal parts of sugar and water and heating the mixture until the sugar is fully dissolved.

Is there a certain time of day or occasion when it's best to enjoy a Bourbon Renewal?

While a Bourbon Renewal can be enjoyed any time of the day, it is often served in the evening due to its strong bourbon flavor.

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