Kentucky B Cocktail Recipe

Jump to Recipe ⬇️

Kentucky B 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 Kentucky B cocktail is a classic American cocktail that originated in the heart of bourbon country, Kentucky. This drink is a favorite among bourbon enthusiasts and has been enjoyed for generations.

  • The cocktail was first created in the 1800s by a bartender in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • It gained popularity during the Prohibition era as a way to mask the taste of homemade spirits.
  • Today, the Kentucky B is enjoyed by people all over the world who appreciate its rich, bold flavors.

How Kentucky B Tastes?

The Kentucky B cocktail has a rich, smooth, and slightly sweet taste with a hint of spice. The bourbon provides a strong, oaky base, while the other ingredients add complexity and depth to the flavor profile.

Interesting facts about Kentucky B

  • The Kentucky B is often considered a 'sipping' cocktail, meant to be enjoyed slowly over time.
  • The name 'Kentucky B' is derived from the state of Kentucky, which is known for its bourbon production.
  • The cocktail is traditionally served in a rocks glass, allowing the drinker to appreciate the aroma and flavors of the bourbon.



The bourbon serves as the backbone of our Kentucky B, providing a rich, complex base with notes of vanilla, oak, and a hint of sweetness. Using 2oz strikes the perfect balance — less and you'll miss out on its full-bodied character, more and it might overshadow the other flavors.

Mary Mitkina

Sweet Vermouth

Sweet vermouth adds a delightful herbal complexity and sweetness that bridges the gap between the strong bourbon and the sharpness of the bitters. 1oz is just enough to sweeten the deal without turning the drink into syrupy territory.

Alex Green

Orange Bitters

These bring a zesty, citrus note to the party and help to balance out the sweetness with their bitter profile. Two dashes are your secret weapon; anything more might turn the cocktail into a bitter battleground.

Emma Rose

Maraschino Cherry

This little cherry is more than just a garnish; it provides a hint of sweetness and fruitiness to the drink's finish. Leave it out, and you remove a layer of complexity as well as that classic cocktail charm.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Peel

The essential oils in the orange peel add a bright, aromatic finish when expressed over the drink. It's a final flourish that echoes the bitters' citrus notes and looks pretty as a picture.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Kentucky B Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add bourbon, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters.
  3. Stir the mixture until well chilled.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  5. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and an orange peel.

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality bourbon for the best flavor.
  • Chill the glass before serving for a refreshing touch.
  • Stir the cocktail gently to avoid diluting the flavors.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Charcuterie Board: The savory flavors of cured meats and pungent cheeses complement the boldness of bourbon.
  • Dark Chocolate: The bitterness of dark chocolate is a perfect match for the sweetness of the maraschino cherry and vermouth.
  • Grilled Steaks: A meaty steak with a slightly charred crust brings out the smoky notes in the bourbon.

Drink Pairings

  • Coffee: A rich espresso can follow the cocktail nicely, balancing its sweet and bitter notes.
  • Water: Sip cold water in between to cleanse the palate and fully appreciate the cocktail's flavors.

🍹 Discover the Top 50 All-Time Recipes! 🍹

Enter your email, and we'll send the exclusive list straight to your inbox.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

What you could change in Kentucky B

  • Rye whiskey can be used instead of bourbon for a spicier flavor.
  • Angostura bitters can replace orange bitters if needed.
  • A lemon peel can be used as a garnish instead of an orange peel.

Explore all drinks starting with K here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Kentucky B

  • Substitute Bourbon for Smoked Bourbon (2oz)
  • Maple Syrup instead of sweet vermouth (1/2oz)
  • Applewood chips for smoking Smoke the bourbon with applewood chips, then mix with maple syrup and orange bitters. The smokiness adds a rustic, campfire twist to the cocktail, perfect for sipping on a crisp evening.

Spicy Kentucky B

  • Rye Whiskey (2oz) instead of Bourbon
  • A dash of chili bitters Use rye whiskey for a spicier, edgier version, and add a dash of chili bitters for a warming kick. This twist turns up the heat for those who like their drinks bold and spirited.

Sweet Kentucky B

  • Bourbon (1.5oz)
  • Sweet Red Vermouth (1.5oz)
  • A spoonful of maraschino liqueur The additional sweet vermouth and maraschino liqueur make for a sweeter, more decadent drink. An excellent choice for those with a sweet tooth who want a dessert-like cocktail.

In case you forgot basics how to make Kentucky B

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

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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

Find the cocktail you'd love!

If you want to drink something else - you can use our AI-augmented search to find the best cocktail for you!
Completely free!

Frequently Asked Questions on Kentucky B

Can the Kentucky B be made non-alcoholic?

Yes, a mocktail version of the Kentucky B can be made using non-alcoholic bourbon substitutes and omitting the bitters.

What food pairings would work well with the Kentucky B?

The Kentucky B pairs exceptionally well with hearty, rich flavors like barbecue ribs or smoky cheeses.

Is there an ideal time of the day or year to enjoy a Kentucky B?

Traditionally, the Kentucky B is enjoyed in the late evening as a digestif. However, it can certainly be appreciated anytime. As for the season, it's a cocktail that can be enjoyed year-round but is particularly suitable for fall and winter due to its robust flavors.

What kind of Orange Bitters should I use?

Any brand of Orange Bitters will work, but for the best taste, consider premium brands that offer a richer flavor.

If I use Rye Whiskey instead of Bourbon, will it change the taste drastically?

Using Rye Whiskey will not drastically change the taste but will add a spicier note to the cocktail.

More similar recipes to Kentucky B!

Explore new cocktails you'd love!

Please rate this recipe