Wild Turkey Cocktail Recipe

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Wild Turkey 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 Wild Turkey cocktail is named after the famous Wild Turkey Bourbon, which has been produced in Kentucky since the 1940s. This cocktail is a favorite among bourbon enthusiasts and is perfect for those who enjoy a strong, bold drink. The Wild Turkey cocktail is often enjoyed during the fall and winter months, as its warm, spicy flavors pair well with the cooler weather.

How Wild Turkey Tastes?

The Wild Turkey cocktail has a robust, full-bodied flavor with notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak. It's slightly sweet, with a touch of spice and a warming, smooth finish. The bourbon takes center stage, while the other ingredients add depth and complexity.

Interesting facts about Wild Turkey

  • The Wild Turkey distillery is located in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, and has been producing bourbon since the 1940s.
  • Wild Turkey Bourbon is known for its high rye content, which gives it a spicier, more robust flavor compared to other bourbons.
  • The Wild Turkey cocktail is sometimes referred to as a 'Kentucky Mule' due to its similarities with the Moscow Mule, which uses vodka instead of bourbon.


A few good options for Wild Turkey are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

Wild Turkey Bourbon

The heart and soul of our cocktail, Wild Turkey Bourbon provides a robust and slightly sweet flavor with notes of vanilla and caramel. At 2 oz, it's just enough to make its presence known without overpowering the mixer's playful spiciness. Too little, and you'll miss the warm blanket this bourbon weaves; too much, and your cocktail will feel more like a boozy punch in the mouth.

Emma Rose

Ginger Beer

Ginger Beer offers a spicy kick and effervescence that cuts through the bourbon's richness, giving our cocktail a playful fizz and heat. Using 4 oz creates a harmonious balance with the bourbon. If you skimp on it, expect the cocktail to be overly strong and less refreshing; if you're too generous, it'll drown the carefully crafted symphony of the Wild Turkey.

Mary Mitkina

Lime Juice

Zesty and fresh, Lime Juice at 0.5 oz brightens the cocktail and ties the bourbon and ginger beer together with a citrusy bow. Not enough and the cocktail might feel flat; too much and you'll pucker more than intended. Out of limes? Lemon juice can pinch-hit, but expect a sharper, slightly less sweet profile.

Alex Green

Angostura Bitters

These little dashes of Angostura Bitters are the cocktail whisperers, imparting a subtle yet complex spice layer that whispers, 'I'm sophisticated.' Without them, the cocktail is fine, but like a book without a plot twist, it's just not as interesting. Overdo it, and the bitters could steal the show in a less pleasant way.

Emma Rose

Lime Wedge

The garnish isn't just about looks; a Lime Wedge serves dual purposes. It's a visual cue of the citrus within, and a guest can squeeze more if desired for an extra zing. Leave it out, and you'll be left wondering if your drink is fully dressed.

Mary Mitkina

Mint Sprig

The Mint Sprig isn't just a pretty face; its aroma enhances every sip, creating a more engaging sensory experience. Without the mint, your cocktail still tastes good, but it's like enjoying a garden without the smell of flowers—nice, but missing a delightful dimension.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Wild Turkey Drink

  1. Fill a rocks glass or copper mug with ice.
  2. Add 2 oz of Wild Turkey Bourbon.
  3. Add 0.5 oz of fresh lime juice.
  4. Top with 4 oz of ginger beer.
  5. Add 2 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  6. Gently stir to combine.
  7. Garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lime juice for a brighter, more refreshing flavor.
  • Chill your glass before serving to keep your cocktail cold for longer.
  • Don't over-stir your cocktail, as this can dilute the flavors.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Barbecue: The smoky flavors of BBQ ribs or pulled pork complement the smooth, rich notes of Wild Turkey Bourbon.
  • Spicy Foods: The ginger beer's spiciness and the cocktail's refreshing nature can cool down and match well with spicy Asian or Mexican dishes.
  • Cheese Platter: An assortment of cheeses, especially aged varieties, balances the sweetness and spiciness of the cocktail.
  • Dark Chocolate Desserts: The depth of dark chocolate pairs splendidly with the complex notes of the bourbon.

Drink Pairings

  • Craft Beer: A hoppy IPA can contrast nicely, while a rich stout or porter can enhance the warm bourbon notes.
  • Non-alcoholic: A simple ginger ale offers a similar flavor profile for those avoiding alcohol.

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What you could change in Wild Turkey

  • Bourbon: You can substitute the Wild Turkey Bourbon with any other bourbon of your choice.
  • Ginger Beer: If you don't have ginger beer, you can use ginger ale instead, but it will result in a sweeter, less spicy cocktail.
  • Lime Juice: If you don't have fresh limes, you can use bottled lime juice, but the flavor won't be as fresh and vibrant.

Explore all drinks starting with W here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Turkey

Ingredients: Use a smoked ginger beer and include a pinch of smoked paprika. Recipe: Follow the original recipe but substitute regular ginger beer with a smoked variety and a pinch of smoked paprika on top after stirring. Taste: It should introduce a smokier profile that complements the bourbon beautifully, taking you on a walk through an autumn forest at twilight.

Turkey Orchard

Ingredients: Use apple cider instead of ginger beer and add a cinnamon stick for garnish. Recipe: Replace the ginger beer with the same amount of apple cider and garnish with a cinnamon stick instead of mint. Taste: The taste evolves into a lovely autumnal drink, with the apple cider's sweetness dancing a tango with the sharpness of the bourbon, while cinnamon adds a festive touch.

Caribbean Turkey

Ingredients: Use coconut water instead of ginger beer and a splash of pineapple juice. Recipe: Replace the ginger beer with coconut water and add a splash of pineapple juice before stirring. Taste: This twist should taste like a bourbon-infused tropical getaway, with refreshing coconut and a sunny pineapple note that transports you straight to the beach, bourbon in hand.

In case you forgot basics how to make Wild Turkey

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

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Frequently Asked Questions on Wild Turkey

What is the ideal time to enjoy a Wild Turkey cocktail?

As it is a strong and full-bodied cocktail, it is often enjoyed after a meal as a digestif. However, it can also serve as a good companion on a cold fall or winter eve.

Why is it called Wild Turkey?

It is named after the Wild Turkey Bourbon, the primary ingredient of this cocktail. The bourbon itself is named after the distillery which was often visited by wild turkeys.

Can the Wild Turkey cocktail be made alcohol-free?

Yes, the bourbon can be replaced with non-alcoholic substitutes or you can simply heighten the proportions of other ingredients.

Does the Wild Turkey cocktail pairs well with certain food?

Considering its spicy and tangy notes, it pairs well with dishes that have bold flavors. Think smoked meats, spicy food, or even rich chocolate desserts.

Can I use another type of alcohol instead of bourbon?

Yes, while bourbon delivers a unique taste, you can also experiment with other spirit like vodka, rum or tequila. Keep in mind that this will change the taste profile.

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