Wild Turkey is one of the best-known names in bourbon whiskey. It is also a perfect base for creating amazing whiskey cocktails.
Bourbon's resurgence in the modern whiskey scene saw a peak in 2010 when we celebrated the very first National Bourbon Heritage Month. Since that time, whiskey aficionados dedicate the entire month of September to bourbon and that is where this series of Wild Turkey cocktails originated.
Below you will find three amazing cocktails. They are modern interpretations on three of the best whiskey cocktails ever created: the Manhattan, the Old-Fashioned and the Whiskey Sour.
Each recipe has a new twist that will surprise and delight your taste buds and they go beyond the simple addition or substitution of one or two ingredients. No, these are complete transformations and they are spectacular!
Your Choice of Wild Turkey Bourbons
These cocktail recipes were created by Wild Turkey, so it is only natural that the brand is the recommended whiskey of choice for creating it. Of course, you can use your favorite bourbon whiskey, however, you will find that Wild Turkey has a number of great options to choose from.
Wild Turkey 81 is one of the flagship expressions for the legendary bourbon brand and it would be a top choice for this cocktail. Wild Turkey 101 and Rare Breed would also be excellent options. As you might suspect, each recipe got it's '101' moniker from Wild Turkey 101 and I would recommend starting with that flavorful bourbon.
If you want to step the drink up yet another notch, try one of the brand's limited edition reserve bourbons. These are the types of mixed drinks that will not be a waste of great whiskey.
The Manhattan 101 Cocktail
The Manhattan has long been a favorite cocktail and it is the perfect foundation for experimentation. This Manhattan 101 recipe is a great example of how little additions can make a world of difference.
In this recipe, the base of a classic Manhattan remains. A great bourbon and sweet vermouth form the foundation on which layers of flavor are added. You will notice that dry vermouth is used as well to form more of a Perfect Manhattan base.
To this, ginger and mint are used. The herbal-spice combination adds depth and interest to create a spectacular reinterpretation of the classic cocktail.
- Muddle ginger, mint, powdered sugar, and bitters in a cocktail shaker.
- Add bourbon, vermouth, and ice.
- Shake well.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
More Tips for Making a Great Manhattan 101 Cocktail
The Ginger and Mint. Fresh ginger and mint are a requirement for this recipe. It is both an opportunity to practice your skills with a muddler and a fantastic way to experience the difference fresh ingredients can make.
Though not essential, some bartenders like to slap mint leaves before mixing to help release more of the herb's essential oils.
The Powdered Sugar. Powdered sugar is not one of the most common ingredients in a bar. It is actually quite easy to make yourself from granulated sugar and can be made in as small of a quantity as you need. The only tool required is a blender or coffee grinder.
Substitutes can be made for powdered sugar as well. Granulated sugar is always a good option and no adjustments need to made on the quantity. Simple syrup is the other option and, if you opt for it, you may find that slightly less than 1 teaspoon is required to create a balanced cocktail.
Wild Turkey's Old-fashioned 101 Cocktail
The Old-Fashioned is a fantastic cocktail and it is unbelievably simple to make. In the Old-Fashioned 101, Wild Turkey added a fantastic combination of flavors, bringing in herbs, spices and apple cider. It is an Old-Fashioned like you have never known it.
A Note About the Cherries. You will note that the cherry garnish has been soaked in amaretto. It is very easy to do and if you would like to make an entire batch of amaretto-infused cherries, follow the steps in this homemade maraschino cherry recipe. The same method can be used for the bourbon cherries used in the Whiskey Sour 101 below.
- 1 1/3 ounce Wild Turkey Bourbon Whiskey
- 1/2 ounce apple cider
- 3 sage leaves
- 1 pinch of saffron
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 orange twists
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 fresh cherry
- 1 ounce Amaretto Di Saronno
- Slice cherry from top to bottom five times around pit and soak in a cup of Amaretto Di Saronno.
- Muddle the cider, sage, saffron, brown sugar, orange twists and zest together in glass.
- Add Wild Turkey Bourbon and stir.
- Strain and serve over ice, garnish with amaretto-soaked cherry.
Whiskey Sour 101 Cocktail Recipe
Last and certainly not least, try this modern variation on a Whiskey Sour. cocktail at home and see what a difference 101 proof Wild Turkey bourbon makes in this cocktail.
Additionally, the cherry soaked in Wild Turkey American Honey is a nice elegant touch to this drink.
- 1 1/2 ounces Wild Turkey Bourbon
- 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 ounce honey
- 1 fresh cherry
- 1 ounce Wild Turkey American Honey
- 1 bar spoon of egg white
- Slice cherry from top to bottom five times around pit, and soak in a cup of Wild Turkey American Honey.
- Combine Wild Turkey Bourbon, grapefruit juice, lime juice and honey in a cocktail shaker.
- Froth egg white and add a dollop to the mixture.
- Shake and serve over ice.
- Garnish with Wild Turkey American Honey soaked cherry.
(Recipes from Wild Turkey Bourbon)
Originally Published: September 8, 2010
Edited by Colleen Graham