This Is The Most Searched Summer Cocktail In The South

Hint: It's icy, refreshing, and a perfect choice for summers in the South.

Bourbon Slush
Photo: Oxmoor House

We're always looking for new and refreshing ways to keep cool at all of our summertime gatherings, from backyard barbecues to family reunions to casual evenings on the front porch. And while we'll always have well-planned menus, tasty snacks, and sweet tea, every Southern host loves having one extra special element: the house cocktail. So, of the hundreds of drink recipes out there, we were delighted (and a tad surprised) by the most popular seasonal cocktail recipe: the Bourbon Slush. This icy, refreshing, and boozy drink was developed by chef, caterer, and author Elizabeth Heiskell, who shared this recipe in her best-selling cookbook What Can I Bring?: Southern Food For Any Occasion Life Serves Up. For those who are last-minute party hosts, take note: This cocktail does require at least 8 hours of freeze time. (Editor's note: it's worth every minute.)

Tips For Making The Bourbon Slush

The cocktail comes together with a few key ingredients: hot brewed tea, granulated sugar, frozen lemonade concentrate, frozen orange juice concentrate, and bourbon. The hands-on time is only a mere 10 minutes but as noted above, this delicious drink is known for its slush – and it requires time to freeze. So make sure you give this recipe its proper time to chill. One of the best things about the Bourbon Slush (besides its taste and name, obviously) is that it easily serves 10, so that makes it the perfect choice for when you're entertaining a larger group. Keep in mind that before spooning and serving, you'll want to let it thaw at room temperature for about an hour.

Why Bourbon Slush Is A Great All-Season Cocktail

Heiskell, an avid football fan,actually shared this drink in the tailgating chapter of her cookbook as one of her go-to game day recipes. "All I have to do is take one sniff of a glass of bourbon and I'm transported to a cool, fall day in Starkville at Davis Wade Stadium," says Heiskell. If this delicious sipper is tasty enough for serving at Southern tailgates, then it's sure to delight partygoers anywhere, anytime of year.

Why You Need To Make The Bourbon Slush Ahead Of Time

While the ingredient list is short and the hands-on time is simple, this is a recipe that can not be made in a pinch. In fact, 8 hours of chilling is really the minimum time required to get it just right. However, no matter your hosting style, you can still serve this crowd-pleaser. Consider these pointers:

  • It freezes beautifully. Yes, that's music to our party planning ears. While this recipe does need 8 hours to taste its best, Heiskell notes the Bourbon Slush can actually be made months ahead of time and taste absolutely delicious. So, if you're the type of host who likes to cross things off a very long to-do list, whip up your batch ahead of time and it'll be ready on the day of your soiree.
  • It's a great batch drink. Make it and store it in the freezer so you can be ready for drop-in guests, especially during the summertime and holiday season when your house is filled with company. Imagine asking friends: "Can I get you something cold to drink? We've got fresh lemonade, sweet tea, or perhaps my favorite Bourbon Slush?" Trust us, guests will be impressed.
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