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Bourbon Slush Recipe (A Southern Cocktail)

by Emily
Bourbon Slush Recipe: Two crystal glasses filled with bourbon slush

In the south, the bourbon slush reigns as a favorite party cocktail. You can dress it up with crystal glassware for special events or dress it down with casual everyday glassware for your family get-togethers. Either way, people are happy when they learn you are serving bourbon slush! My mother and grandmother perfected our family recipe over the years making a big batch to drink throughout the holiday season. Try our bourbon slush recipe in your homes for your special events! 

Before we discuss our bourbon slush recipe, I want to give some helpful hints with regards to picking a cocktail when hosting an event or party. 

Picking a Party Cocktail

To be honest, making a cocktail for yourself at home is entirely different from preparing cocktails for a party. When preparing for a large get together such as a holiday party or wedding, large batch cocktails work well when the hosts want to enjoy a completely stress-free and made-ahead event without a fully stocked bar.

What Should You Look For When Picking Out a Party Cocktail? 

A large glass of bourbon slush on a mat.
A Beautiful Glass of Bourbon Slush!

1. Easily Made in Large Batches: 

When preparing for a party, your list of items to get done seems endless. Beverages are always one of the items at the top of the list. After all, a good party can turn sour without beverages in hand. Soda, beer, and wine are easy enough to check off the list. But, what if someone wants a hard-liquor drink and you do not want an open bar? Instead of writing off cocktails altogether, compromise by making a large-batch cocktail. This allows you to make a lot at one time and serve out of a pitcher. 

2. Easily Made in Advance: 

Look for cocktails that can be made a few hours, or even a few days, in advance. This way, instead of throwing things together at the last minute, you are done in the kitchen by the time your guests arrive. Our bourbon slush recipe needs 24 hours in the freezer to be fully set. It is the perfect make-in-advance cocktail recipe for holiday parties. 

Mix together your bourbon slush with a spoon.
Mix Your Bourbon Slush Well!

3. Ease to Drink: 

When picking your cocktail, look for a recipe that can universally be enjoyed. You do not want to serve a cocktail that is too strong, too bitter, too unfamiliar, or so on… Instead of looking for something unique, look for a recipe you know everyone will enjoy. 

4. Inexpensive to Make: 

Honestly, a good cocktail should save you a bit of money. Wine can be extremely expensive. The happier people are with your cocktail, the more they will drink instead of the wine. The general rule at a party is one drink per person per hour of the event. Though you definitely want to prepare plenty, if your cocktail is good, you may have enough wine and beer left over to enjoy yourselves or save until your next party! 

Note: When making large-batch cocktails, remember that you do not need the best tasting or most expensive alcohol. When mixing ingredients together, much of the alcohol flavor will be masked. Unlike drinks such as the bourbon old fashioned, our bourbon slush recipe has enough other ingredients to allow use of a mid-priced bourbon.

Enjoy your holiday parties with a beautiful cocktail.
Enjoy Your Holiday Season With a Beautiful Cocktail.

If you keep these ideas in your mind, you can easily take drinks off your long list of items to get done! Our bourbon slush recipe is perfect and checks every box.

Our Bourbon Slush Recipe: 

In our family, we make two batches of bourbon slush every year. Our grandmother makes the first batch for the Thanksgiving holiday. We then make the second batch for Christmas and New Years. 

Though we mostly drink bourbon slush during winter, it can be served all year round and somehow fits into every season. During the winter, our bourbon slush recipe tastes of the holidays with the warm flavors of bourbon, citrus, and ginger. At the same time, because it is a frozen drink, bourbon slush is also refreshing and cooling during the warmer months.  

Also, as we stated above, our bourbon slush recipe is incredibly easy to make. Unlike many cocktails, this recipe does not need to be shaken or stirred in any special way. Instead, you just need to throw the ingredients together and place the container into the freezer. 

In my mind, because of its universality and its easy convenience, it is the perfect drink. 

Two cocktails sitting on a table.
What is Your Favorite Cocktail?

We Hope You Enjoy Our Bourbon Slush Recipe!

If you make our recipe or have any tips, feel free to email us at [email protected] or comment below. We try to respond quickly to all inquiries, questions, and suggestions that come our way! If you liked our bourbon slush recipe and want to learn more about some of our other drinks try our non-alcoholic alternatives as well:

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Bourbon Slush Recipe (A Southern Cocktail)

5.0 from 2 votes
Recipe by Emily Course: RecipesCuisine: SouthernDifficulty: Easy


Prep time




  • 2 (12 Oz) Cans Frozen Lemonade (Note: We Use Minute Maid)

  • 1 (12 Oz) Can Frozen Orange Juice

  • 1 Cup Sugar

  • 7 Cups Water

  • 7 TSP Instant Unsweetened Tea

  • 2 Cups Bourbon

  • Ginger Ale (12 cans)


  • Combine the frozen lemonade, orange juice, sugar, water, unsweetened tea, and bourbon together. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Place the mixture into the freezer overnight.
  • To Serve: Fill 2/3’s of the glass or pitcher with the frozen bourbon mixture. Fill the remaining 1/3 of the glass or pitcher with ginger ale. Stir together to combine. If made in the glasses, serve immediately. If you combined the mixture together in a pitcher, pour out into glasses and serve immediately.
  • Keeps in the freezer for a few months.

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Susie December 6, 2022 - 11:55 am

Can this be made with tea bags instead of instant tea? If so, how is this done?

Emily December 15, 2022 - 4:46 pm

Unfortunately, I do not recommend making this with tea bags. Instant tea is extremely concentrated so I do not know if you can get tea bags to give you the same amount of flavor. I will attempt it on my own though in the future and let you know if it works!

David Slagel December 30, 2020 - 2:13 pm



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