... or even as a perfectly legit substitute for gin
"One of my all-time favorites to sub bourbon into: the Pink Lady. In place of the gin, I suggest choosing a lighter, more oaky, low-proof bourbon. It will marry well with the apple brandy, giving it a very fall-forward, apple-spice backbone. The lemon lightens up the concoction, and the true grenadine will give it a berry-forward pink hue. Egg white creates a light, frothy mouthfeel.”
-- Ashley Towning, beverage director at Red Lane Jane
"A Negroni made with bourbon is called a Boulevardier. In this version, the flavors all balance and play off one another really well. Sweet vermouth, Campari, and bourbon sort of create this Venn diagram of flavor: the bitterness from the Campari; the sweet, musty flavor of the vermouth; and the complexity of the bourbon with vanilla and spice and oak. These flavors really work well together."
-- Jeremy Salmon, lead bartender, Garage Bar
"It's hard to mess with the classics! I'm not sure that I want to be quoted saying that this gin classic is better with bourbon, but a Tom Collins variation with bourbon instead of gin is delicious, and ordered regularly at our bars. With gin, the botanicals and herbal notes would mirror each other, but with bourbon, the caramel, vanilla, and toasted wood notes would balance out the bittersweet notes of the Campari.”
-- Susie Hoyt, Beverage Director at The Silver Dollar and The Pearl