Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour from readytoyumble.comWe have a few herbs growing in our backyard. It’s a small yard, and we’re far from green-thumbed, but there’s enough space to give a few plants a shot. This year, we attempted basil, thyme, mint, and rosemary. Everything but the thyme thrived. (Thyme, it seems, is not on our side.) (I went there.) The basil, we used in lemon basil gimlets and a hefty dose of pesto. The mint, muddled into a delicious Kentucky Mule drink. The rosemary? We had to think a minute.

A minute took a month or two. In the meantime it continued to spread it’s wings/branches. It was time to chop. And you know what sounded good? A rosemary maple bourbon cocktail.

Rosemary on WindowsillThe day we hacked at our little rosemary, we also made a delicious appetizer that used rosemary for garnish. As a result, I ended up with a row of rosemary soldiers at ease on my windowsill. It was a stormy day, finally feeling like fall in our warm Houston environment, and the herbs against the foggy glass made  a cozy picture.

Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour from readytoyumble.comMaybe it was the atmosphere, but I think this drink is entirely perfect for cooler nights, especially if you’re a little bit tired of apple and pumpkin concoctions. It’s not too sweet, a little bit savory, and the herb plays nicely with fall dishes. Personally, I don’t taste the rosemary in the drink so much as I smell it in the garnish. I mean, it’s basically a small tree in your glass that tickles your nose with every sip. (Maybe my garnishes were too big.  Meh.)  As the ultimate recommendation, even if you DON’T have giant rosemary plants expanding in your yard, this drink is worth buying some sprigs from your friendly neighborhood grocery store. And I don’t often say that for garnish, but there you go.  A perfect way to start a fall feast.

Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour from

Recipe from Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails, by Eric Prum and Josh Williams.

Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour
A food-friendly fall cocktail.
Recipe type: Cocktail
Serves: 2 drinks
  • 6 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ½ ounces maple syrup
  • 3 ounces lemon juice
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary
  • For garnish: 2 rosemary sprigs and 2 slices of lemon
  1. Pour bourbon, maple syrup, and lemon juice in a shaker.
  2. Crush the rosemary sprig with your hands and add to the shaker.
  3. Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
  4. Strain into glasses and garnish with a lemon slice and rosemary sprig. I recommend serving in double old fashioned glasses with a large ice cube. They would also look festive in coupe glasses.
Make-ahead tip: You can prep a large batch in advance. Combine the bourbon, maple syrup, and lemon juice and store in the fridge, without ice. When ready to serve drinks, pour a few servings of the mix into a shaker, add a couple sprigs of rosemary, shake, and serve with garnishes.

Recipe from Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails, by Eric Prum & Josh Williams.

Like bourbon? Try our ultimate hot toddy recipe next!

Hot Toddy

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