Bourbon Riki

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a drink called bourbon Rikki


{The story behind Bourbon Riki}

When BB and I travel, we like to visit bars. Usually, it’s a local bar, night-club, joint, sometimes it’s just the hotel bar. I love to meet and talk with people, from the area, or in the case of most hotel bars, not from the area. Get their story. What they think about their hometown, or why are they there – not at home. And if there’s entertainment, all the better because if you know me, you know I LOVE to dance.

On a recent trip to Vero Beach Florida, we met a lovely couple in the hotel lounge/bar, Riki and her husband Paul. They were traveling from North Carolina and that being BB’s next stop on his wine sales road trip, he was interested in talking to them about what’s up in NC. And being a wine sales road warrior, he is always interested in “do you drink wine” and to follow that up with “did you grow up with wine”.

“Oh hells no” responds Riki “I was raised in the south, where we were raised on bourbon.” Wine came later into their lives. BB, having been raised by parents from Texas and Ohio, was also raised in a bourbon home. So the conversation turns from wine to bourbon. And bourbon drinks.

The “Baker Manhattan” is a mainstay holiday drink. Or Sunday drink. An interesting combination of bourbon, vermouth, and bitters, served with an olive. Handed down from father to son, Trevor is now a pro at making them.

Riki tells us one of her favorite drinks is bourbon and cranberry juice. Hmm? That sounds like a strange combination. So we order one from our bartender Rachael, who, in all her years of bartending, had never had anyone ever order bourbon and cranberry.


Bourbon Riki in a martini glass


We taste. We think.

“I think it needs something citric, lime juice I think,” I say.

Rachael adds a squeeze. It’s better.

“I think it needs some bitters,” says BB.

Rachael adds a dash of bitters. It’s good.

So that is how Bourbon Rikki came to be.


bourbon riki ingredients on a napkin


And of course, as all good recipes start, on a napkin…right?


a glass with bourbon riki


Bourbon Riki


  • 2 ounces bourbon (any kind will do, choose your fav)
  • 3 to 4 ounces cranberry juice (even Ocean Spray© will work)
  • 1 dash Angostura biters
  • 1/4 ounce lime juice (about the squeeze of 1/4 lime)


Step 1

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake, shake, shake...pour pour pour into a martini type glass or old fashioned glass (leaving the ice in the shaker). Garnish with a lime slice, if desired.

Step 2

Variation 1: Use a tall glass and add sparkling water.

Variation 2: Wet the glass rim with some lime juice and dip into sugar.

LindySez: I made this recipe to test right from the napkin. Gotta do our research, right?  It’s good but after making it, shooting it, and thinking about drinking it, I added a splash of sparkling water. And I liked it better with the sparkle. So that’s how the first variation was found for you!  The second one I haven’t tested, but it sounds good. If you test it, let me know!


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