Bourbon “Tea”

Toast the Breeders’ Cup Classic with a fall-inspired drink from the Apiary in Lexington, Kentucky

Photo: Margaret Houston

If you’re watching the Breeders‘ Cup (November 3-4) from home this year, naturally, you’ll need a cocktail. And though the event is not in Kentucky this year, it only seems fitting there should be bourbon in your glass. We consulted the bartenders at the Apiary in Lexington to see what they’re planning to serve. One of their most popular cocktails is the Apiary Bourbon “Tea,” which doesn’t actually have any tea. Instead it’s a concoction of bourbon, St. Germain, and an ounce of the simple syrup the Apiary’s bartenders use in the venue’s sweet tea. For fall, they add warming cinnamon and ginger to the mix, and it’s topped off with a splash of ginger ale. If there’s any friendly wagering going on at your house, you’d do well to place your bets before downing too many of these.


    • 1 ½ oz. bourbon (Maker’s Mark or Woodford Reserve)

    • 1 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

    • 1 oz. Apiary Sweet Tea Simple Syrup (recipe below)

    • Ginger ale

  • Apiary Sweet Tea Simple Syrup

    • 2 cups sugar

    • 2 cups water

    • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

    • 1 orange, thinly sliced

    • ½ lb. fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

    • 3 cinnamon sticks

    • 1 bunch fresh mint leaves


  1. Mix the first three ingredients. Pour over cubed ice in a double old-fashioned glass, and finish with a splash of ginger ale. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

  2. For the simple syrup:

    Bring sugar and water to a boil. Add lemon, orange, ginger, and cinnamon sticks. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add mint. Steep for at least 1 hour (up to 24 hours). Simple syrup will last up to a week in the refrigerator. (Makes about 16 servings)

Cocktail recipe from the Apiary in Lexington, Kentucky 

Note: If you like a less sweet cocktail, start with ½ oz. simple syrup and adjust to taste.