This Peach Basil Woodford Spire Bourbon Cocktail makes the perfect centerpiece to any spring/summer celebration, especially the Kentucky Derby! It’s light and refreshing – made with bourbon, lemonade, the easiest homemade peach purée, fresh basil, and club soda. Finished with a lemon twist and sliced peach, it’s elegant yet approachable. It can be made into a larger batch cocktail for entertaining as well!
(This post is sponsored by Woodford Reserve. Thank you SO much for reading and supporting the brands I love!)
Most of you probably know by now, that some of my absolute favorite recipes to create are spring and summer cocktails. With the weather finally turning, it’s the time of year that I start shifting from red wine to the more refreshing stuff – rosé and cocktails like this Peach Basil Woodford Spire! When Woodford Reserve asked me to create my version of their famous Woodford Spire bourbon cocktail to celebrate this year’s Kentucky Derby, I knew that my twist had to include fresh fruit and herbs – two of my favorite ways to really elevate a drink.
From the time I was little, the Derby was always something my family and extended family looked forward to and celebrated, especially my grandma.
About 15 years ago, we even went to see the Kentucky Derby in person, and that’s a memory I will never forget. The hats, the outfits, the style, the energy, the excitement, and just seeing my grandma so excited to be there was really special.
At the time I wasn’t old enough to drink, but I definitely took notice of the mint juleps and bourbon cocktails going around. For as long as I can remember, my mom and grandma especially have always been big fans of bourbon, and when I think of bourbon or even just smell it, I always think of my mom and grandma.
Since most of us will be watching the Run for the Roses at home this year, a fun and simple-to-make cocktail is just the thing we need to make our celebration extra fun and special. This one is exactly the kind of flavor profile I look for when drinking bourbon. Something refreshing that balances all of the bold, spice, amber, toffee, and caramel notes of Woodford’s smooth bourbon. Plus, you can order a bottle from Drizly and have it delivered to your doorstep, just in time for your Derby party. Use code WRDERBY to take $5 off your first order.
A little more about the history of Woodford Reserve – the art of making fine bourbon first took place in 1812 on the historic site of the Woodford Reserve Distillery – a historic landmark. They believe that making the World’s Finest Bourbon are not only time and patience, but science and art. You can read more about their story here.
As far as ingredients go, this is what you need for my Peach Basil Woodford Spire bourbon cocktail:
- Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey: it’s made up of more than 200 flavor notes, from bold grain and wood, to sweet aromatics, spice, and fruit & floral notes.
- Peach purée: For my peach purée, I like to use frozen peaches, defrosted, and then blended in a high-powered blender. Couldn’t be easier!
- Lemonade: Something freshly squeezed, none of that artificial stuff. You want to use a good quality lemonade here!
- A squeeze of lemon: I find just a little squeeze of lemon brightens up the drink and brings out all of the flavors.
- Soda water: I like to top it off with just a little splash of club soda for some bubbles. Totally optional though!
- Basil leaves: Earthy, sweet basil really adds a nice dimension and freshness to the drink! I like to use 3 or so leaves, and tear them into the drink so their oils get released into the cocktail.
- Peach slices: Can’t have a peach cocktail without a slice of fresh peach!
- A lemon twist: It’s such a pretty way to finish it off, and it adds a little extra lemony aroma on the nose of the drink!
This recipe is written for one drink that you make in a cocktail shaker, but can be easily multiplied, or made pitcher-style, if you’re entertaining a crowd – and I’ve included directions for both!
In addition to my bourbon cocktail, I couldn’t show you how to make an at-home Kentucky Derby celebration special without talking about the food!
One of my favorite easy appetizers to make at home for the Derby, is a Southern favorite – pimento cheese dip. It’s creamy, kinda spicy, kinda sweet from the chopped pimentos, and goes perfectly with crackers or veggies. You can buy it or make it, but it really is super easy to make! And goes really well with the peach basil cocktails if I do say so myself! 🙂
Here’s a quick rundown of how to make this super refreshing bourbon cocktail:
- Begin by making your peach purée. Add your defrosted, frozen peaches to a high-powdered blender and blend until silky smooth. There you have it, you made peach purée! It really is that simple. 🙂
- Add a few ice cubes to your shaker. Add your Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey, lemonade (the good quality, freshly squeezed stuff!), your homemade peach purée, and a squeeze of lemon.
- Shake it for 30 seconds! Then fill a glass with crushed ice, and tear in a few basil leaves, nestling them down into the ice so the flavor isn’t just sitting at the top.
- Pour your cocktail into the glass, and top it with a splash of soda water.
- Finish it with a slice of fresh peach, another basil leaf, and a lemon twist!
Absolutely delicious and the most perfect Derby cocktail. Don’t forget your pimento cheese dip either!
Don’t forget to share a photo on Instagram and tag me @spicesinmydna if you make this recipe! Nothing makes me happier than seeing what you create in the kitchen!
Peach Basil Woodford Spire Cocktail
This Peach Basil Woodford Spire Cocktail makes the perfect centerpiece to any spring/summer celebration, especially the Kentucky Derby! It's light and refreshing - made with bourbon, lemonade, the easiest homemade peach purée, fresh basil, and club soda. Finished with a lemon twist and sliced peach, it's elegant yet approachable. It can be made into a larger batch cocktail for entertaining as well!
For the peach purée
- 12 ounces frozen peaches
For the cocktail
- crushed ice
- 2-3 leaves fresh basil, torn
- 1.5 ounces Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- 2 ounces lemonade*
- 2 ounces peach purée
- squeeze of lemon
- splash of soda water
- sliced peaches, for garnish
- a lemon twist, for garnish
- extra basil leaves, for garnish
Begin by making the peach purée. Add the defrosted peaches to a high powdered blender. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
Fill a glass with crushed ice. Add the basil leaves to the glass and nestle them into the crushed ice. Add a few ice cubes to a cocktail shaker. To the shaker, add the Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey, lemonade, peach purée, and squeeze of lemon. Shake for 30 seconds. Pour into the glass and finish with a splash of soda water. Stir. Garnish with a sliced peach, a lemon twist, and an extra basil leaf. Serve immediately!
*Be sure to use a good quality lemonade - the freshly squeezed stuff, not the artificial stuff.
*Makes enough peach purée for about 3 cocktails, any extra will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. Double the peach purée if you're making this recipe for a crowd.
*If you want to make these pitcher-style for a crowd, I'd measure the shaker ingredients out for how many people you want to make them for, add everything to a pitcher, and chill the mixture in the fridge. When you're ready to serve, add the crushed ice, soda water, torn basil, and peaches. Pour the cocktail into glasses, and garnish with lemon twists!