Classic Lynchburg Lemonade Recipe

If you know a thing or two about whiskey, you might know that the Jack Daniel distillery is located in Lynchburg, Tennessee. You can guess where this is going, right? Lynchburg lemonade is made with Jack Daniel's whiskey as the base spirit and is named after the famous distillery's birthplace. Something you might not be able to guess is that the drink was actually invented by a nightclub owner in Alabama, whose iconic drink gained a spot on the distillery's own website. Unfortunately for Tony Mason, the inventor of the now-famous cocktail, the drink was advertised by the company without credit to Mason, who eventually took them to court twice. Mason won only a dollar out of both proceedings. Quite a background for a whiskey lemonade, huh?

Developer Michelle McGlinn shares below her take on the controversial (but delicious) lemonade, using an easy homemade sour mix and sparkling water. Of course, you'll also need a bottle of Jack; after all, Mason and the distillery didn't go through all of that for any old whiskey.

What you need for a classic Lynchburg lemonade

For the sour mix, you'll need a sugar cube, about half a lemon, and a lime. If you want to measure it out just to be sure, you can, but the mix is pretty forgiving to eyeballing. For spirits, you'll need Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey and Cointreau — these can both technically be substituted for any whiskey or triple sec, but the recipe is built around using Jack Daniels. To top off, grab sparkling water. For a sweeter lemonade, you can use lemon-lime soda, and for something a little less sweet, try club soda.

Make a quick sour mix

Sour mix, also known as sweet and sour mix, is a mixture of lemon, lime, and sweetener that can be used for citrus-forward cocktails for a defined sweet and sour taste. It's similar to using bottled lemonade, with the hint of lime adding a sour element that rounds out a sophisticated cocktail. If you really don't want to squeeze any lemons, you could swap for a splash of lemonade or a store-bought sour mix. To make your own, just squeeze about half a lemon and a lime over a sugar cube and stir to combine. No need to mix with water; the sparkling water will dilute it plenty.

Shake the spirits

This cocktail doesn't require shaking, so if you don't have a cocktail shaker, just pour the liquids directly into the glass. Shaking them will give the drink a nice, airy mouthfeel and slight froth, so if you have a shaker, fill it with ice and pour the sour mix in. Add the whiskey and Cointreau, then add the lid and shake until well chilled.

Pour over ice

Fill a highball with ice and strain the shaken citrus mixture into the glass. Use a strainer to keep the ice in the shaker from falling into the glass, and also to strain out any lemon pulp floating around. Depending on how much ice melted while shaking, the whiskey mixture will fill ¼ to ½ the glass. Fill the glass to the top with sparkling water.

Garnish and serve

Like a regular lemonade, drop a lemon wedge into the Lynchburg to garnish. As you can imagine, this cocktail is the perfect summertime drink. It's refreshing, crisp, and slightly sweet, and tastes just like your favorite lemonade with a bite. If you'd like to batch these, multiply the recipe by your serving amount and prep the sour mix and spirits ahead of time. When ready to serve, pour 3 ounces of the boozy mix over ice and top with sparkling water. Serve Lynchburg lemonades alongside blackened chicken, collard greens, or crispy chicken cutlets for the perfect summer sipping.

Classic Lynchburg Lemonade Recipe
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Whiskey lovers who want a refreshing beverage will love sipping this classic Lynchburg lemonade on a sunny afternoon.
Prep Time
Cook Time
lynchburg lemonade on a table
Total time: 9 minutes
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2 ounces Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
  • 2 ounces Cointreau
  • 10 ounces sparkling water
  • lemon wedge, for garnish
  1. To make the sour mix, place sugar cube in a glass and pour lemon juice and lime juice over top. Stir until sugar cube is completely dissolved.
  2. To make the cocktails, fill a shaker with ice. Add the sour mix, whiskey, and Cointreau and shake until well chilled.
  3. Fill two highball glasses with ice. Strain the contents of the shaker into the glasses, dividing between the two. Fill to the top with sparkling water.
  4. Garnish with a lemon wedge to serve.
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