Booze Up Orange Kool-Aid With Bourbon For A Deliciously Nostalgic Sip

Bourbon is a delicious and versatile distilled spirit that works as well in a cup of spiked hot chocolate as it does in a classic Boulevardier cocktail. It has a gorgeous amber color, a smooth mouthfeel, and a more approachable flavor than many other staple liquors, making it easy to experiment with. One could almost go so far as to say that there are next to no rules when it comes to pairing bourbon — and, if there are any, we are certainly breaking them today by recommending that you try mixing it with orange Kool-Aid.

While it may seem strange, pairing bourbon with orange Kool-Aid isn't so far off from the traditional flavor pairings you may see at a bar or restaurant. Many famous drinks that include bourbon, like the old fashioned and the whiskey sour, revolve around adding orange or other citrus ingredients. This is because one of the most common tasting notes in bourbon is the sweet, slightly acidic tang of fruit. As such, orange Kool-Aid is a natural match for the spirit, especially when you factor in the sugariness of the Kool-Aid, which provides a similar effect to that of simple syrup by taming the more bitter element of the alcohol.

Choose the right ingredients for a successful combination

When it comes to such a simple mix of flavors, picking the right bourbon for the job is crucial. This is one of those scenarios where splurging on an expensive bottle is a waste of money. Luxurious or unique bourbons tend to have subtle, complex characteristics that will readily get lost underneath the punchy flavor of the Kool-Aid. Or, if the bourbon does come with its own assertive flavors, it risks clashing with the simpler sweetness of the powdered drink. With this in mind, buying a more straightforward, everyday bourbon will be the better option. If you need help deciding which bottle to go with, you can refer to our ranking of the best bourbon brands.

This blend of highbrow spirit and nostalgic childhood beverage becomes even better when enhanced by additional ingredients that can sway the overall flavor profile of the drink to suit your preferences. If you want to embrace the tropical fruitiness of the Kool-Aid, you can ramp it up with a splash of pineapple juice, a pour of spiced falernum syrup, or a lime wedge as garnish. On the other hand, if you are looking to tone down the sweetness of the combination, you can do so by adding a dash of bitters for extra bite or by muddling some hot peppers, like japaleños, at the bottom of your glass.