The Expert-Approved Blending Tip To Improve Cheap Bourbon

There's a lot to love about bourbon — after all, its most common tasting notes include vanilla, fruits, and nuts. However, you may not be able to fully enjoy these notes if you're sipping on a cheap, low-quality bourbon. Luckily, there is an expert-approved trick that will help you improve the taste of that cheap bourbon so that you don't have to waste the bottle.

The expert in question is Chris Blatner, the Executive Bourbon Steward, the founder of Urban Bourbonist, and the executive director of Bourbon Charity. He told Tasting Table, "Blending your not-so-great Bourbon with a Bourbon that you really like in small proportions can improve its overall taste. The flavors of the Bourbon you like may help elevate the less impressive one." You can start by adding just a splash of the good bourbon into the glass of cheap bourbon, then adjust from there. The proportion could end up being closer to half and half, depending on your personal preferences.

If you need recommendations for a good bourbon to blend with your cheap bottle, you can look to Tasting Table's list of best bourbons under $50. The list includes Heaven's Door Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Jim Beam Bonded Bourbon.

You can also blend bourbons when making cocktails

Another way you can use up that cheap bottle of bourbon that you don't love is to use it to make bourbon-centric cocktails. By combining it with a better bourbon, you'll make a cocktail that still tastes delicious while also using up cheap bourbon. For example, you can whip up a summertime peach whiskey smash or a strawberry peppercorn smash, both of which are full of bright, fruity flavors to help mask the lesser qualities of cheap bourbon. Both recipes call for 2 ounces of bourbon, so you can use 1 ounce of the cheap bourbon and 1 ounce of the high-quality bourbon.

Another option is the Classic French 95 (a play on the French 75, but with bourbon). The recipe calls for just 1 ounce, so it may be easier to stick to just one type of bourbon (the cheap one), but the drink is topped off with prosecco or Champagne, which will take the attention away from the bourbon. You can also add a splash of the good bourbon to help balance things out. Then, there's always the classic whiskey sour, which also requires 2 ounces of whiskey, making it easy for you to split that up between two types of bourbon — plus, the sweetness and the frothiness round out this drink, helping the cheap bourbon blend into the overall drink.