Borrachon Cocktail

Denzel Heath's Borrachon Cocktail
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  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Lemonade: 24 hrs
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)

The Borrachón Cocktail (pronounced bo.raˈtʃon; related to the Spanish word borracho, meaning "drunk") is a fascinating bourbon cocktail that begins with a special housemade lemonade. It's fantastic on its own but even better in the cocktail.

Created by mixologist Denzel Heath, this is a stunning example of modern cocktails. It's all about combining unique flavors and homemade ingredients to create an intriguing experience.

The Rio Bravo Lemonade is a mix of fresh lemon juice, rooibos tea, pomegranate juice, and cinnamon. It requires an infusion of 24 hours, so you will need to plan ahead. You'll also be making a balsamic syrup, but that's incredibly quick. The combination of agave nectar and balsamic creates an interesting ingredient that may be worthy of other cocktail uses. Once you have those made, mixing the cocktail is very easy and you will find that they marry wonderfully with bourbon, ginger, and burnt rosemary.

To keep with the old-west theme, Heath recommends that if you are not going to pour Garrison Brothers, to choose another Texas bourbon.


  • For the Rio Bravo Lemonade:
  • 4 ounces still mineral water
  • 4 ounces lemon juice (fresh)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (white)
  • 4 ounces rooibos tea (brewed, chilled)
  • 4 ounces pomegranate juice (organic)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • For the Balsamic Syrup:
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • For the Cocktail:
  • 1 sprig rosemary (fresh, burned)
  • 1 1/4 ounces bourbon whiskey (Garrison Brothers Bourbon)
  • 1/3 ounce ginger liqueur (The King's Ginger)
  • 1/3 ounce balsamic syrup
  • 1 3/4 ounces Rio Bravo Lemonade
  • Garnish: rosemary and ginger

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cocktail is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and assembly.

Make the Rio Bravo Lemonade

  1. In a large pitcher, combine all of the ingredients.

  2. Stir very well to ensure the sugar is dissolved

  3. Let the lemonade steep for 1 day in the refrigerator, then remove the cinnamon stick.


  • The lemonade recipe makes 500 ml (about 17 ounces). It can be stored in the refrigerator and will keep well for about one week.
  • Sugar doesn't dissolve easily in cold liquids, so you'll need to stir the lemonade very well. The alternative is to use simple syrup. For this recipe, begin with 3 ounces of syrup and add a little more if you want it sweeter.
  • Rooibos is a red tea that is naturally caffeine-free. It has a sweet, earthy flavor and should be brewed with boiling water for about 4 to 6 minutes, or according to the package recommendation. Chill it thoroughly before mixing the lemonade.

Make the Balsamic Syrup

This syrup can be made in any quantity. Be sure to keep the ingredients equal.

  1. In a small bowl, combine the agave nectar and balsamic vinegar.

  2. Stir until you get an even consistency.

Make the Cocktail

  1. Burn the fresh rosemary using an open flame.

  2. Place it in an old-fashioned glass, then fill with ice.

  3. Build the rest of the ingredients over the ice.

  4. Stir until mixed and chilled.

  5. Garnish with rosemary and ginger.

  6. Serve and enjoy!

How Strong Is a Borrachon Cocktail?

Garrison Brothers Small Batch Bourbon is the brand's flagship whiskey. It's a 94 proof bourbon and The King's Ginger is 82 proof, so that would indicate this is not going to be a light cocktail. It's not too strong though. The drink should mix up to an alcohol content somewhere around 17 percent ABV (34 proof), or about the same as a really strong whiskey highball.