Easy Bourbon Tea

Bourbon sweet tea and ice in an old-fashioned glass, garnished with a lemon wedge

The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
355 Calories
2g Fat
73g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 355
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 18mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 73g 26%
Dietary Fiber 19g 69%
Total Sugars 26g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 365mg 1,826%
Calcium 178mg 14%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 1016mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There are many times when you just want something that is easy to make, but you also want to impress family and friends. For those moments, this easy bourbon tea is a great option, particularly on the warm days of summer.

The tea is very easy to make and it can be thought of as an enhanced, spiked variation on the popular Southern sweet tea. 

To create it you will need to choose your favorite bourbon whiskey and tea blend. The real magic of this drink, however, is when we use limoncello as the sweetener. This is a brilliant use for the sweet lemon liqueur and it is what makes this recipe stand out from every other whiskey tea cocktail you will find.

The recipe can easily be increased to serve an entire party as well. Brew the tea and mix everything up ahead of time, store it in the refrigerator, and serve over ice when thirsty guests arrive.

"While combining your favorite things into one experience is not always advised, the blending of black tea, bourbon, and limoncello is splendid. The Easy Bourbon Tea is both mellow and sharp while riding the edge of sugary-sweet. Pleasant, tasty, and easy to make on a sultry afternoon." —Sean Johnson

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Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for easy Bourbon tea recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  2. In a double old-fashioned glass, add bourbon and limoncello.

    Bourbon and limoncello in an old-fashioned glass next to a jigger

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  3. Fill the glass with ice and top with iced tea.

    Iced tea being poured into old-fashioned glass with bourbon and limoncello on ice

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  4. Garnish with lemon. Serve and enjoy.

    Easy Bourbon sweet tea and ice, garnished with a lemon wedge

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond


  • Almost any bourbon whiskey will be great in this bourbon tea recipe, and it is a simple enough drink to warrant experimentation with different brands. High-end bourbons with a smooth profile and full-bodied flavor are going to be best; Makers Mark or Buffalo Trace are two of the recommended brands.
  • Limoncello is a sweet dessert liqueur with a delicious lemon flavor. Many distilleries produce a version of limoncello, and some of the best come straight from Italy. If you have a local distillery, check with them because many microdistilleries today are producing a fantastic limoncello as well. Of course, if you are adventurous, you can always make your own limoncello.
  • When it comes to the tea, you have even more options. This drink would be best with a quality neutral-flavored tea; black tea is a favorite for iced tea.
  • A quick way to get more flavor out of your teas is to use the hot brewing method, which requires less than 5 minutes to steep (depending on the type of tea you choose). Once the tea is at its full flavor, chill it in the refrigerator until it is time to mix up a drink.
  • If you need to chill the tea quickly, simply place it in the freezer for about 5 to 10 minutes. Even this can be sped up by splitting the tea into smaller portions (just enough to make the first round of drinks).

How Strong Is the Bourbon Tea?

There are many variables in the bourbon tea that will determine how strong the finished drink is. This particularly true if you choose to make the limoncello yourself because many of those recipes begin with a grain spirit that is over 100 proof, and the rest of the recipe will determine its finished strength.

To get a general idea, let's make a few assumptions: If you use an 80 proof whiskey and a 60 proof limoncello, the bourbon tea recipe is a gentle 11 percent ABV (22 proof).

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