Kentucky Kiss Cocktail

Kentucky Kiss Strawberry cocktail

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Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail

Sweet strawberries and bourbon come together to create the lovely Kentucky kiss cocktail. This recipe is very easy and makes a wonderful addition to Valentine's Day. It's also a nice option for summer when the berries are at their best, especially if they're out of your own garden.

The recipe comes from Maker's Mark and is designed to feature that classic bourbon. It's a good choice because the whiskey's use of red winter wheat makes it naturally softer, richer, and sweeter than most. With that foundation, you'll add fresh strawberries, some tart lemon, and the richness of maple syrup. Finish it off with just a touch of soda and you have an intriguing strawberry cocktail to tantalize the taste buds.


  • 2 strawberries (fresh; washed, sliced)
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce maple syrup
  • 2 ounces bourbon whiskey
  • Splash club soda
  • Garnish: strawberry

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In an old-fashioned glass, add the strawberries, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Muddle well, until the berries are mashed.

  3. Add the bourbon and fill the glass with ice. Stir well.

  4. Add a splash of club soda and garnish with a strawberry.

  5. Serve and enjoy!


  • Slicing strawberries makes them easier to muddle. The easiest way to prepare them is to rinse them, remove the green part, then cut them into three pieces lengthwise.
  • You can use frozen strawberries as well. Make sure to thaw them first.
  • Fresh lemon juice is definitely recommended. To get the 1/2 ounce needed, you should be able to simply squeeze half a lemon directly into the glass.
  • Use real maple syrup rather than pancake syrup for the best drink. In a pinch, you can even make mock maple syrup with white and brown sugars, water, butter, and maple (or vanilla) extract.

Recipe Variations

  • You can also make this drink in a cocktail shaker, shake it with ice, then strain it into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Skip the muddle if you prefer and use 1 ounce of strawberry puree rather than the fresh strawberries. This version is best when shaken and strained. It can be served on the rocks or up.

How Strong Is a Kentucky Kiss Cocktail?

It may be sweet and fruity, but this is not a light drink, especially when it's made with a 90-proof whiskey. Though just an estimate, the cocktail's alcohol content could easily max out at 22 percent ABV (44 proof), or nearly half of the bourbon on its own. While that's lighter than popular whiskey cocktails like the Manhattan and old-fashioned, it definitely has a kick.