Kentucky Buck – Bourbon, Ginger and Strawberry

Kentucky Buck - Longdrink ,ade with Bourbon Whiskey, Strawberries, Ginger and Cocktail Bitters. Garnished with a strawberry.


60 ml | 2 oz › Bourbon Whiskey
22 ml | 3/4 oz › Lemon Juice
22 ml | 3/4 oz › Ginger Syrup
2 Dash Angostura Bitters
2 Strawberries
30 ml | 1 oz › Soda Water

Method: First muddle the strawberries in a shaker with the juice and syrup. Then shake all the ingredients except the soda water over ice. Double strain into a collins or highball glass over ice. Then top up with soda water.
Garnish: Strawberry
Glass: Highball or Collins

Shopping list

  1. Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey

  2. Ginger Syrup

  3. Angostura Bitters

The Kentucky Buck is a variation on the classic Whiskey Buck cocktail and combines strawberries with bourbon, citrus, bitters and ginger syrup to create a cocktail that is easy to make.

The Story of the Kentucky Buck

Bartender Erick Castro invented this drink around 2008 in the „Bourbon & Branch“ bar in San Francisco. However, the Kentucky Buck only became more popular later when Castro was already working at „Polite Provisions“ in San Diego. There, the drink also made the rounds on other bar menus and became better known, at least in the USA.

There are two different Kentucky Buck recipes floating around on the internet. One with ginger beer and one with soda water in combination with ginger syrup. Bucks are actually always infused with ginger beer. When I asked Erick Castro directly, he told me that both recipes were correct. The ginger beer version was intended more for the „home bar“, as there was often a lack of ginger syrup.


The choice of the right bitters is relatively easy to answer. Angostura bitters are used in the original recipe. The all-rounder among bitters. Of course, you can also experiment here. The Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters I use, for example, are nice and spicy, support the ginger and provide a nice counterpart to the strawberries. They are also stored in whiskey barrels. That fits perfectly.


More Modern classic cocktails?!

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