Kentucky Half-and-Half

Kentucky Half-and-Half
Photo: Petrina Tinslay
Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
8 to 10 Serves

A cross between an Arnold Palmer and a mint julep, this make-ahead party cocktail combines tangy black iced tea with bourbon. We use frozen lemon wedges in lieu of ice, so the drink won't dilute in the summer sun.


Lemon Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar

  • Peeled zest of 4 lemons, plus 1 1/2 cups fresh juice

Kentucky Half-and-Half

  • 16 ounces bourbon, such as Maker's Mark, chilled

  • 16 ounces strong-brewed black tea, chilled

  • Frozen lemon wedges or ice, mint sprigs, and maraschino cherries, such as Luxardo, for serving


  1. Syrup: In a saucepan, combine sugar, lemon zest, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool completely. Strain, discarding zest; stir in lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate in an airtight container until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 2 weeks. Makes 2 cups.

  2. Kentucky Half-and-Half: In a pitcher, stir together syrup, bourbon, and tea. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 day, if desired.

    Serve in glasses with frozen lemon wedges, mint sprigs, and cherries.

Cook's Notes

Make-Ahead: Make the Lemon Simple Syrup ahead of time, it needs to cool before you make the drink.

Mixing the 3 ingredients for the Kentucky Half-and-Half takes just minutes, and the drink can be made-ahead, up to one day, and refrigerated.

Related Articles