Okay for real, is it spring yet? It’s rained more in the last month than it hasn’t in Chattanooga, and I’m over it. At least this means the plants and trees will be nice and green this year, and maybe we won’t have to worry about a drought? Anyway, until then, I’ve got another cocktail recipe that will get us in the spring spirit: a Tennessee Meyer Lemonade cocktail.
Meyer lemons are another seasonal fruit that I was excited to experiment with. They’re different from regular lemons in that they’re smaller, sweeter, a deeper yellow in color, and actually a cross between a regular lemon and mandarin oranges. They were actually brought over from China in the early 1900s. This article on The Kitchn explains the differences really well.
I picked up some Meyer lemons at ALDI a few weeks ago with high hopes of using them in a couple cocktails. I was inspired by two things: a cocktail I saw on Husk Savannah’s Instagram (@husksavannah), and a punch recipe my family made several years ago called Lynchburg Lemonade. It was basically lemonade spiked with Jack, and as you can imagine, it was quite stiff. I liked the idea of a lemonade cocktail, but didn’t want it to be straight spiked lemonade. Trying to be a little classy over here, y’all.
This cocktail is basically a variation on a Whiskey Smash cocktail. The use of Meyer lemons instead of regular lemons mellows out the tartness a bit and highlights this delicious seasonal citrus.
I made the first iteration of this with Four Roses, which has become my go-to bourbon. But Kentucky Meyer Lemonade didn’t quite have the same ring to it, so I switched it up and used a good ol’ Tennessee whiskey I picked up at my local liquor store. So it’s still a bit of a nod to the Lynchburg Lemonade recipe.
When testing my ideas, I knew it would need a sweet element (other than the mint) to balance out the Meyer lemon—even though they’re not as sweet as regular lemons. I opted for a honey simple syrup: not as sweet as a plain sugar syrup, and I love the lemon-honey flavor combo. It was the perfect sweet note that I was hoping for. Plus, I use local raw honey, which is even better. Use raw/local honey whenever possible, y’all.
Try this Tennessee Meyer Lemonade whiskey cocktail recipe for a taste of spring.
It’s fresh, citrusy, a little sweet, and absolutely delicious. If you prefer more tart lemonade, add another couple slices of lemon and/or reduce the amount of honey syrup.
You will need:
- 1 Meyer lemon, cut into cubes
- 6-8 mint leaves (+ more for garnish)
- Honey syrup (1 cup honey, 3/4 cup water)
- Tennessee whiskey (or your preferred bourbon/whiskey)
- Club soda to top
How to make it:
- Make honey syrup: combine honey and water in a small saucepan and heat until combined. Cool before using.
- Muddle Meyer lemon, mint, and honey syrup in a shaker or jar.
- Add bourbon and ice.
- Shake 8-10 seconds.
- Double-strain over crushed ice.
- Top with club soda, and garnish with mint and a Meyer lemon wheel, if desired.
That’s it! This Tennessee Meyer Lemonade cocktail is super quick and easy to whip up, and is refreshing and easy on those early spring days.
If you like this cocktail, you might also like:
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This post was updated January 2023.
Tennessee Meyer Lemonade
- 1 whole Meyer lemon, cut into wedges
- 6-8 mint leaves
- 0.75 oz honey syrup
- 3 oz Tennessee whiskey
- Club soda to top
- Make the honey syrup: combine 1 cup honey and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until well combined. Let cool before using.
- Add lemon wedges, mint, and honey syrup to a shaker or jar, and muddle.
- Add whiskey and ice. Shake for 8-10 seconds.
- Double-strain cocktail into two rocks glasses filled with ice.
- Top with club soda. Garnish with mint or lemon wheel.