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Spicy Orange Bourbon Smash Recipe – Keto Cocktail or Mocktail

A bourbon smash is a great way to enjoy a bourbon cocktail for fall. Adding a little spice and orange to this keto bourbon drink gives it a flavor that's perfect for cooler weather. A bourbon smash has a number of variations, but since you're here, you know it's going to be sugar-free! This recipe also makes a great mocktail for Sober October since the flavors in this bourbon smash make the use of a non-alcoholic, zero sugar whiskey like Ritual a lot less obvious. Their products are sugar-free, carb-free and alcohol-free. Get 20 percent off at checkout code HNG20.

Even if you're not keto, eliminating the extra sugar from your cocktails will help you save calories and feel better the next morning.

Keto Bourbon Smash Recipe

Keto Bourbon Smash Recipe, Bourbon Cocktail for Fall

We're keeping this orange bourbon smash recipe low carb with the use of keto simple syrup. This bourbon cocktail for fall has orange juice in it, which is not typically considered keto-friendly. The quantity of juice used is light and only one small orange slice is used as garnish. This makes the amount of carbs in each serving is still very low.

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When making a bourbon cocktail for fall, I like to think of warming flavors. This drink makes me want to cozy up to a fire that warms me on the outside while spices warm the inside!

Even Lower Carb Keto Bourbon Smash

If you want to make your keto bourbon smash even lower carb, try using a few drops of Ooo Flavors orange and some extra orange flavor sparkling water in place of the orange juice.


Is Bourbon Keto?

Wondering if bourbon is keto is a very valid question. Depending on the bourbon you choose, it may have a very sweet taste. However, the sweetness comes from the mash process, not sugar. If the bourbon is traditionally made without flavors or sweeteners, it has zero carbs. Bourbon is very keto-friendly!

Because of the large amount of corn in mash, this gives the perception of sweetness in bourbon. If you test the bourbon for sugar though, it has all been converted to alcohol by the fermentation process.

According to Barrell Craft Spirits,

You’ll note we said “virtually.” That’s because a minuscule amount of wood sugar does dissolve into the whiskey from the barrel. However, it’s such a small amount that it hardly registers on the palate, or on laboratory equipment. Whiskeys aged in sweet wine barrels, like some of our Private Release whiskeys finished in ice wine or Pineau de Charentes casks, might contain a touch more.

Barrel Craft Spirits

What is a Bourbon Smash?

To make a cocktail a “smash” goes back to at least the 1800s where Jerry Thomas’ 1862 How to Mix Drinks describes smash cocktails. It consists of mint and simple syrup or sugar being muddled together and some kind of fruit.

If you're interested in other keto friendly cocktails, be sure to check out what are just some of our favorites below. You can also download our mini keto cocktail ebook for free. Look for more keto bourbon drinks coming soon.

Spicy Orange Bourbon Smash

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 12 large mint leaves, divided
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns, lighty crushed
  • 2 teaspoons mandarin zest
  • 1 tablespoon keto simple syrup, or monk fruit sweetener to taste
  • 2 ounces mandarin orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 4 ounces bourbon whiskey
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • stevia, optional, to taste
  • 6 ounces sparkling water, orange flavor
  • 1 small mandarin orange, sliced, optional for garnish


  • Muddle 4 mint leaves in a cocktail shaker.
  • In a small saucepan over high heat, add the water, peppercorns, mandarin zest, keto simple syrup and 4 mint more leaves. Stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 1 minute.
  • Strain the liquid and add to cocktail shaker.
  • Pour the orange juice, bourbon and orange bitters into the cocktail shaker with the muddled mint and shake with a few ice cubes.
  • Pour in the sparkling water to the bourbon mixture and stir.
  • Use the shaker to strain and serve over a large ice cube. Garnish with a mandarin slice and remaining mint leaves, if desired.


Serving: 3ouncesCalories: 81kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 0.4gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.03gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.03gSodium: 10mgPotassium: 76mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gCalcium: 16mgIron: 0.2mgNet Carbohydrates: 2g

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