If you've ever enjoyed a Moscow Mule or a Dark 'n' Stormy, what you really had was a type of drink called a "buck": a cocktail containing a spirit, citrus, and either ginger ale or ginger beer. While those are two of the most famous examples, there are other classics in the category like the Mamie Taylor (made with Scotch), or the more recent addition, the Kentucky Buck, made with bourbon and strawberries.
Created in 2009 by bartender Erick Castro for Rickhouse in San Francisco, the Kentucky Buck immediately became a modern classic. Its combination of strawberry, lemon, bourbon, ginger beer, and bitters manages to pack a punch while still being soft and enjoyable. It's a definite crowd-pleaser, and because ginger beer tends to work well in non-alcoholic cocktails, this is a drink that translates great to zero-proof format.
You'll just need a non-alcoholic whiskey—we like Kentucky 74 for this cocktail—and some aromatic bitters.
Kentucky Buck (Non-Alcoholic)
Non-Alcoholic Cocktail / Low-Alcohol / Zero Proof / Mocktail Recipes
2 ounces non-alcoholic whiskey
¾ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce simple syrup
3 full droppers All The Bitter Aromatic bitters
4 ounces ginger beer (to top)
Muddle strawberries in a cocktail shaker.
Add whiskey, lemon, simple syrup, bitters, and ice, and shake until chilled.
Fine strain over fresh ice in a highball glass, top with ginger beer, stir briefly and garnish with a fresh strawberry.
MAKE IT MINDFULLY LOW ALCOHOL
It's easy to make the Kentucky Buck anywhere on the ABV spectrum, from zero to full proof. Simply split the whiskey portion half and half with regular and non-alcoholic whiskey for a low-ABV cocktail, or go even lower for a buck with just a little kick.
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