Chill out with a Lynchburg Lemonade, a citrusy sweet drink made with Tennessee whiskey and lots of lemon flavor.
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Lynchburg Lemonade cocktail recipe
Summertime is for lemonade and lemonade stands, but sometimes you just need something a little more grown-up.
Lemonade makes a great cocktail mixer. When you add booze, you end up with a pucker-worthy drink that packs a punch.
You can step things up another level with a Lynchburg Lemonade made with Tennessee whiskey (like Jack Daniel’s).
However, similar to how a Long Island Iced Tea doesn’t actually contain any iced tea, neither does this “lemonade” cocktail contain any regular lemonade. Instead, it uses lemon juice, orange liqueur, lemon-lime soda to make a delicious lemonade-like drink.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Lynchburg Lemonade is a lovely, luscious and light libation for lemonade lovers!
- It’s a refreshing change of pace from plain old lemonade drinks.
- You only need four ingredients: lime juice, orange liqueur, lemon-lime soda and Jack Daniel’s. (Nope, no actual lemonade here!)
- The Lynchburg Lemonade is light, refreshing and oh-so-crushable. It’s the perfect cocktail!
- This recipe is super easy for beginner home bartenders, whiskey drinkers and lemonade fans.
Serve up Lynchburg Lemonades for backyard barbecues, pool parties, beach bashes, brunches, picnics and more. It’s easy to multiply into a big batch to serve from a pitcher!
What is a Lynchburg Lemonade?
The Lynchburg Lemonade is a four-ingredient cocktail made with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, triple sec, lemon juice and lemon-lime soda (such as Sprite or 7-UP).
It’s shaken together and poured over ice, then garnished with a slice of lemon.
The drink was invented in 1980 by Tony Mason, the owner of Tony Mason’s Bar in Huntsville, Ala. He named the drink for the town of Lynchburg, Tenn., the home of Jack Daniel’s distillery.
Today, the Jack Daniel’s distillery sells a canned version known as Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails Lynchburg Lemonade. The homemade version with real lemon juice tastes much fresher.
Lynchburg Lemonade court case
In 1987, the inventor of the Lynchburg Lemonade, Tony Mason, sued Jack Daniel’s for alleged misappropriation of a trade secret, resulting in the Mason v. Jack Daniel Distillery court case.
According to Justia, Mason created the drink in 1980 for his bar and lounge. The bar owner shared the recipe with the bartenders, who were instructed not to share the recipe.
The drink was so popular, the bar sold T-shirts and he even renamed his band, which performed at the restaurant, to Tony Mason and the Lynchburg Revue.
In February 1982, a representative from Jack Daniel’s named Winston Randle visited the lounge. Mason testified that he shared part of the recipe with Randle because the latter promised the distillery would use him and his band in advertising for the drink.
Randle shared the recipe with his superiors, and approximately a year later, Jack Daniel’s Distillery began a national campaign promoting the recipe.
Mason sued the distillery for their promotion of Lynchburg Lemonade and for their alleged misappropriation of his recipe for that beverage. An extensive jury trial ensued; after four days of testimony, the jury returned a verdict in the amount of $1 in punitive damages for Mason.
What is Jack Daniel’s?
Jack Daniel’s is a brand of whiskey made in Lynchburg, Tennessee by the Jack Daniel Distillery. The brand has been owned by Brown-Forman Corporation since 1956.
Their most popular is Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey, which is known for its rectangular bottle and black label. It has a warm, vanilla aroma. There’s also Gentleman Jack, the brand’s name for an 80-proof whiskey that’s twice charcoal-mellowed for added smoothness.
Jack Daniel’s also has several flavored whiskeys that would be so good in this cocktail, including:
- a honey whiskey called Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
- a cinnamon whiskey called Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire
- an apple-flavored whiskey called Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple.
Tools & glassware
To make a Lynchburg Lemonade, you’ll need a basic bartending set including:
- jigger for measuring ingredients
- a citrus squeezer for fresh lemon juice
- cocktail shaker for mixing it up
- Hawthorne strainer for pouring the drink
Surprise: You don’t need any real lemonade for this drink! But here are the ingredients you will need to make authentic Lynchburg Lemonade cocktails at home:
The list is for reference only to help you with your shopping. For the complete list with amounts, scroll down to the printable recipe card at the end of this article.
Tennessee whiskey: Jack Daniel’s is the most well-known brand of Tennessee whiskey. If you want to branch out, Uncle Nearest is a delicious, black-owned brand worth trying. Though Kentucky bourbon is not the same, but it would make a quick substitute if needed.
Lemon juice: Some recipes call for sour mix, but fresh lemon juice tastes even better. I always recommend fresh lemon juice if you have it on hand, but feel free to use a good quality lemon juice concentrate. I use one of these citrus squeezers to get the most juice from my lemons. Lime juice also works in a pinch.
To garnish, you’ll also want to use a lemon wedge or lemon slice, so pick up an extra lemon or two.
Orange liqueur: A sweet orange liqueur adds the gent
Lemon-lime soda: The original recipe called for 7-UP, but Sprite, Sierra Mist or Starry would all work here.
Ice cubes: You’ll also want to ensure your freezer is filled with ice cubes at the ready for these drinks!
Variations and substitutions
Try one of these variations on this recipe:
Lynchburg Limeade: Make the drink with lime juice instead of lemon to make a tart version.
Lynchburg Lemonade Jello Shots: Try making a big batch of gelatin shots with these delicious flavors.
Flavored Lynchburg Lemonade: Muddle fruit like strawberries or blueberries into the shaker to make it similar to a strawberry lemonade or a blueberry lemonade. You can also mix things up with the flavored version of Jack Daniel’s, such as the honey, apple or cinnamon versions.
How to make a Lynchburg Lemonade
Here’s how to make this Lynchburg Lemonade recipe:
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine whiskey, triple sec and lemon juice. Shake up the mixture well. You can also build it in the glass, but be sure to stir well before adding the soda.
- Strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
- Top the drink up with lemon-lime soda.
- Garnish with a lemon slice or a lemon wedge.
Tips & tricks
Here are some tips and tricks for making this recipe:
- Be sure to use Tennessee whiskey such as Jack Daniel’s or Uncle Nearest. It tastes different from bourbon whiskey, Irish whiskey and Canadian whisky.
- Fresh lemon juice makes a big difference, though the concentrate is helpful in a pinch.
- Shake the ingredients well, then add the lemon-lime soda.
What to serve with Lynchburg Lemonade
Lynchburg Lemonade gets its name from the hometown of its main ingredient, Jack Daniel’s whiskey, which is made in Lynchburg, Tenn.
Lynchburg Lemonade traditionally contains Tennessee whiskey, usually Jack Daniel’s brand. Tennessee whiskey is made and tastes differently from Kentucky bourbon whiskey.
More whiskey cocktails
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- 2 ounces Tennessee Whiskey such as Jack Daniel's or Uncle Nearest
- 1 ounce orange liqueur such as triple sec or Cointreau
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 3-4 ounces lemon-lime soda such as Sprite or 7-UP
- ice cubes
- 1 lemon slice or lemon wedge for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine whiskey, triple sec and lemon juice. Shake well to combine.
- Strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
- Top with lemon-lime soda.
- Garnish with a lemon wheel or lemon wedge.
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