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Blueberry Bourbon Reviver

Blueberry season is in full swing and I’m making the most of several pounds of freshly picked berries with a pairing that’s just as good during these hot, late August days as when the first leaves begin to fall.

With cooler weather just around the corner, I went with bourbon for this simple, equal parts cocktail. Toasty crostinis topped with goat cheese, blueberries, and thyme make the perfect accompaniment, with balanced sweet, savory, and tart flavors.

Get the Blueberry Thyme Goat Cheese Crostini recipe.

The best part of this simple combo is that you only need to put the work into making one blueberry compote that can then be used both for the cocktail and hors d’oeuvres!

You might also enjoy my Strawberry Lilac Crostini Appetizers.

Prepare the blueberry compote

To make the compote, you’ll simmer fresh blueberries with sugar, water, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Cook the mixture until the berries begin to burst, then remove it from the heat and let it cool.

This delicious fruity compote is great in cocktails, on crostinis, or even on your morning pancakes. If you have a surplus of ripe berries this summer, whip up a batch of this quick compote to get the most of that wonderful blueberry flavor.

How to make the cocktail

Inspired by the proportions of the classic Corpse Reviver No 2 cocktail, this recipe swaps out the gin for bourbon and the triple sec (orange liqueur) for our delicious blueberry compote. It’s made with:

  • Bourbon
  • Lillet Blanc
  • Blueberry compote
  • Lemon juice
  • Absinthe, for rinse (optional)

Since the compote still contains whole berries, unlike a syrup, you’ll want to make sure you fine strain this drink after shaking.

If you’re feeling adventurous or love absinthe, rinse your glass with about ⅛ oz of absinthe like the classic Corpse Reviver recipe. And if you like absinthe cocktails, you might also enjoy:

I find this cocktail delicious with and without the absinthe rinse, so try it both ways and see what you prefer. One thing to keep in mind is that blueberries, even in peak season, can vary wildly in their level of sweetness.

Before batching cocktails for a group, test the recipe with your own compote to see if you need to add simple syrup to offset the tartness of the berries.

Once you have your compote and other ingredients assembled, add them to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake hard until chilled, then fine strain into a chilled coupe glass (rinsed with absinthe, or not).

Garnish with blueberries and an edible flower, if desired. I used an edible variety of phlox here. Learn more about edible flowers in my guide!

Find more of my favorite hors d’oeuvres recipes here.

Love whiskey cocktails? You might also enjoy:

Tried this recipe? If you share on Instagram, tag me @moodymixologist!

dark purple cocktail next to a platter of hors d'oeuvres

Blueberry Bourbon Reviver

Amy Traynor
This summer blueberry and bourbon cocktail is made with equal parts whiskey, lemon juice, Lillet Blanc, and blueberry compote. Make one quick blueberry compote that can be used for both the cocktail and a complimentary hors d'oeurvres!
3.12 from 17 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cooling time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cocktail


For the blueberry compote

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

For the Blueberry Bourbon Reviver

  • 1 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 1 oz blueberry compote
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • oz absinthe, for rinse (optional)


For the blueberry compote

  • Combine ½ cup of water, ½ cup of sugar, and 1 tbsp of lemon juice with 2 cups of fresh blueberries in a small saucepan.
  • Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar has completely dissolved. When the compote is a deep red color and the berries begin to burst (10-15 minutes), remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

For the Blueberry Bourbon Reviver

  • If using the absinthe rinse, pour a small amount (about ⅛ oz) into a chilled coupe glass and swirl to coat. Discard the absinthe.
  • Add the first four ingredients (plus or minus the simple syrup) and ice to a cocktail shaker and shake until chilled. Fine strain into your absinthe-rinsed coupe and garnish with blueberries.
Keyword agave syrup, blueberry, bourbon, compote, Lillet Blanc, summer cocktails
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