The BORG Cocktail with Gin and Bourbon Variations

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The BORG cocktail with gin and bourbon variations is a surprisingly versatile cocktail precisely because it does allow for either spirit as a base. BORG is an acronym for “Bitters, Orange, Rosemary, and Gin,” because that’s precisely what comprises this drink. Yes, I know gin is not bourbon, and this site is all about bourbon. If you’ll stick with me, you’ll find a version of this below that replaces the gin with bourbon and the orange bitters with regular bitters. You’re welcome.

After I created the Vanilla and Pear Old Fashioned I started thinking about flavor combinations that would work well together. I’ve never been a big fan of gin, but I do like the idea of botanicals in alcohol. I particularly like the flavor of Aviation Gin, so I bought a bottle and started experimenting.

We have a giant rosemary bush in front of our house, so I snipped a couple sprigs from there. We also had oranges in the fruit bowl. Sooo… why not mix the three? The rosemary pairs nicely with the botanicals in the gin, and the orange gives it a sweet, fruity dimension. I liked the idea of the caramelized pear from the Vanilla and Pear Old Fashioned, so I caramelized the orange slice before I muddled it with the rosemary.

After I enjoyed a glass of this, I tried substituting the gin with Bulleit bourbon and the orange bitters with regular ol’ Fee Brothers Old Fashion Bitters to create a “Bourbon BORG.” Otherwise the process was the same – caramelize the orange, muddle with some rosemary, and mix with the alcohols. While I enjoyed the gin version, the bourbon version was more to my liking. I encourage you to try both and see which you prefer. Let me know what you think in the comments! Cheers!

The BORG Cocktail with Gin and Bourbon Variations

The BORG Cocktail with Gin and Bourbon Variations

Alright, I know, it’s not a great name, but it’s what I’ve got right now. If you’d like to suggest a better name for it, please feel free to comment below.

Difficulty: Easy
1.0 from 1 vote


Prep time


Total time




  • 1 slice 1 orange, plus a bit of rind for rimming and twisting

  • 1/4 oounce 1/4 Gran Gala Orange Liqueur

  • 5-6 dashes 5-6 Angostura bitters

  • 1 tsp 1 Granulated sugar

  • 2 ounces 2 Aviation Gin

  • 2 sprigs 2 Fresh rosemary (1 for muddling, 1 for garnish)


  • Place orange slice in a ceramic or oven-proof dish, and coat with sugar
  • Caramelize orange slice with kitchen torch until sugar is bubbly but not burned
  • Add orange slice and rosemary sprig to a shaker along with 5-6 dashes of orange bitters, then muddle
  • Add Gran Gala, Aviation Gin, and some ice to the shaker. Cap, and shake until well mixed.
  • Rim a rocks glass with orange peel, then add a large ice cube.
  • Using a fine kitchen strainer, strain cocktail into glass. Garnish with rosemary sprig and orange twist.


Bob Sawyer


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Hi! I’m Bob!

If it’s got bourbon in it, I’m drinking it. And if it’s really good, I’m gonna figure out how to make it, and share it with you. Because I’m good like that.


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