10 John Wayne-approved cocktail recipes you can make with Duke spirits


Actor John Wayne appreciates a good cocktail. They got him into trouble at times, but drinking became a regular hobby while he played card games with his closest friends. Duke Spirits has shared some Wayne-inspired cocktail recipes that any legal-age adult looking for a rewarding drink should take a look at.

John Wayne Cocktails with Duke Spirits

John Wayne | Archive Michael Ochs/Getty Images

Wayne’s son Ethan once recalled his father’s dream of creating his own brand of spirits. It would not be just any other line of alcohol, however, but properly aged and authentically made to enjoy in a nice restaurant or after a long day at work. Ethan decided to help make that dream a reality and help birth Duke Spirits.

Duke Spirits has a range of spirits including bourbon, whiskey and tequila. However, they don’t leave Wayne fans without a set of cocktail recipes for those wondering what to do with their line of spirits. The Duke Spirits website gives a small taste of a variety of different palettes.

Roughneck Colada

The Wayne cocktail recipe is called Roughneck Colada and includes ingredients and directions for a custom cocktail and pitcher. It is estimated that the drink will take five minutes to prepare.

Ingredients include Duke Bourbon, Atlantico Reserva, fresh lime juice and coconut cream. Additionally, they add orange juice and pineapple juice to add a little sweetness and zing to the drink. Finally, throw in some fresh mint leaves and a Float Fernet Branca for good measure.

Roughneck Colada directions call for a shaker, Collins glass, and strainer to make this drink perfect.

John Wayne old fashioned

The second Wayne cocktail recipe is the John Wayne Old Fashioned. Any mixology enthusiast will be familiar with the classic drink, but Duke Spirits presents it with a little twist with its own flair.

You can use any Duke Spirit of your choice, giving you great flexibility. You should add sugar cubes, orange bitters and some lemonade to add a little freshness. They also recommend an orange twist to really complete this Old Fashioned.

With the John Wayne Old Fashioned, the mixologist has to mix the sugar cube together with soda and bitters. From there, however, it’s just a matter of stirring and straining along with a large cube of ice.

True Grit Boulevardier

Next is True Grit Boulevardier, aptly named for Wayne’s Oscar-winning role.

This one keeps it simple with just three ingredients, although they’re a bit more specific. You should use the Duke Bourbon, Carpano Antica and Campania.

In addition, it is also one of the easier drinks to make yourself. It only requires a mixing glass, stirring and pouring. An orange peel as a garnish rounds off this drink perfectly.

Duke Mule

For another Wayne cocktail recipe that takes a book from a classic, make a Duke Mule.

It contains all the typical ingredients for a typical mule, but of course uses Duke Bourbon. If you’re a fan of the standard mule, this is a great way to combine your love for Wayne and the cocktail into something truly refreshing and delicious.

Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade

For Wayne fans looking for something a little more refreshing, Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade has you covered. It’s absolutely perfect for a hot day.

This recipe also calls for Duke Bourbon along with some signature ingredients that every home bar should have, like lemon juice and simple syrup. However, it also contains a blackberry puree to give the drink that certain berry pop.

Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade requires a shaker, and they recommend serving in a mason jar to really enjoy this favorite.

The Year of the Duke

The next Wayne-inspired cocktail recipe is sure to bring both class and flavor to the highest degree, aptly named The Year of the Duke.

This next drink combines Duke Bourbon with Angostura bitters and the sweetness of champagne or prosecco.

Duke Spirits recommends straining The Year of the Duke into a champagne flute, sure to impress your friends at your bar back home.

Not your mother’s iced tea

Wayne was an actor who played by his own rules. He understood the kind of films that worked for him and stuck to his guns because he believed in his own abilities. The next cocktail, called Not Your Mama’s Iced Tea, fits perfectly with what represents his career.

This next cocktail combines Duke Bourbon with the sweetness of tea and honey. However, a little orange juice in this recipe really lets the flavor of the bourbon pop.

Not Your Mama’s Iced Tea requires a shaker with ice and the ability to taste and adjust accordingly.

49rs gold rush

Wayne fans looking for a simpler but no less flavorful cocktail recipe will love the 49rs Gold Rush. This really makes Duke Bourbon the star of the drink.

The 49rs Gold Rush has just three ingredients, including Duke Bourbon and a few standard bar ingredients.

A shaker and ice really opens this cocktail up and brings it to life.

gun smoke

One of the most popular Wayne cocktails on the list is the Gunsmoke. She has many complex flavors that any long-time fan of the actor could appreciate, including the smoke.

The Gunsmoke brings the Duke Spirits line to life with yuzu lemon blend, bitters and syrup. However, this one requires a bit more advanced equipment to really bring the cocktail to life. Having a smoking gun is your chance to enjoy the drink’s full potential.


For another twist on an old classic, try the Wayne version of the Manhattan cocktail recipe.

The Duke Spirits Manhattan would make Wayne proud with its formula that includes two types of bitters with a refined bottle from the liquor line.

As expected, this Manhattan only requires mixing the ingredients and stirring. However, you should add the appropriate accompaniments to take full advantage of the drink’s presentation.

RELATED: The John Wayne Coffee Drinks recipe that pilgrims use to “load up” their mornings.


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