The Lynchburg Lemonade is one of the few cocktails with a legal history that does not relate in any way to Prohibition. Created in 1980 in Huntsville, Alabama by a bar owner named Tony Mason, the Lynchburg Lemonade became the subject of a lawsuit several years later. Mason sued Jack Daniels—which is made in Lynchburg, Tennessee and served as the base for his drink—for promoting the cocktail without mentioning or compensating him. Mason won the first suit but the judge in the case awarded him only a single dollar from the judge’s own pocket in damages. In a subsequent lawsuit the distillery prevailed and the drink proliferated all over the country.
The original recipe is, frankly, a bit of a sugar bomb made with sour mix and 7-Up. So we adapted it using fresh lime juice, simple syrup and homemade lemonade (use store bought if you must). The one other ingredient that is essential for a Lynchburg Lemonade is Tennessee whiskey. Jack Daniels, of course, is the most common and its hometown is the drink’s namesake. But if you want to branch out, George Dickel puts out solid bottles as well. Because Tennessee whiskey is made mostly from corn and filtered through charcoal before bottling, it ends up being sweeter and more mellow, which makes the Lynchburg Lemonade ridiculously easy to drink and also why 1980’s era Tony Mason could sell these by the pitcher.