Step 1: Put the simple syrup, fruit, and herbs in a sturdy glass tumbler or mason jar and crush well to release the flavors.
Step 2: Squeeze the lemon juice into the mixture, add bourbon, top with crushed ice, and give it a good stir. Add soda water if desired. I serve this drink with a straw so guests can keep stirring while they drink.
A note about simple syrup: Heat equal parts sugar and water until the sugar melts, then let it cool. Use as much or as little as you like. As an alternative, try a liqueur like St-Germain elderflower liqueur (it’s not as girly as it sounds), Cherry Heering, or crème de peche. I’ve also been known to use a spoonful of jam in this drink. It’s perfect.