In this edition of our mid-week injection of fun called #WhiskyWednesdays, we’ve decided to bring you a list of essential whisky cocktails you need to know and try. If you haven’t tried any of these, then you can’t call yourself a true whisky fan just yet.
You can use any of your preferred blended malt or single grain whiskies here. You can also use any of your favourite single malt whiskies too if you want, just make sure you savour and appreciate it neat first before mixing it with anything else – don’t waste good whisky!
Without further delay, here’s our list of 7 essential whisky cocktails that any whisky fan must know and try first.
1. Whisky sour
We’ll start with a universal classic comprised of just three ingredients – whisky, lemon or lime juice and simple syrup. Who knew that the tartness of citrus was a wonderful match to some of the sweet notes in whisky or bourbon?
Ideally, this recipe works well with any American Bourbon (i.e. Wild Turkey, Maker’s Mark or Jim Beam) or Tennessee Whiskey. However, this recipe does go well with Irish Whiskey any blended malt whisky too – especially scotch.
2. Old Fashioned
Now comes one deceptively simple recipe with a surprisingly complex end result. Also a universal classic, all this mix needs are whisky, bitters, sugar and a splash of water plus an orange peel to garnish with.
This one was devised especially for bourbon (i.e. Wild Turkey, Maker’s Mark or Jim Beam) and rye whiskey. The point of the Old-Fashioned is to avoid adding too much to it – the simpler it is, the better the end result. Think of this as a way to make a straight pour of whisky look fancier.
This simple two-ingredient and mix only needs two ounces of your whisky, ginger ale, and the all-important tall glass – the ‘high’ in Highballs, if you will. Its as simple as pouring your favourite whisky in an ice-filled tall glass and topping it up with ginger ale.
This is one of the most versatile whisky cocktails around. You could make it light by pouring two-parts whisky with six-parts ginger ale for happy hours, or you could even turn that around and make a properly stiff night cap.
Regarded as yet another universal classic, the Manhattan traditionally uses rye whiskey or bourbon (i.e. Wild Turkey, Maker’s Mark or Jim Beam) mixed with bitters and sweet vermouth. Essentially, the Manhattan is to whiskey what the Martini is to gin, spawning countless variations over the years too.
Besides being simple, this sophisticated whisky cocktail that also serves as the perfect introduction to the world of whisky. Just don’t forget to add a cherry or two into the glass for that added sophistication and sweet end-game.
5. John Collins
This is the whisky world’s variation of the renowned ‘collins’ series of cocktails. It is highly similar to Whisky Sour, only it’s topped off with some club soda and garnished with a cherry to go with the traditional orange peel.
While any good blended malt scotch whisky acts as a perfect base, this mix is also ideal for Irish Whiskey, as well any good American bourbon (i.e. Wild Turkey, Maker’s Mark or Jim Beam) or rye whiskey too. This mix is best served iced in a tall glass.
6. The Rob Roy
Legend has it that The Rob Roy was devised by a bartender at the famed Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York back in 1894, and was named after an operetta with the same name that premiered at the same time. It has since become both an icon and classic whisky mix.
The recipe calls for 2 ounces of any good blended malt scotch whisky, ¾ ounces of Italian vermouth, and a dash of Angostura bitters plus a twist of lemon or a cherry to garnish with. You really can’t go wrong with this icon amongst whisky cocktails.
7. Jack and Coke
As the name suggests, this recipe brings together two American powerhouse names, resulting in a drink that’s both stiff and sweet. Best of all? You can have this simple two-ingredient mix anywhere, anytime and for any occasions.
Its strength is entirely up to you; just add more Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey for a stronger hit, or add more Coca-Cola to soften it. Another beauty of this mix is the fact that to can replace the Jack with any other whisky, but you’ll have to call it Whisky and Coke instead.
Bonus: Whisky and Root Beer
Now here’s a different, vanilla-flavoured twist should you get tired and bored of the usual Whisky & Coke cliché mix – try Root Beer instead! It’s the perfect alternative to Coca-Cola, especially if you need something sweet for your whisky to go down with.
While it’s a great pairing with any blended malt scotch like the Johnnie Walker Double Black, we found this to be a surprisingly good complement to the Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch as well – trust us on this!
About Editor 2.0
An avid boozer and word-stringer who's paid to drink and write for the revamped Boozeat Blog 2.0
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