How To Drink Whiskey

There are many ways to enjoy Whiskey. The most common three that you will come across are outlined below:

Straight (shot)

Whiskey as a straight shot comes from filling a shot glass (usually 1 oz in size) and drinking it in one fluid motion. Many times, this is done socially but doesn’t allow for enjoying the flavor of the whiskey itself. This is probably the most common way that many are introduced to what will no doubt become their favorite distilled spirit.

Neat

This is the way that most people who enjoy whiskey as a pastime enjoy it. This usually comes with adding whiskey to a lowball glass (also known as an old-fashioned glass) and usually measured by “fingers.” By placing your fingers horizontally around the bottom of the glass and filling it up to the top of the number of fingers.

Neat is usually drank at room temperature with nothing added.

Although not considered “neat” some people like to add a few drops of water to mellow out the, “bite” that whiskey has and bring out the flavors that lay hidden underneath the whiskey.

Some also like to add ice to cool off their whiskey either in the form of one large iceball to minimize the melting ice from watering down the whiskey. The alternative option is by adding whiskey rocks which are usually cubes of soapstone that are stored in the freezer. This will allow the stones to cool down the whiskey without watering down the spirit.

Before trying a whiskey any other way, try it neat without adding ice or water to see how it was originally meant to be tasted.

Mixed Drinks

Many times in bars you can find amazing mixed drinks that add the flavor of the whiskey to different mixers. I’ll list some of the most popular ones below.

Old Fashioned

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon (5g) superfine sugar (or 1 sugar cube)
  • 2 to 3 dashes bitters
  • 2 oz (60ml) bourbon or rye whiskey
  • Orange and/or cherry, to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add sugar to the bottom of an old fashion glass.
  2. Add a few drops of water and douse with bitters.
  3. Mix in whiskey until sugar is fully dissolved.
  4. Add a few large cubes of ice or ice ball and stir rapidly to chill.
  5. Add garnish if desired.

Manhattan

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Rye Whiskey
  • 1 oz. Italian vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Instructions

  1. Stir rye, vermouth, and bitters with cracked ice.
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Add a twist or maraschino cherry as a garnish.

Whiskey Sour

Ingredients

  • 2 oz whiskey
  • 1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

  1. Pour all of the ingredients into a shaker and fill with ice.
  2. Shake for about ten seconds.
  3. Strain into a glass of your choice. An old-fashioned glass or cocktail glass is fine.
  4. Garnish with a maraschino cherry, orange slice, or lime.

Mint Julep

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon (5g) sugar, to taste, dissolved in 1 teaspoon (5ml) water (or use 2 teaspoons/10ml simple syrup)
  • 8 to 10 leaves fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • 2 to 3 ounces (60 to 90ml) bourbon, to taste
  • Mint sprigs, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place sugar and water into the bottom of a glass. Usually a julep cup or tall glass.
  2. Add mint leaves and gently bruise the leaves to release flavor and aroma of the leaves.
  3. Without overworking the mint leaves, try to spread the mint oils around the inside of the cup or glass.
  4. Fill halfway with crushed ice and add bourbon while stirring.
  5. Finish off with more crushed ice while stirring vigorously.