There are so many ways to love whiskey. For the most part, we do not discriminate about where the whiskey comes from (though we are wary of the Indiana whiskey, primarily on principle), or what type it is. Open our liquor cabinet today and you will see at least two bottles of Scotch whisky, four bottles of bourbon, and one bottle of wheat whiskey… we have also been known to drink Japanese single malt, Irish whiskey, and rye. We do tend to care about which shelf it came from, and of course, have our favorites. We do not collect whiskey, or hoard it, and dabble around as the budget allows. We do not claim to be experts and don’t care much for blind taste tests (how can you be influenced by the packaging if you can’t see it?), but we do love our whiskey.
These recipes are fashioned to maximize our Cocktail Basics list. They are pretty classic, and you will see lots of variations of these. Try them! The recipes that follow are our favorite ratios and mixes, but you may have your own preferences. A great source is Cocktail DB for alternates. If you fancy gin, head on over to our gin cocktail recipes.
Whiskey (or Whisky)
Pour it in a small glass. Is it good? Drink it. Is it pretty good? Maybe add a splash of water or an ice cube. Better now? Enjoy!
1 1/2 – 2 ounces whiskey (we prefer bourbon or rye here)
splash of soda water
Sometimes a splash of soda and some ice with your whiskey hits the spot. It’s refreshing! We wouldn’t use our fanciest whiskey for this, but we would use something with good flavor. Add a couple of drops of bitters, if that is your style.
2 ounces bourbon (or rye)
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes aromatic bitters
1 strip of lemon zest
Pour the bourbon, vermouth, and bitters into a shaker. Add a lot of ice. Stir (we use a chopstick) 50-100 times. Strain into your glass. Squeeze the lemon zest over the drink, rub the zest along the rim of the glass and then place it into the drink. If you like a little treat at the end of your drink, you may also want a good quality maraschino or bourbon cherry as a garnish.
Bourbon Side Car
2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce orange liqueur (we use Grand Marnier)
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 bourbon or maraschino cherry (optional)
1 strip of lemon zest
Pour the bourbon, Grand Marnier, and lemon juice into a shaker. Add a lot of ice. Shake! Strain into your glass. Add a good quality maraschino or bourbon cherry (skip it if you don’t have one). Squeeze the lemon zest over the drink, rub the zest along the rim of the glass and then place it into the drink.
Adapted from the fabulous book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, by Ted Haigh
1 ounce bourbon
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce orange liqueur (we use Grand Marnier)
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Fill with a lot of ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge or a mint leaf.