Few spirits can claim to be as versatile, complex, and refined as whiskey. It’s a universally beloved drink, with fans across the globe from Ireland to Japan (and back again). Whether you prefer a spicy rye, a smoky scotch, or a mellow bourbon, there’s guaranteed to be a cocktail out there to elevate your choice of whiskey to new heights. In this guide, we’ll highlight the versatility of whiskey by taking you through a few of the most classic whiskey cocktails out there!
5 Great Whiskey Cocktails
1. Whiskey Sour
In terms of ingredients, the Whiskey Sour is a relatively simple cocktail, but in terms of flavor profile, it’s as satisfying and complex as cocktails come. While this drink is typically made with bourbon, just about any type of whiskey can be used. Add to your whiskey some simple syrup, juice from any kind of citrus, and some egg whites, and voila! You’ve got yourself a sour yet silky smooth drink that’s as easy to knock back as it is to mix up.
2. Old Fashioned
This may be one of the most well-known cocktails, thanks to its hard-boiled Hollywood cachet. With a history that dates back to the 1880s, the Old Fashioned is one of the oldest modern cocktails, and it has remained a staple since its inception for a reason. Just take a little bourbon or rye, add some simple syrup (or a sugar cube), a dash of bitters, and an orange (or lemon) peel as a garnish, and you’ve got one of the most classic whiskey-based cocktails ever made.
3. Mint Julep
Here’s a great cocktail idea for a hot day! This is another classic whiskey-based cocktail with a long history (it was originally mixed up in the 1700s as a digestive aid) and conjures up images of warm, sunny Southern afternoons on the porch. True to its birthplace in Kentucky, it’s made with bourbon, along with a little bit of simple syrup, and some fresh mint. Add some ice for the perfect afternoon “digestive aid” to enjoy in the sun!
4. Hot Toddy
If ice-cold drinks are out of season, or you’re just looking for something to warm up with in the evening, the Hot Toddy just may be the perfect whiskey-based cocktail for you! Just mix a little of your whiskey of choice, some boiling water, and a little honey and lemon juice. This cozy combination of ingredients may also help soothe sore throats or mild colds, so consider that a perk!
The Manhattan is one of those timeless cocktails that brings an atmosphere of class and sophistication to anyone found holding one; just pop down to your local bar or craft distillery and stillhouse and see for yourself! The Manhattan makes use of your choice of whiskey, sweet vermouth, a splash of bitters, and a Maraschino cherry (or other garnish) to create one of the most recognizable and delicious cocktails you can order.
Whether you’re looking for an ice-cold cocktail to cool down with on a hot day, something sophisticated to sip at the bar, or a nice warm pick-me-up on a winter’s evening, there’s bound to be a whiskey cocktail on this list for you! And this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as whiskey-based drinks go, so start mixing up some new drinks and exploring all the options out there!