The whiskey universe is filled with exciting brands from far away places and unexplored flavours for connoisseurs to discover and enjoy. This means new ways to experiment with your favourite whiskey cocktails or try something totally new to go with the unique flavours and aromas some whiskeys have.   

Whiskey cocktails are classic and classy; perfectly fitting into any occasion: from after-work drinks to dinner parties. But perhaps the best way to enjoy a good whiskey cocktail is when unwinding at home after a long, hard day. Here are some easy ways to shake and stir yourself a delicious drink for the perfect evening in.

1. Whiskey Sour

The three main ingredients of a whiskey sour are sugar, whiskey, and sugar. The cocktail has a  simple structure and it is very easy to put together. It is believed that a man named Elliott Stubb created the whisky sour in 1872. The drink is best when chilly, so make it just before serving your guests. If you want to add in a bit if flavour, you could use Angostura Bitter, a herb that adds a strong woody taste to the cocktail.

What you need

  • 60 ml bourbon whiskey; you could use regular whiskey as well
  • 30 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 30 ml sugar syrup
  • 1/2  an inch orange wheel for serving
  • A cherry for serving

Method

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  • Add in the bourbon or whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar syrup
  •  Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold. About 20-30 seconds
  • Strain into a whiskey glass filled with ice. Garnish with orange peel and a cherry

2. Basil Bourbon Mule

A Basil Bourbon Mule is an excellent easy whiskey cocktail to make when you’re tired or having a party and need a cocktail for a crowd. Easy to make, this cocktail is refreshing and is a take on the Moscow Mule. The recipe below is for a single cocktail, you can use whiskey proportions as per how strong you want your drink. 

What you need

  • 4 basil leaves
  • 60 ml bourbon or whiskey
  • 60 ml ginger beer or ginger ale
  • 1 lemon twist

Method

  • Pour bourbon into a tall glass
  • Add 4 basil leaves and gently muddle basil
  • Add ice and fill with ginger beer
  • Garnish with lemon and basil

3. Red Hook

This cocktail is easy to make and is named after a neighbourhood in New York. The Red Hook cocktail is a sweet take on the the Manhattan and it is deliciously good.

What you need

  • 60 ml whiskey
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 150 ml maraschino liqueur
  • Cocktail cherries for garnish

Method

  • Add all ingredients except the cherry to a mixing glass and fill with ice
  • Stir thoroughly for 30 seconds and strain into a coupe glass
  • Garnish with a cherry

4. Old-Fashioned

Arguably the most famous whiskey cocktail, the Old-Fashioned is simple to make and extremely satisfying to drink. It requires just a few simple ingredients that you probably have on hand at home.

What you need

  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 3 dashes bitters
  • 60 ml whiskey or bourbon
  • Orange wedge and cocktail cherry for garnish

Method

  • Stir sugar, bitters, and 2 teaspoons of warm water in a glass until most of the sugar is dissolved
  • Add 3 ice cubes and pour whiskey over
  • Stir rapidly to quickly chill the cocktail
  • Garnish with orange wedge and/or cherry

5. Mint Julep

Known to be the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby, this drink is usually served in a highball glass. This refreshing cocktail gets its punch from fresh mint leaves and is soothing and cooling all at once. The cocktail uses crushed ice which, if you don’t have a machine, you can get by placing a few cubes in a handkerchief or towel and banging it with a rolling pin till pieces form.

What you need

  • Mint leaves
  • Simple syrup or sugar cubes
  • 60 ml bourbon whiskey

Method

  • Put a few mint leaves in a glass with two cubes of sugar or some simple syrup
  • Muddle the mixture so that the sugar dissolves and the mint is slightly bruised
  • Addin the bourbon whiskey
  • Add in some crushed ice
  • Stir rapidly for 20 seconds till well incorporated
  • Garnish with mint leaves

6. Espresso Old Fashioned

A bourbon and coffee lover’s delight, the Espresso Old Fashioned is a strong cocktail, an ideal pick-me-up after a long, tiring days. There are a few ways in which you can make an Espresso Old Fashioned, but this one is easy and gets the job done perfectly.

What You Need

  • 1 double shot espresso
  • 60 ml bourbon or rye whiskey
  • 30 ml simple syrup
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • Lemon peel

Method

  • Mix espresso, bourbon, simple syrup and bitters in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice
  • Stir until outside of shaker is frosty; ideally for about 30 seconds
  • Strain into a lowball glass filled with ice
  • Twist lemon peel over cocktail to release oils, then rub over the rim of glass; discard peel.

7. Hot Toddy

Hot toddy is a great cocktail for when you are feeling low or under the weather. It’s also a nice wintertime drink as it is warmly and wholesome. While making it, we suggest that you opt for a whiskey that’s not too petey to reduce the smokey flavour of the drink.

What you need

  • 1/4 of a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 60 ml whiskey Ideally pick American, Canadian, Irish, or Scotch whiskeys

Method

  • Squeeze the lemon wedge into a mug and leave it in the bottom
  • Add honey, whiskey, and top with hot water

8. Manhattan

Manhattan is a classic cocktail that is a big hit at bars, pubs and with whiskey lovers. You can experiment with the ingredients of the cocktail and play around with different whiskeys. If you are looking for authenticity, do not forget vermouth and bitters.

What you need

  • 60 ml whiskey
  • 30 ml sweet red vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • Few cubes of ice

Method

  • Stir all ingredients until chilled
  • Strain, and serve straight up

9. Boulevardier

Boulevardier is basically a Negroni without the gin. A smoother version, Boulevardier is a refreshing and well-balanced cocktail. Perfect for a house party, a Boulevardier is easy to make and it does not take time to assemble. If you love experimenting, feel free to get creative and play around with rye or bourbon for a slightly different flavour..

What you need

  • 60 ml whiskey of your choice
  • 60 ml Campari bitters
  • 60 ml sweet vermouth

Method

  • Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled coupe glass
  • Garnish with a lemon twist (if you use rye) or an orange twist (if you use bourbon or whiskey)

10. Blinker

Blinker is a cocktail recipe that dates back to the 1930s. Delicious and full of spice, with a bit of sweetness, the cocktail is a crowd pleaser at bars and pubs across the world. You can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home with this simple recipe.

What You Need

  • 120 ml whiskey
  • 30 ml grapefruit juice
  • 30 ml raspberry syrup
  • Grapefruit twist

Method

  • Shake all ingredients (except the grapefruit twist) together in a shaker with ice
  • Shake, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a grapefruit twist

11. Ginger Highball

Ginger Highball was discovered sometime in the early 20th-century. The British would drink this ginger based whiskey cocktail in a highball glass. Although slightly strong in taste, the cocktail is actually soothing on the palate. It is ginger-spiced and lemony.

What you need

  • 60 ml whiskey of your choice
  • 30  ml ginger ale
  • 3 lemon slices

Method

  • Layer ice and lemon slices in a tall glass
  • Pour in whiskey and top with ginger ale
  • Serve chilled

12. Spiked Southern Tea

 A Spiked Southern tea can be relished at room temperature or cold, which is what makes this whiskey cocktail so great. It is best enjoyed with a bourbon, but you can use any other whiskey you fancy. For a hot summer’s daytime tipple, we suggest drinking the cocktail ice cold. As an after-work drink at home, it’s great at room temperature.

What you need

  • 60 ml  bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 100 ml tea (preferably black or rooibos)

Method

  •  Stir all ingredients to combine
  • Add ice if desired

13. Irish Coffee

This whiskey-spiked coffee is the drink of champions. Feisty and strong, it is a combination of warm and calming whiskey, stimulating coffee, and cream that tastes like a delicious dessert. Try an iced version on those hot and balmy days.

What you need

  • 60 ml  coffee
  • 60 ml whiskey (preferably Irish)
  • 30 ml  cream

Method

  • Combine all ingredients in a mug, stir gently and enjoy

14. Bourbon Vanilla Shake

Some might actually cringe at the thought of mixing a bourbon whiskey and milk together but, surprisingly, the combination is amazing. It is best relished as an after-meal cocktail, generally called a dessert cocktail.

What you need

  • 60 ml bourbon whiskey
  • 60 ml vanilla ice cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  • Blend all ingredients until just combined. Serve chilled.

15. Whiskey-Peach Cocktail

Ideal for someone that likes their drink light, a Whiskey-Peach Cocktail is easy to make and put together.

What you need

  • 60 ml whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon peach jam or peach crush
  • Club soda
  • Thyme for garnishing

Method

  • Stir the jam/crush and whiskey in a low glass until well blended
  • Fill glass with ice and then top with club soda
  • Add a sprig of thyme to garnish

16. Brown Derby

Brown Derby is an easy and refreshing cocktail to make. It is the perfect choice for someone who likes a balance between sweet and tangy, with a kick from good bourbon whiskey.

What you need

  • 45 ml  bourbon whiskey
  • 30 ml fresh grapefruit juice
  • 7.5 ml honey
  • Dash of lemon juice

Method

  • Shake all the ingredients with ice
  • Strain into a coupe glass
  • Serve chilled

17. Whisky Mojito

A mojito is typically a drink made using rum, but the beauty of putting together a cocktail drink is that you do not have to stick to rules and traditions. Go creative and make your own drink. If you are one of those folks that likes to experiment with drinks, here’s a simple mojito to make with whiskey.

What you need

  • 60 ml bourbon or regular whiskey
  • 5ml lime juice
  • 1 tsp sugar, you could add in more if you want to make the drink sweeter.
  • 60 ml soda water
  • Fresh mint leaves

Method

  • Mix together the fresh mint, sugar and lime in a tall glass
  • Load with ice
  • Add the bourbon and top up with soda water

 

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