The Best Whiskey Cocktails you need to try this Spring
Whiskey is as American as steak, apple pie and denim. It is also, very possibly, more versatile then any of them. We all have a favored way to indulge these woodsy, mossy, better when aged, spirits. However, over the years there have been some unusual new flavor combinations concocted to tempt the average taste bud.
The role of the bartender began to change with the digital age, or in some ways, go back in time. In centuries past, the bar keep would use morter and pestle to grind fresh herbs, adding them to spirits for consumption. In our modern bartending wisdom, we now have what are considered “mixologists”, which provide similar services. These over the top bartenders specialize in mixing and matching different alcohols, with herbs, flowers and some virtually insane flavors. Today’s connoisseur of all things herb and alcohol, create drinks that are just beyond our wildest cocktail imagination.
We have comprised a list of 30 classic, unique and baffling, yet surprisingly tasty whiskey cocktail variations. Even the more unusual of these spirited creations is well worth a sampling, but it is not recommended to try them all in one night:
list of 30 surprisingly tasty whiskey cocktail variations
( Photo Credit – Be a Better Bar Tender )
This is a classic drink created in, and named after one of New York’s famous boroughs. Commonly served on the rocks, it is made from whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters, with a maraschino cherry garnish. Manhattan Recipe
JAMISON AND GINGER
( Photo Credit – Jon Contino )
Perfect for Saint Patrick’s Day, or any other day of the year, Jamison is a traditional and favored Irish whiskey. Though a perfect sipping whiskey, another favored way to enjoy Jamison is with Ginger Ale. Garnishment is acceptable, but unnecessary. An alternate version is to slice Ginger root thin, leaving the slivers in the bottle itself. Jamison and Ginger recipe
Whiskey… just plain whiskey. That is all. OH wait there is one more thing, some people don’t like how the ice waters down a neat whiskey so there is a solution.
Introducing “whiskey rocks”, just keep these cool in the fridge. They do not alter the taste of a neat and keep the drink cool longer than ice.
SEVEN AND SEVEN
Photocredit – B Creative
Another classic is Seagram 7 and a clear soda, usually 7 Up or Sprite. Crisp, clean, and just the right amount of bubbles.
Photo Credit – Absentine Online
This is a classic drink that doesn’t get as much attention as it should. It uses Rye whiskey or Cognac, combined with Peychaud’s Bitters, sugar, absinthe and a lemon peel, for zest, along with garnishment. Sazarac Recipe
FRUITY OLD FASHIONED
( Photo Credit – Bon Apetit )
Many have experienced the classic Old Fashioned, but the Fruity Old Fashioned takes on an entirely new flavor. As the name suggests, there must be fruit. The most often used recipe combines sugar cubes, bitters, lemon, lime, and orange wheels, a maraschino cherry or three, splash of grenadine, whiskey, club soda and ginger ale. Even those that aren’t fond of whiskey will find this creation palatable.
MIXED BERRY AND FIG, OLD FASHIONED
( Photo Credit – Complete Recipes )
Though similar to the Fruity Old Fashioned, the combination of mixed berries, like blueberry, strawberry, raspberry and blackberry, combined with bitters, whiskey and sugar, makes this great for sipping on a hot afternoon over ice. It can also be warmed and sipped like an intoxicatingly fruity evening tea. Mixed Berry and fig whiskey recipe
MAPLE RYE SOUR
( Photo Credit – Saveur )
There are plenty of versions of whiskey sour, but this one offers a unique flavor by combining maple syrup, with amaretto, orange and lemon juice, topped off with Rye whiskey. It adds more sweet to balance the sour. Not to mention, it is reminiscent of pancakes. Maple Rye Sour Recipe
ON THE ROCKS
Simply put… our favorite whiskey over ice.
( Photo Credit – Washington Post )
Anything is good with Jameson. This unique combination adds Fernet Branca, fresh ginger, lemon juice, mint and just enough sugar to balance the ginger spice and tartness of the lemon. The mint adds a burst of cool to the mix. Recipe
BLOOD ORANGE AND BOURBON
( Photo Credit – The little epicurean )
Bitters and Blood orange juice has became quite a pair. Add some Angostura, or other bitters, with sparkling water, mint leaves, bourbon and orange slices for garnish, and the traditional screwdriver will never touch your lips again. Recipe
( Photo Credit – Liquor.com )
Nothing says Kentucky Derby quite like its traditional drink, the Mint Julip. A good bar keep will mottle fresh Mint leaves, with a touch of syrup, rye whiskey and a splash of cognac. The cool of the mint is what makes this cocktail, which is served over ice. Recipe
BOURBON SLUSH PUNCH
( Photo Credit – Smitten Kitchen )
The word punch just inspires images of a party, and this drink is perfect for any spring or summer gathering. Bourbon is added to frozen orange and lemonade concentrates, partially frozen for slush. It is combined with sugar and then either Sprite, 7UP or a clear soda for that bubbly effect. Recipe
BACON, BOURBON, AND HAZELNUT HOT CHOCOLATE
( Photo Credit – Serious Eats )
The creator of this drink probably got some strange stares… till the sampling unfolded. Perfect for chilly evenings, this combination of melted chocolate, bourbon, sugar, milk, Frangelico and… bacon, will have you craving it for years to come. Just think bacon, with a thin Nutella spread and a light whiskey flavor. It may sound disturbing, but it is, in fact, divine. Recipe
( Photo Credit – Design Sponge )
Plum is not a common addition in the drink world, with the exception of wine. However, red plum, combined with fresh blackberries, syrup, whiskey, cointrea and fresh mint, makes for a summery sweet concoction. Recipe
( Photo Credit )
We would all like to be able to call our favorite drink medicine, but most often, no one will fall for it. Ironically, Penicillin, the drink, is an ancient medicinal recipe. Ginger syrup, honey, lemon, a dash of scotch and whiskey, with slices of Ginger for garnish or additional flavor, is said to sooth the sinuses and the tummy. Please keep in mind, this is one of those medicines it is probably best not to drive on. Recipe
BOURBON SWEET TEA
( Photo Credit – Sugar and Charm )
This is a traditional southern favorite, much like the non alcoholic version of sweet tea. Brew black tea bags like normal, allow them to cool. Next add lemon, lime and orange to taste with a generous shot or two of whiskey. Recipe
This is the most popular redhead we’re likely to ever meet, next to Jennifer Rabbit. Any clear soda, mixed with a splash of lemon, lime and grenadine, combined with a generous portion of Jameson Irish Whiskey. You’ll be wanting to take this lady home, more often the not. Recipe
SWEET WHISKEY LEMONADE
The sweet whiskey lemonade is another southern favorite with a unique variant. Just like traditional lemonade, combine lemon and sugar, but add lime, tonic, Cointreau, whiskey, and a healthy dollop of apricot preserves. Classic lemonade will be forever replaced in the fridge after the first sip.
THE FOURTH DOWN WHISKEY COCKTAIL
The Fourth Down Whiskey Cocktail is another one of those drinks that might make one raise an eyebrow, however the taste will encourage another. This could be considered a very American drink, as it combines syrup, lime, whiskey, Tabasco sauce and Montreal steak sauce. The combination of tart and spice mesh well on the pallet, and would likely compliment a steak dinner. Recipe
Apple has become a nice mixer over the past few decades. This uniquely layered drink combines Applejack, syrup, bitters, lemon juice, Rye whiskey and egg white. If apple is a favored flavor, this will be a repeat order. If not, it still looks extremely cool if made right. Recipe
CARDAMOM-VANILLA BOURBON WITH CITRUS
A chai tea can fill a room with a delightful aroma, and the Cardamom vanilla bourbon with citrus is like the chai of whiskey drinks. Vanilla, bourbon, a splash of lemon, lime juice and muddled cardamom may smell like a candle, but the taste will literally warm the soul. Recipe
ROSEMARY PEACH MAPLE LEAF COCKTAIL
Peach, combined with lemon juice, maple syrup, whiskey and rosemary make a cocktail worth sipping from the porch with friends. Over ice, the flavors just combine for an aromatically pleasing scent and flavor. Recipe
PDT’S BACON OLD FASHIONED
This one takes some processing, but the end result is unusual, and delicious. The first step is to just fry up some bacon, and eat it. Next, mix whiskey, angoscura bitters and the bacon fat together and place them in the freezer. The fat will float and solidify for easy removal a day or so later. The longer the concoction sits, the more bacon flavor absorbs into the whiskey. When its ready, skim off the fat and enjoy bacon enhanced whiskey. Recipe
The Brown Derby is another classic whiskey drink. Combine fresh squeezed grapefruit juice (red or standard), honey and bourbon, mixed well with a whisk. Use the honey to sweeten to personal standard and enjoy. Recipe
This is a classic twist on an old malt shop drink. The Milk Punch starts with whole milk, or cream placed in the freezer for no less than 20 minutes. We want it to thicken and get a little slushy. When it reaches the right consistency, combine the milk, nutmeg, whiskey or bourbon, sugar, and vanilla, whipping it together. Sit, sip and enjoy. Recipe
We might need to send out a few smoke signals after we have a few of these tasty drinks. This party favorite features smoked ice, thus the name. The rest of it is as flavorful as it is cool looking, combining sherry, pecan chips, toasted pecans, sugar, lemon juice and whiskey. It is a very nutty drink that comes out with a powerful introduction. Recipe
Spice is nice, and Hot Blooded offers a plethora of flavor. This is perfect for those that like it hot, as it combines Agave, whiskey, orange juice and a fresh jalapeno, including the juice. This popular mixologist special has a cool start with a flaming finish. Recipe
SRIRACHA HOT TODDY
This classic Hot Toddy just adds fresh ginger and Sriracha to give the honey, whiskey and lemon a touch of spice. Recipe
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BOURBON EGG CREAM
Double chocolate bourbon egg cream just screams malt shop favorite. This delicious creamy drink will be a favorite of both the men and the women, if made correctly. The ingredients are simple, using chocolate syrup, whole milk, a seltzer, whiskey and a vanilla extract. Blend well to get the fizz bubbling and drink up. Recipe
COKE, PEANUT AND WHISKEY COCKTAIL
The last in our collection of drinks is another of those eye brow raisers… but turns out it is unbelievably good. The Coke, peanut and whiskey drink combines classic Coke, peanut orgeat, and whiskey. The peanut orgeat is made from peanuts, sugar, brandy, water, and orange flower water. The combination evolves into this salty, sweet, fizzy glass of perfect flavor combinations. Vodka can be used for the orgeat instead of brandy, but brandy adds a more palatable burst of taste. Recipe
Mixologists are changing the way we enjoy whiskey. These new fangled bar keeps are adding unusual flavor combinations, we’d likely not considered before. We can still enjoy a more traditional glass of whiskey, whenever the mood strikes. Still, sampling some of these amazing whiskey drinks can open the door to exciting new flavors, or at least an interesting conversation.
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