11 of the Best Whiskey Drinks to Make at Home
Learn how to craft the kind of whiskey drinks that will make you a masterful home bartender.
Apart from a homemade Irish coffee, what other drinks can whiskey enhance? This spirit can be added to almost any type of cocktail and works well with a whole slew of mixers—from syrups and fruit juices to kombucha. It’s time to grab your cocktail shaker and start playing mixologist with these unexpected whiskey drinks. Just getting started? Here are 7 essential items that should be in every home bar.
Buffalo Gap Ginger Snap
This fresh and strong bevvy will be your new go-to drink for a hot day—just like these other sunny cocktails to sip when the mercury rises.
- 1-1/2 ounce bourbon
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup. Here’s how to make it.
- Thin slice of fresh ginger
Directions: Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker until very cold, then pour over ice. Serve in a rocks glass. Top with a splash of ginger beer and garnish with an orange wheel.
The Belmont Bramble
This refreshing cocktail from Bread Booze Bacon proves that blackberry and whiskey go together just like, well, bacon and whiskey. After you’ve imbibed, save a splash for our editor’s favorite recipe for Gentleman’s Whiskey Bacon Jam.
- 2-½ parts whiskey
- 2 parts fresh blackberry puree
- 5 parts lemonade
- 1 teaspoon fresh basil, finely chopped
Directions: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the whiskey, blackberry puree, lemonade and basil. Cover and shake vigorously for 30 seconds until the shaker feels very cold. Remove the cover from the shaker and strain the cocktail into two rocks glasses filled with ice. (If needed, pour a little more lemonade on top to fill each glass.) Garnish each cocktail with a few blackberries and a fresh basil leaf.
Woodford Reserve Eclipse
While typical bourbon drinks have a strong kick, the Chambord liqueur in this recipe adds rich, velvety notes of berries and vanilla into the mix. It’ll convert non-whiskey sippers and traditionalists alike. And in case you were wondering, this is the difference between whiskey and bourbon.
- 1-½ ounces Woodford Reserve bourbon whiskey
- ½ ounce Chambord
- 1 ounce cranberry juice
- 1 ounce raspberry juice
- ½ ounce lime juice
- 2-3 drops sorghum syrup (Find Kentucky’s favorite sweetener on Amazon.)
- Club soda
Directions: Combine the bourbon, Chambord, fruit juices, lime and sorghum syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into an iced glass. Top with a dash of club soda and garnish with a black raspberry and lime twist. Read up on the 12 secret cocktail ingredient only bartenders know about.
New York Summer Sour
This recipe is straight from New York City’s famous Gramercy Tavern, one of the most beloved restaurants in America. If you haven’t visited, pencil it into your next road trip, along with these other East Coast hot spots for foodies.
- 1-¾ ounces rye whiskey
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- ½ ounce egg white. Here’s our Test Kitchen’s foolproof way to separate eggs.
- ¾ ounce dry red wine
Directions: Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker without ice and shake vigorously to froth up the egg white. Bartenders call this a dry-shake. Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass over large ice cubes. (This oversized ice cube tray has rave reviews.) Garnish with cherry and orange.
Sherry (not the kind you cook with) is trending in cocktails right now. We recommend trying Tio Pepe Fino, a super dry white sherry wine that’s best served chilled. Combined with whiskey and pimento bitters, this drink takes on a unique taste.
- 2 ounces Australian whisky
- 1/4 ounce Fino sherry
- 1/4 ounce Demerara sugar
- 2 dashes pimento bitters ($20)
Directions: Add all ingredients except the bitters to a mixing glass with ice and stir gently. Strain over a large ice cube into a rocks glass and garnish with an orange twist. This is how to make an easy cocktail garnish.
Hair of the Tiger
Feeling tropical? This whiskey drink has all kinds of island flavor. Kind of like these staycation-worthy desserts.
- 2 ounces Irish whiskey, like Proper No. Twelve
- 3/4 ounce pineapple juice
- 1/2 ounce Combier apricot
- 1/2 ounce ginger syrup
- 1/2 ounce lime
Directions: To create the Hair of the Tiger, combine all ingredients. Shake until chilled and double strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Kombucha Whiskey Sour
- 2 ounces whiskey or bourbon
- 3-4 ounces ginger lemon kombucha
- Angostura bitters
Directions: Chill the whiskey and the kombucha. Pour over ice into an old-fashioned glass. Add 2-3 drops Angostura bitters. Stir. Garnish with sliced orange and maraschino cherry.
- 1-1/2 ounce bourbon whiskey
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
- Cinnamon stick
- Lemon slice
- Hot water
Directions: Add the honey, lemon juice and bourbon to a mug. Top with hot water. Stir with a cinnamon stick. Float a lemon slice on top.
While this 3-ingredient drink may taste elevated, it actually couldn’t be easier to make. The hardest part is stirring. For that, we recommend to invest in a quality mixing glass like this one ($17) so you can do it in style.
- ¾ ounce Campari
- 1-¼ ounce rye whiskey
- ¾ ounce Carpano vermouth
Directions: Fill a rocks glass and a mixing glass with ice. Pour the liquor into the mixing glass. Stir for 15 seconds. Finally, strain and pour over cubed ice in rocks glass.
Classic Mint Julep
You don’t have to wait for the Kentucky Derby to drink a mint julep. To make one whenever you’re feeling it, Maker’s Mark shares this simple recipe. Master the drink with more tips from our Test Kitchen team.
- 2 parts bourbon whiskey
- 1/2 part simple syrup
- Fresh mint leaves
Directions: Add the mint and simple syrup to a julep cup ($20). Muddle mint, add crushed ice and pour in the bourbon. Stir and garnish with a fresh mint sprig.
With all of the proposed health benefits of ginger, what better excuse than to add it to our favorite liquor. Serve this recipe up in a Collins glass and slice the ginger like a spear for a restaurant-worthy presentation.
- 2 ounces Irish whiskey
- Sliced fresh ginger
- 3 dashes rosemary bitters
- 4 ounces Fever-Tree Smoky Ginger Ale
Directions: Combine whiskey, ginger, rosemary and top with Smoky Ginger Ale. Garnish with sliced ginger.
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