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Whisky Cocktails You Need To Add To Your Holiday Season Menu

whisky cocktail

The very idea of attempting a whisky cocktail can seem daunting. Firstly, those who consider whisky as their tipple of choice are rather particular about their preferences and would be wary of attempting cocktails that take away from or dilute the original taste of the spirit. We’re dealing with seasoned connoisseurs who know exactly what they want and how they want it. To please such particular folk can be a challenge and ensuring they’re not disappointed will require unique mixes that retain the spirit’s inherent flavour and yet, manage to elevate it with complementary ingredients. Well, you’re in luck as we’ve put together the best whisky cocktails that will not only appeal to whisky fans but also those who’re in the mood for a refreshing drink that packs a range of flavours. 

Before we dive into the world of whisky cocktails, let’s add a disclaimer first. We must agree that whisky, unlike vodka and gin, is not the most adaptable — which is to say that it doesn’t blend with every flavour that you may attempt to mix it with. Getting the wrong mix can lead to disaster and may even result in wasting precious whiskies over a hardly palatable drink. That said, with careful consideration, we’ve assembled a selection of cocktails that draw from whisky’s inherent strengths and yet, fashion them in an avatar that you could’ve never imagined. 

Tokyo Sonata

This is a whisky cocktail for those who don’t consider whisky as their go-to spirit but are in the mood for a refreshing tipple that packs a surprising punch. On the flavour front, this one is a mild and light drink with a blend that’s sweet and sour and highlights the fruity punch of plum. It’s essentially a sweet and citrus drink that balances the sharp notes of whisky and also elevates the spirit’s inherent taste that surfaces on the palate. To lend the drink a definitive texture, we’ll include a white egg which helps take the edge off and also gives the drink a distinct airy feel. 

Ingredients

30ml whisky
15ml elderflower liqueur
15ml plum liqueur
10ml kabosu or lime juice
10ml sugar syrup
1 egg white

Method

Pour all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake it for 20 seconds without ice.

Add ice and shake for another 20 seconds. 

Strain the contents into a glass and serve immediately.

Sweet Emotion

Those who prefer cocktails that celebrate the earthy sweetness of honey combined with the punch of ginger and lemon , will certainly love Sweet Emotion. It is essentially a drink that combines Blended Scotch with lemon, honey and ginger syrup, to create a drink that packs the subtle sweetness of honey, the tartness of lemon and the distinct punch of ginger. 
Some may find this cocktail to have a similar flavour profile as the widely popular Whiskey Sour, but this one also has a spicy edge that elevates the drink and gives it a distinguished personality. Despite the diverse mix of ingredients, be rest assured that you will also be able to recognise and cherish the smoky aroma and taste of Scotch which will surface with every sip.

Ingredients

40ml Blended Scotch
10ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed
15ml ginger honey syrup
20ml single malt Scotch
Garnish: candied ginger

Method

To make the ginger honey syrup:

Boil half a cup of honey and half a cup of water with a 3-inch piece of sliced ginger. Once it reaches the boiling temperature, simmer in medium heat for a few minutes and allow the mixture to cool down before storing it in the fridge for over 12 hours. Once cooled, strain the mixture using a muslin cloth. 

To make Sweet Emotion:

Pour Scotch, ginger honey syrup, lemon juice and ice into a shaker and shake the contents till the ice is crushed. 

Strain the contents into a glass filled with ice.

You can garnish this cocktail with candied ginger (optional).

whisky sour recipe

Herby Highball

In a world of complex cocktails, Herby Highball stands its ground as an unpretentious and refreshing drink 

To my mouth, the liquor’s flavour emerges in a way that doesn’t batter the tongue. The bubbles make the mixture quaffable and refreshing, especially suited for a sticky August evening. I don’t use a prized single malt or rare bourbon, but rather a good-quality, high-intensity blend. Be sure to find whiskeys in which the toast and woodiness are balanced by the fruity sweetness of malt or grain. Two-parts soda to one-part whiskey is just the right ratio to hit the spot and ensure you last longer in the evening.

Ingredients

60ml Scotch
Club soda, chilled, to top
A sprig of rosemary
Garnish: lemon twist (optional)

Method

Add the Scotch to a highball glass filled with ice.

Top with club soda and stir briefly to combine.

Garnish with an optional lemon twist.

Naughty Toddy 

Most toddy lovers swear by their rum and cinnamon toddy that’s known for stimulating the senses with its vivid aroma and distinguished flavour. One of the easiest cocktails to recreate, toddy happens to be that reliable companion to keep you warm on winter evenings. So here’s a trusty variant that uses an eclectic mix of whisky, honey, lemon juice and water that just hits the spot.

Some are quick to spot similarities between the toddy and tea, particularly the fact that both require to be brought to a boil and can be elevated by simmering the contents with a smattering of spices for extra punch. While this may be true, the toddy serves a delectable blend that allows a range of flavours and aromas to surface on the palate without shadowing the spirit being mixed with it. Those opting for this whisky toddy have a range of options to play with. Bourbon delivers a smooth and tasty drink while Irish whiskies are equally sharp and full-bodied while using Scotch can open the drink to a range of flavour possibilities.

A hot cocktail may not subscribe to the needs of those accustomed to conventional cocktails. But this toddy is surely one that soothes, comforts and offers just the right amount of warmth for a winter evening. 

Ingredients

30ml bourbon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon mild honey
One-fourth cup water

Method

Pour honey, lemon juice and bourbon into a mug and top it off with boiling water.

Add honey for taste and garnish with a lemon wedge.

Applejack Dreamer

Those who love apple-flavoured cocktails such as the Appletini may be acquainted with exactly what to expect from such a drink. But this vodka cocktail that also packs a dash of whisky is a wicked concoction that bursts with flavour that’s quite unique and distinguished. Some may argue that a cocktail with whisky and vodka may be rather overwhelming and can be rather complex on the palate. But this apple-flavoured drink also includes apple schnapps and apple juice to take the edge off and the blend of flavours is cumulatively refreshing. The dash of cinnamon to finish gives this drink a particularly festive edge and we highly recommend this one for those who prefer spicy cocktails. 

Ingredients

30ml vodka
10ml Blended Scotch Whisky
10ml apple schnapps
10ml dry vermouth
100ml apple juice
Sugar syrup
A dash of cinnamon (ground)

Method

Shake all the above-mentioned ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.

Strain the contents into a glass, garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and serve immediately.

As always, remember to enjoy responsibly!