Whisky is understandably not to everybody’s taste. Whether you simply don’t enjoy the flavour, or perhaps prefer only to drink it neat, whisky produces surprisingly delicious flavours when blended expertly and has been a favourite of cocktail bars for longer than you may think.
Here are three classics from Prohibition times and beyond that are guaranteed to shine a new light on the virtues of whisky-based drinks..
Way back in the 1800s, a cocktail was defined simply as a spirit, seasoned to taste with sugar, water, and bitters. Over the years, whisky cocktail recipes changed so much that people started asking for their drinkin the ‘Old Fashioned’ way. A new classic was officially christened and, whilst certain subtle changes have been made, is still enjoyed the same way to this day, in its very own glass.
Glass: Old fashioned
How to make the Old Fashioned Whisky Cocktail
Step 1) Fill your Old fashioned glass with ice or put it in the freezer to chill for a bit.
Step 2) Measure your ingredients using the jigger and add them one by one into the mixing glass.
Step 3) Add ice cubes to the mixing glass and stir the drink with your bar spoon for several seconds.
Step 4) Refresh your glass with a large cube of ice. Use a strainer on the mixing glass and pour over ice.
Step 5) Cut the zest of the orange and use to flavour the rim of your glass, before putting the zest directly into the glass.
With a dubious link to blood oranges, legend suggests this beautiful drink is named after Rudolph Valentino’s classic 1920’s bull-fighting movie of the same name. Recorded first in the 1930’s, this whisky cocktail sounds too sweet to work, but when it’s blended right, it works just great.
Glass choice: Nick & Nora
How to make the Blood and Sand Whisky Cocktail
Step 1) Fill your Nick and Nora glass with ice or put it in the freezer to chill for a bit.
Step 2) Measure your ingredients using the jigger and add them one by one into the shaker.
Step 3) Add ice to the shaker and shake the drink for 15 seconds until the shaker gets cold.
Step 4) Remove the ice before using a fine strainer on the shaker and pour into your glass.
Step 5) Flavour the rim of your glass with orange zest then add the zest and a Marashcino cherry, direct into the glass.
Refreshing and whisky in the same sentence? Back in the 19th century this recipe was used for medicinal reasons by farmers across the southern states of the US. Today it remains the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, but why only enjoy it on one day of the year? A wonderfully refreshing drink, the Mint Julep is distinctive as it is, ideally served in a metal Julep cup.
Glass: Julep Cup
How to make the Mint Julep Bourbon Cocktail
Step 1) Add a handful of mint leaves in the Julep Cup. Measure your ingredients using the jigger and add them one by one into the cup. Muddle this together.
Step 2) Add crushed ice to the cup and stir the drink for 15 seconds until the water has started to melt.
Step 3) Top up the drink with more crushed ice.
Step 4) Twist a sprig of mint to release the oils & use to garnish your drink. Best enjoyed with a straw.