Cocktails

The Best Whiskey Cocktails

You don’t need to sip your whiskey neat or on the rocks to fully appreciate its rich flavors and aromas. Here are the best whiskey — and whisky — cocktails.

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The Golden Hour is a refreshing whiskey cocktail with bright citrus notes.

Whiskey is an incredibly versatile spirit that’s known for its robust flavor profile. It is frequently enjoyed neat or on the rocks, especially for long-aged and expensive bottles of whiskey, but it’s also a lovely spirit for cocktails. Depending on the country in which it is produced, the spirit is spelled either “whiskey” or “whisky.” Irish, American, and sometimes Mexican whiskeys retain the “e” in “whiskey,” while we use “whisky” when the spirit originates from other countries, most notably Scotland. This distinction accounts for the long history of whiskey tradition and the nuances in distillation methods across the globe.

Whether you want to explore different whiskeys or exercise your mixology skills, we’ve rounded up our favorite whiskey cocktails so you can deepen your appreciation of the bold spirit. Since whiskey is so multifaceted, you can enjoy these cocktails seasonally or year-round.

The Best Whiskey Cocktails

The Macallan Sour

Whiskey cocktails: The Macallan Sour

This cocktail balances the rich notes of Scotch whisky with the tartness of lemon juice. It incorporates The Macallan’s Double Cask 15 Years Old whisky, showcasing rich flavors of warm spices and vanilla. To make the Macallan Sour, add all the ingredients except the sherry to an ice-filled shaker. Shake then strain over ice into a glass. Then, use a bar spoon to slowly layer the sherry over the top of the cocktail.

Ingredients

1½ oz The Macallan Double Cask 15 Years Old Whisky
¾ oz lemon juice
⅓ oz brown sugar syrup
1 oz egg white
Oloroso sherry

The Jubilee Fizz 

Whiskey cocktails: The Jubilee Fizz 

The rich flavors of whisky mixed with the bubbles of Champagne make for the perfect celebratory cocktail. This recipe has delicate notes of British elderflower, lemon, and peach. It’s lovely to enjoy in the springtime or when you’re craving a fruity mixed drink. To make this cocktail, combine all the ingredients except the Champagne in a shaker. Add a pinch of lemon zest to the shaker. Shake well with ice, strain into a Champagne glass, then top with Champagne.  

Ingredients

1 oz Royal Salute 21-Year-Old Signature Blend Whisky
½ oz elderflower cordial
½ oz peach puree
⅙ oz raspberry puree
⅙ oz lemon juice
Dash peach bitters
Lemon zest
3½ oz Perrier-Jouët Champagne

Compass Box Old-Fashioned

Compass Box Old-Fashioned Whiskey cocktails

The Old-Fashioned is one of the most popular and easiest whisky cocktails to make. It is sweet but balanced, the bitterness pulling out the deep notes of whisky. To make this recipe, gently muddle the brown sugar with the orange bitters in a cocktail shaker. Transfer the mixture to a glass and add the whisky and ice. Stir with a bar spoon and garnish with an orange peel and a Luxardo maraschino cherry

Ingredients

1½ tsp brown sugar
2 dashes orange bitters
2 oz Compass Box Artist Blend Whisky
Orange peel and Luxardo maraschino cherry for garnish

Smoked Black Cherry Smash

Smoked Black Cherry Smash Whiskey cocktails

This cocktail is fresh and fruity, a beautiful harmony of cherries, lemon, and mint. To make this drink, prepare the smoked black cherry cubes in advance. Smoke water, add cherries, and then freeze it into ice cubes. If you don’t have a smoker, you can skip the first step and freeze regular ice cubes with cherries inside. Finally, add all the ingredients to a shaker and shake until the smoked black cherry cube is slightly melted. Double-strain the mixture into a glass and garnish with an orange peel, a Luxardo maraschino cherry, and a sprig of mint.

Ingredients

1 smoked black cherry cube
1 ½ oz Hirsch Horizon Straight Bourbon Whiskey
½ oz Suze
¾ oz lemon juice
¼ oz simple syrup
1 oz South African rooibos cream orange tea
Orange peel, Luxardo maraschino cherry, and mint for garnish

Hint of Spring Sour 

Hint of Spring Sour 

The buttery and mild citrus flavor of d’Anjou pears blends well with the spiciness of Westland American Single Malt. To make this fresh rendition of a Whiskey Sour, you’ll first need to halve the pears and remove the seeds. Then, dice the pears and add to a shaker with the whiskey, vermouth, and lemon juice. Fill the shaker with ice and shake. Double-strain into a glass and pour the mixture back into the shaker with brown sugar and salt. Shake vigorously and double-strain over ice. Garnish with a pear slice that’s dusted with cinnamon and sugar.

Ingredients

1 d’Aanjou pear
2 oz Westland American Single Malt Whiskey
¾ oz Buona Notte Tramonto Vermouth
¾ oz lemon juice
1½ tsp brown sugar
Pinch salt
Cinnamon and sugar for garnish

Woodford Porch Swing

Woodford Porch Swing

If you’re a fan of iced tea, then the Woodford Porch Swing is for you. This refreshing drink is easy to make and requires few ingredients. Just combine all the ingredients in a tall glass and stir with a bar spoon. You can garnish this cocktail with either a lemon wheel or a slice of peach.

Ingredients

1½ oz Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey
¾ oz lemon juice
½ oz honey
6 oz iced peach tea
Lemon wheel or peach slice for garnish

GlenDronach Rob Roy

GlenDronach Rob Roy

Rob Roy is another classic whisky cocktail that plays on the floral notes in vermouth. It is similar to a Manhattan, but it’s made exclusively with Scotch whisky. To make this cocktail, combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir with a bar spoon. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a cherry.

Ingredients

1 oz GlenDronach Original, Aged 12 Years, Whisky
½ oz sweet vermouth
1 dash angostura bitters
Cherry for garnish

Whiskey Passion

Whiskey Passion

The Whiskey Passion is a delightful cocktail with a tropical edge, crafted by the renowned Chicago-based mixologist Ricky Alvarado. To make this delicious drink, you’ll first need to prepare the passion fruit and vanilla syrups. It’s easy enough: Combine the passion fruit concentrate with the simple syrup in a glass. Then, in a separate dish, mix the vanilla extract with simple syrup. Once you’ve prepared your syrups, add all your ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and then strain into a glass with ice. Finally, garnish with a fresh or dehydrated lemon wheel and rosemary sprig.

Ingredients

1½ oz rye whiskey
¾ oz grapefruit juice
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
¼ oz passion fruit syrup
¼ oz vanilla syrup
Fresh or dehydrated lemon wheel and rosemary sprig for garnish

For the passion fruit syrup:
1 tsp Perfect Purée Passion Fruit Concentrate
1 tsp simple syrup

For the vanilla syrup:
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp simple syrup

Ardbeg Smoky Cosmo

Ardbeg Smoky Cosmo

A Cosmopolitan, or “Cosmo,” is a cocktail that’s traditionally made with vodka. Instead, this recipe showcases the smokey quality of Ardbeg Ten Years Old whisky. It is perfect for someone looking to take their Cosmo to the next level. Just add the whisky and all the liquid ingredients to a shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe glass. To really elevate your cocktail, layer cranberries on a skewer for garnish.

Ingredients

1½ oz Ardbeg Ten Years Old Whisky
½ oz lime juice
1 oz white cranberry juice
½ oz elderflower liqueur (like St‑Germain)
¼ oz simple syrup
Cranberries for garnish

The Macallan Exceptionally Extracted

The Macallan Exceptionally Extracted

Whiskey and coffee are a wonderful pair because of their rich, aromatic profiles. This recipe by The Macallan is perfect for coffee lovers or anyone who enjoys cocktails with an extra kick. First, add all the ingredients to a mixing glass with cubed ice and stir. Second, strain the mixture into a chilled glass. Garnish with orange zest and enjoy. 

Ingredients

1¾ oz The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old Whisky
¾ coffee bean-infused sweet vermouth
½ tsp coffee liqueur
15 dark roast Arabica coffee beans
Orange zest for garnish

Toki Highball

Toki Highball

A Whiskey Highball is a combination of whiskey, club soda, and citrus. The simplicity of this cocktail allows the complex flavors of whiskey to shine through, creating a similar experience to that of drinking whiskey neat or on the rocks. To make this recipe by Toki, a Japanese whisky with a sweet and spicy finish, just add all the ingredients to a tall glass and stir with a bar spoon. For garnish, add a grapefruit wheel or lemon peel. 

Ingredients

1 ½ oz Toki blended Japanese Whisky
3 oz premium soda water
Grapefruit wheel or lemon peel for garnish

Golden Hour

Golden Hour

What better way is there to bask in the sunset than with a whiskey cocktail in-hand? To make the Golden Hour cocktail, simply combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir thoroughly and strain into a chilled glass over a large ice cube. Garnish with a grapefruit peel. 

Ingredients
1 oz Basil Hayden Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
¾ oz Lillet Blanc
¾ oz Aperol Aperitif
Grapefruit peel for garnish

The Glenlivet French 75

The Glenlivet French 75

A French 75 is traditionally made with gin, but this recipe uses the Glenlivet 14-Year-Old whisky instead. This cocktail is bright and sweet, highlighting the whisky’s fruity and floral notes. To make this drink, pour the whisky, lemon juice, and honey syrup into a chilled flute. Then, top with Champagne and stir. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Ingredients

1 oz The Glenlivet 14-Year-Old Whisky
2 oz fresh lemon juice
¼ oz honey syrup
¼ oz GH Mumm Champagne
Lemon twist for garnish

Ginger Lemon Old-Fashioned

Ginger Lemon Old-Fashioned

The ginger element in this version of an old-fashioned nicely accentuates the spiciness of Glenmorangie Lasanta whisky. To make this cocktail, pour all the ingredients and ice into a mixing glass and stir. Strain the mixture into a chilled rocks glass that is filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Ingredients

1½ oz Glenmorangie Lasanta Whisky
¼ oz sweet vermouth
⅙ oz gingerbread syrup
2 dashes burlesque bitters
1 dash lemon bitters
Lemon twist for garnish

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