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A world of unique, crafted spirits

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Total flexibility, no commitment

A world of unique, crafted spirits

Easy, free and reliable delivery

Total flexibility, no commitment

A world of unique, crafted spirits

Easy, free and reliable delivery

7 of the best whisk(e)y cocktails!

7 of the best whisk(e)y cocktails!

Jan 18, 2024

You might think we are all about gin here at Craft Gin Club HQ, but we love all spirits! In fact, you can find some of the best craft vodkas, rums and whisk(e)ys in the world on the Craft Gin Club online shop right now.

And if whisky is your thing, we highly recommend checking out our Whisky Special Selection taster pack. We worked with the whisky experts at Whisky Magazine to curate five miniature bottles of Scotch whisky, each one as delicious as the next. It is not to be missed!

Whisky tasting set

And you may want to stock up because recently we have been thinking about some of our favourite cocktails with whiskey in them. Of course, we just had to share them with you too…

In this feature, we are taking you through some of the best whiskey cocktails you can make at home today, with a special focus on classic whisk(e)y cocktails that we think every cocktail fan should try (even if gin is your usual spirit of choice!).

What's more, we are adding suggestions for which Scotch whiskies from our Whisky Special Selection taster pack you can swap into each recipe for a delicious Scotch twist, making them perfect for Burns Night (January 25th) and St Andrews Day (November 30th).

Scroll down to reveal them all…

Unique whiskey cockatil ideas

What are popular whiskey cocktails?

The most popular whiskey cocktails are cocktail menu staples like the Old Fashioned (loved by Don Draper in Mad Men), the Whiskey Sour and classics like the Manhatten, the Mint Julep and the Irish Coffee.

In more recent years, previously niche whisk(e)y cocktails like the Boulevardier and the Penicilin have also grown in popularity.

If you haven’t tried any of these cocktails yet then not to worry, you can find the recipes for all of them below.

7 of the best whisky cocktails:

Whiskey Sour
Can be made with any whiskey or whisky

This classic whiskey cocktail was hugely popular in prohibition-era America but dates from well before that - its first known mention is thought to be in an American newspaper called the Waukesha Plain Dealer in 1870.

It is a delicious mix of citrus juice, whiskey, Angostura bitters and simple syrups. The recipe calls for egg white, which gives the cocktail its iconic foam top, but that ingredient can be left out too. Either way, this is one stunning Whiskey Sour recipe.

And if you have treated yourself to the Whisky Special Selection pack from the Craft Gin Club online shop then we recommend giving Torabhaig Allt Gleann Batch Strength Scotch Whisky a try in this recipe!

Whiskey Sour cocktail

50ml whisk(e)y
15ml Simple Syrup
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
1 egg white, optional
30ml lemon juice
Lemon peel, to garnish

Shake all of the ingredients apart from the garnishes without ice and then with ice. Strain into a Rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish, serve and enjoy!

If you are making the cocktail without egg white, simply shake the ingredients with ice once. Without the egg whites, you will not get a thick foam top.

Old Fashioned
Made with Bourbon whiskey

The Old Fashioned is an example of one of the earliest prototypes of what we now call "cocktails".

These early cocktails were made using a spirit, water, bitters and sugar and were thought to have originated in the late 18th Century. From the mid-19th Century onward, cocktails began to grow in complexity however patrons would still ask for drinks in the “old fashioned” style i.e. spirit, water, bitters and sugar.

Even though the old-fashioned style of cocktails could be made with any spirit, it is the whiskey version that took on the name “Old Fashioned”, and it is that very cocktail you can find below. Its mix of bourbon, water, bitters and sugar is simple yet so effective!

The Arbikie Highland Rye Single Grain Scotch Whisky from the Whisky Special Selection Pack is a fantastic Scotch to try in an Old Fashioned and that's not the only cocktail it's great in.

Old Fashioned whiskey cocktail with orange

50ml bourbon whiskey
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp water
3 dashes of Angostura bitters
Orange peel, to garnish

Add the whiskey, water, bitters and sugar to a stirring glass with ice and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Strain into a Rock glass with a large ice cube. Garnish, serve and enjoy!

Made with Rye whiskey

It is said that this now-classic whiskey cocktail recipe was invented at the Manhattan Club in New York in 1880 and the recipe has remained unchanged ever since.

Rye whiskey’s spicer tones are the perfect match for the sweet vermouth and dashes of bitters in this simple yet sophisticated recipe. Served in a Martini glass or coupe and finished with a cherry, it is a wonderfully rich and complex cocktail that every connoisseur should try at least once.

If you want to take things up a notch, why not try this cocktail with Arbikie Highland Rye Single Grain Scotch Whisky from the Whisky Special Selection box? This Scottish rye makes for a delicious ingredient here.

Manhatten whiskey cocktail recipe

50ml rye whiskey
25ml sweet vermouth
3 dashes of Angostura bitters
Cherry, to garnish

Stir the whiskey, vermouth and bitters with ice. Strain into a martini glass or coupe. Garnish, serve and enjoy!

Mint Julep
Made with bourbon whiskey

The signature drink of the Kentucky Derby, this famous whiskey cocktail is synonymous with the American South and was even said to have been sipped as a morning drink by Virginians.

Served in a rocks glass or mule cup, the cocktail is defined by its crushed ice and minty flavour profile, which makes it the most refreshing whiskey cocktail on this list - perfect for balmy summer evenings (or stifling Virginia mornings).

Try Wolfburn Aurora Single Malt Scotch Whisky from the Whisky Special Selection box here for a delicious Scotch twist...

Mint Julep whiskey cocktail recipe

50ml bourbon whiskey
10ml Simple Syrup
A small handful of fresh mint leaves
Fresh mint sprig, to garnish
Two dashes of Angostura bitters, to garnish (optional)

Muddle the mint, whiskey and syrup in the bottom of Rocks or Julep glass. Add crushed ice and stir until the glass is frosted. Add more crushed ice, to top. Garnish, serve and enjoy!

Made with blended and single-malt Scotch whisky

One of the youngest cocktails on this list, the Penicillin was invented at New York’s famed Milk & Honey bar by mixologist Sam Ross in the early 21st Century.

Made with two different types of Scotch whisky, blended and single malt, the Penicillin cocktail is a tapestry of delicious Scotch flavours all elevated by zesty touches of ginger and lemon. One sip and you will be hooked!

Any of the single-malt Scotch whiskies in the Whisky Special Selection box would work perfectly in this recipe.

Penicillin whisky cocktail recipe

50ml blended Scotch whisky
10ml single malt Scotch whisky
15ml ginger liqueur
20ml fresh lemon juice
20ml honey syrup (mix 3 tsp honey with 1 tsp of hot water and leave to cool)
Candied ginger or a slice of lemon peel, to garnish

Add all of the ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a Rocks glass with ice (ideally one big ice cube). Garnish, serve and enjoy!

Irish Coffee
Made with Irish whiskey

The Irish Coffee is synonymous with Jameson’s Irish Whiskey and is the only hot whiskey cocktail on this list.

Invented by Joe Sheridan in the early 1940s at the Foynes Port air base for seaplanes in Limerick, from which many took transatlantic flights, the Irish Coffee is a soul-warming tipple with a creamy top.

Joe was the head chef at the airbase and he would add a shot of Jameson’s to the coffees he would make for travellers. When he moved to San Fransisco, Joe made the drink popular there too.

It’s the perfect hot cocktail for a cold winter’s night. And if you wanted to do a Scotch version, using a whisky from the Whisky Special Selection box, perhaps? We recommend trying Nc’nean Organic Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Irish Coffee whiskey cocktail recipe

50ml Irish whiskey
150ml freshly brewed black coffee
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp lightly whipped double cream

Add the whisky, sugar and coffee to an Irish coffee glass and stir well until the sugar has dissolved. When the coffee and whiskey mixture has settled, hold a teaspoon so the surface is just touching the liquid, with the bottom of the spoon facing up. Slowly pour the cream onto the back of the spoon so it forms a thick layer on top. Serve and enjoy!

Made with bourbon or rye whiskey (Scotch rye works great too!)

Fans of the Negroni, take note. The Boulevardier is a Negroni but with whiskey instead of gin.

This delectable twist on the Negroni was created by Erskine Gwynne in Paris in the 1920s. Gwynne was the publisher of a magazine for expats in Paris called the Boulevardier, which is a word used to describe a wealthy gentleman socialite.

Whereas a Negroni calls for all its ingredients to be poured in equal measure, the Boulevardier calls for slightly more whiskey than Campari and vermouth. This helps the whiskey to stand up to its heady counterparts. It’s a must-try for any cocktail fan, especially if Negronis are your thing.

Arbikie Highland Rye Single Grain Scotch Whisky from the Whisky Special Selection box really shines in this cocktail.

Boulevardier whiskey cocktail recipe

60ml bourbon or rye whiskey
50ml Campari
50ml sweet vermouth
Orange peel, to garnish

Stir the whiskey, Campari and sweet vermouth with ice in a stirring glass. Pour into a rocks glass with a big piece of ice. Garnish, serve and enjoy!

What is best to mix with whiskey?

A very popular mixer for whiskey is Cola.

We recommend trying whiskey, especially Tennessee bourbon, with an artisanal coke like Artisan Drinks Barrel Smoked Cola and a slice of fresh lime for a delicious yet simple whiskey serving suggestion that is sweet but also fragrant, rich and moreish.

Coke can also be swapped with lemonade, ginger beer and soda water depending on the drinker’s preference. All of them make for great whiskey mixers!

2-ingredient whiskey drinks

What is a whiskey and coke cocktail called?

The most common name for a whiskey and cola cocktail is “Jack & Coke” or “JD & Coke”.

This is because Jack Daniels is the most common whiskey to mix with cola. However, the serve is also often simply called “Whiskey & Coke”.

Once you have given that simple serve a go, you are ready to give the popular and easy whiskey cocktail recipes above!

Find even more great cocktail ideas!