10 Whiskey Drinks
to make at home
A well-balanced whiskey cocktail is a thing of beauty. While many lesser cocktails exist to hide the taste of the spirit, whiskey cocktails are enhanced by the robust, intricate flavors found in even bottom-shelf whiskeys.
From sweet to sour to spicy to smoky to bitter to savory and everything in-between, a whiskey drink can run the gamut of flavors and invigorate the palate in countless ways—a veritable feast for the senses!
Whether you’re hosting a whiskey tasting or bachelor party or just treating yourself to something special after a long day, it pays to have a solid repertoire of whiskey drink recipes in mind and ready to put into action whenever the notion should arise.
Shaken or stirred? We’ve provided the recipes—it’s up to you to decide how you want to mix them. Here are ten stellar whiskey drinks anyone can make with ease.
The classic whiskey sour is deliciously sweet and tart, yet it still allows the whiskey’s flavors to show. It’s a great choice for beginner whiskey drinkers, as the flavor profile isn’t quite as mature as others on the menu.
Related: How is Bourbon Made?
That said, a well-made whiskey sour is a wonderful choice, especially on a hot summer day. Nailing the balance is crucial, so measure with care!
- 1 ounces bourbon whiskey
- ¾ ounce lemon juice (fresh)
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
- 1 maraschino cherry for garnish
- ½ orange wheel for garnish
A tried-and-true potion for nipping a hangover in the bud, Irish coffee combines two of the finest beverages into one powerful concoction.
There are many different variations out there, so have some fun experimenting with ingredients to find the perfect Irish coffee. Here’s a simple yet highly effective recipe to get you started.
- 1 cup of your preferred brand of freshly brewed coffee
- 1 jigger of your favorite Irish whiskey
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- Whipped heavy cream to top
Aptly named, the iconic old-fashioned cocktail conjures nostalgic visions of simpler times. A mixed drink that has remained a menu staple for over two centuries and going strong, this cocktail is perfect for contemplative rainy afternoons with a good book, or anytime you just feel like enjoying something nice.
There are plenty of variations on the old-fashioned, so try playing with different brands and styles of bourbon whiskey (and bitters), or you could even use rye whiskey for some added spice.
- 2 ounces bourbon whiskey
- 3 dashes bitters
- 1 teaspoon water
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- Orange peel for garnish
The whiskey counterpart to gin’s martini, the Manhattan is the epitome of class. It works great with many styles of whiskey, especially rye whiskey, bourbon whiskey, and Canadian whisky, or you could even try experimenting with custom whiskeys to create your own one-of-a-kind Manhattan recipe.
Related: Best Whiskey Cocktails for Summer
Besides being a fine drink in its own right, the Manhattan is a fantastic option for taste-testing a new brand.
- 2 ounces whiskey
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 dash orange bitters
- Brandied cherry for garnish
One of the easiest DIY mixed drinks, you can never go wrong with a simple highball. While it’s made with just two ingredients — whiskey and ginger ale — the highball is a far cry from your typical soda-plus-liquor combo.
The two combine and morph into something truly miraculous. Try adding or making it with ginger beer for some extra bite.
- 2 ounces whiskey
- 4 to 6 ounces ginger ale
Named after the Lynchburg, Tennessee where Jack Daniel’s is made, the Lynchburg lemonade is the ultimate summertime drink. It’s perfect for cookouts or sipping by the pool.
While you can make an approximation of a Lynchburg lemonade by simply combining lemonade and Tennessee whiskey (or even bourbon in a pinch), it’s worth following the proper recipe to get that legendary smoky-sweet flavor.
- 1 ½ Tennessee whiskey
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1 ounce triple sec
- 4 ounces lemon-lime soda
- Lemon slices to garnish
While Scotch whisky is typically savored as-is, often alongside a fine cigar, it can make a mean cocktail if you play your cards right. The rusty nail is made with traditional Scotch whiskey combined with a liqueur made from Scotch whisky, heather honey, herbs, and spices, so purists can rest easy, as this cocktail is essentially still straight whisky.
Related: The 11 Health Benefits of Whiskey
Add a twist of Heering cherry liqueur to turn it into a rusty compass.
- 1 ½ ounces Scotch whisky
- ¾ ounce Drambuie
A delightful choice to accompany brunch with friends, the whiskey cobbler is like a sangria, only made with whiskey. This is a powerful concoction, so proceed with caution! You can add extra club soda to lighten the alcohol content, or on the other side of the coin, you can add less to amp it up!
This mixed drink also works great with brandy. This recipe is for one, but you can make it in batches and serve in a pitcher if you’re having guests.
- 3 ounces whiskey (or brandy)
- 1-2 ounces club soda to taste
- ½ to 1 ounce simple syrup to taste
- Seasonal fruits cut into chunks
- Citrus slices to garnish
Few would expect to see whiskey paired with pineapple juice, but the Algonquin shows that it’s not just possible, but downright delicious. A fun, tropical twist on a whiskey martini or Manhattan, the Algonquin is easy to make, but the sum is greater than its parts.
This one is great for kicking back and sipping on a hot day, so don’t forget the ice.
- 1 ½ ounces rye whiskey
- ¾ ounce dry vermouth
- ¾ ounce pineapple juice
The Possibilities Are Endless
These ten cocktails to make at home will get you started, but they’re really just the tip of the iceberg. Whiskey is surprisingly versatile — it just needs a little more care and know-how to make something that really works.
Try adding or subtracting ingredients to make your own variations. Playing bartender at home can be a rewarding hobby, and you might even come up with your own signature cocktail.
Cheers and Stay Gold.