11 Underrated Whiskey Cocktails
You should Know
It’s a fact of life, you can’t go wrong with a whiskey cocktail. Of course there are some whiskey cocktails that are well known and essential to try such as the Manhattan. Whiskey Sour, Old Fashioned, and Mint Julep.
Whether you’re into Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, or Rye, everyone has a favorite go to classic whiskey cocktail that any bartender can make without batting an eye, but have you ever asked yourself ‘what other whiskey cocktails are out there?”
Turns out, there’s a lot more out there! There are some fantastic whiskey cocktail drinks that, while they may not be as popular or as well known, are just as tasty and worth a try.
Who knows, one of these may become your new favorite drink, even if no one knows what you just ordered.
Related: How is Bourbon Made?
If you are ready to take your whiskey cocktail game to the next level and want to experiment with a few different drinks, use this list of the underrated whiskey cocktails you should know as your guide!
This highball drink uses rye whiskey, along with ginger beer, bitters, and lemon juice. It’s kind of like a whiskey mule (or Moscow Mule), and you’ve probably never heard of it unless you’ve lived in the Middle of the United States. It’s a refreshing summer drink that will definitely quench your thirst.
1.5 ounces whiskey or blended whiskey
4.0 ounces ginger beer
3 dashes Angostura bitters
squirt of lemon juice
Fill a highball glass 3/4 with ice. Pour in ingredients and stir.
Some cocktails don’t make a lot of sense on paper, until you try them for yourself. The Bone is one of those cocktails, and it’s one of the underrated whiskey cocktails you should know. The lime juice and tabasco sauce really give this drink a kick. Use bourbon or rye whiskey for this recipe.
2 ounces whiskey
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon simple syrup
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Strain into a tall shot glass or a rock glass and serve.
This sophisticated whiskey cocktail one of the underrated whiskey cocktails you should know. Don’t confuse it with a Godfather cocktail, inspired by the Mario Puzo films, which doesn’t contain any whiskey.
1 ounce Bourbon whiskey
1 ounce Applejack
1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a Cocktail Glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
3:10 to Yuzu
This Asian inspired whiskey drink is recommended by the bartender at High West Distillery. The sour yuzu, an exotic citrus cultivated in Japan, lets the whiskey shine in one of the underrated whiskey cocktails you should know.
Related: Best Whiskey Cocktails for Summer
The drink uses some interesting ingredients like green tea syrup and tamari (Japanese soy sauce) for a sweet, salty, and sour combo.
1 ounce Rendezvous Rye
1 ounce Yamazaki 12 Year Old Whisky
0.5 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
0.75 ounce Green Tea Syrup
2 Drops of Tamari
Star Anise Garnish
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Double strain over 1×1 ice in an old fashioned glass. Add star anise garnish.
The Diamondback (Original Cocktail Lounge)
This cocktail originally developed at the Diamondback Lounge in Maryland, and was made with yellow Chartreuse. This liqueur combines over 130 herbs, plants, and flowers, so to call it complex is an understatement.
While it is more common to see the Diamondback made with green Chartreuse, which carries higher alcohol content, the yellow version is sweeter and milder. Give both versions of these underrated whiskey cocktails you should know a try to see which you like best.
1½ ounce rye whiskey
¾ ounce applejack
¾ ounce yellow Chartreuse
Shake all ingredients with ice until cold; strain over ice in a rocks glass, garnish with mint.
A hot toddy is pretty common place, especially around the holidays, but this cold version is perfect as a summer BBQ cocktail. This cocktail is one of the underrated whiskey cocktails you should know, easy to prepare, and you can enjoy before dinner or as a digestif.
2 ounces of rye whiskey
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 ounce cold water
Shake all ingredients with ice until cold; strain over ice in a rocks glass, garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Espresso Old Fashioned
This recipe comes courtesy of the Maverick Whiskey Distillery. It’s a warm pick-me-up combining caffeine and alcohol – what can go wrong? Add it to your list of the underrated whiskey cocktails you should know.
1 ounce bourbon or rye whiskey
1 double shot espresso (about 2 ounces), room temperature
.25 ounce simple syrup
A dash of Peychaud’s bitters
1-inch slice of lemon peel
Mix in a shaker with ice. Stir and strain into a lowball glass. Garnish with a twist
Related: The 11 Health Benefits of Whiskey
This is another older cocktail that doesn’t get ordered nearly as often as it should. Maybe because adding egg white to cocktails has gone slightly out of fashion since it first created by the bar of the same name in 1896.
Nonetheless, it is one of the underrated whiskey cocktails you should know. The recipe comes straight out of the 1917 copy of The Ideal Bartender.
1 ounce raspberry syrup
3 ounces dry gin
1.5 ounces French Vermouth
Shake well, strain into cocktail glass and serve.
This red cocktail is for those who like their whiskey sweet and spicy. While some versions use a jalapeno, the chili just looks so much more threatening sitting as a garnish on the side of the glass.
The blood orange will balance most of that heat, but this one of the underrated whiskey cocktails you should know certainly looks ominous.
2.0 ounces whiskey
0.75 ounces agave or honey syrup
4 ounces blood orange juice
1/2 small chili
blood orange slice (garnish)
In a cocktail shaker add ice, whiskey, agave syrup, blood orange juice and chopped up chili. Shake and strain into a rocks glass full of ice with the chili and seeds strained out. Garnish with blood orange slice and chili.
Sage Brown Derby
The sage leaf in this cocktail gives it an earthy, peppery taste, and combined with the bitters this cocktail gives off strong holiday vibes. Add it to your list of winter seasonal cocktails, and impress your guests with the underrated whiskey cocktails you should know.
Rub the sage leaf together between your fingers to release the fragrant oils. If you aren’t a fan of agave, sub in some honey instead.
2 ounces rye whiskey
1 ounces fresh red or pink grapefruit juice
1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
1/4 ounces agave syrup
2 dashes of bitters
Shake in an iced cocktail shaker and strain into a cocktail glass. Float the sage leaf on top of cocktail.
This drink dates back to the 1920s, features in Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails, and was served in the New York Bar in Paris. Though this drink has faded into obscurity, it is an excellent way to enjoy rye whiskey. It tops our list of the underrated whiskey cocktails you should know.
1 ounce rye whiskey
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce dry vermouth
Garnish: lemon twist
Add the rye whiskey, Campari and dry vermouth into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Which of these 11 underrated whiskey cocktails, are you going to check out first?
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of them and working your way through the list super great excuse to drink some whiskey!