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Classic Whisky Cocktails

by Gavin D Smith, 06/08

There is still a perception that whisky is really a drink for those long winter evenings by the fireside, to be consumed either neat or with a little water. However, whisky is actually one of the most versatile spirits in the world and makes an excellent base for long, summer drinks. Here are four of whisky-pages' favourites:


A truly classic cocktail, with its origins in New York, a recipe for the Manhattan first appeared in Harry Johnson's 1882 Bartenders' Manual. Take one measure of rye whiskey or Bourbon, half a measure of dry vermouth, half a measure of sweet vermouth and a dash of angustora bitters. Stir, strain into a cocktail glass and serve with a cocktail cherry.

Mint Julep

A signature whiskey drink of the American south. Muddle four fresh mint sprigs with a teaspoon of sugar and either a little soda or water in a tall glass, then add crushed ice and at least two ounces of Bourbon. Garnish with mint.


Traditionalists specify rye whiskey as the base for an old-fashioned, though many drinkers now favour Bourbon or even Scotch whisky.

Muddle one teaspoon of sugar, six dashes of angustora bitters, a dash of soda, one slice of orange and one cherry in an old-fashioned cocktail glass. Remove the orange rind, add two ounces of whiskey, ice and another dash of soda. Garnish with a cherry and a second slice of orange.

Whisky Sour

Shake together one and a half ounces of whisky, the juice of half a lemon and half a teaspoon of sugar. Serve over ice and with a dash of soda water in an old-fashioned cocktail glass. Bourbon or rye may be substituted for Scotch, giving a Whiskey Sour.

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