How to drink whiskey properly

Whiskey is a drink that can be enjoyed by many, from the old man sitting at the bar to the college student downing shots with their friends. However, there's one thing that everyone should know before drinking whiskey: how to

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Video How to drink whiskey properly

How do you have to drink whisky?

There isn’t any set technique to drink whisky, it must be loved nevertheless you prefer it finest. Purists will say that it ought to all the time be drunk neat, with out ice or mixers. However, including a few drops of water could make it smoother and simpler to drink, and enhances the flavour of some bottles. Pattern the whisky by itself, attempt it with a splash of water and see what you uncover.

There isn’t any want for a smoking jacket and an intensive assortment of bottles, simply your favorite bottle and a glass. Consuming whisky is not a contest to see who can title essentially the most obscure flavours they detect, it is so that you can take pleasure in.

Reading: How to drink whiskey properly

Some whiskies are higher suited to cocktail mixing and a few drams are daring sufficient to be loved on their very own, learn the outline for hints and recommendations on how finest to take pleasure in your drink.

Must you add water or ice to whisky?

Attempt each with and with out water. Including a number of drops of water to a whisky will convey out completely different flavours, particularly with increased ABV spirits.

Ice tempers the depth of the whisky and can step by step dilute it, so in case you’re originally of your whisky journey, it is a good technique to begin. Because the ice melts the flavour of the whisky will change as nicely.

If you wish to chill your drink with out diluting the flavour, attempt utilizing whisky stones. The extra whiskies you style, essentially the most your vocabulary will increase and with it your potential to explain each scrumptious side of your drink.

Read more: How long is an opened bottle of water safe to drink

For an in-depth examination of geographical influences of the spirit, take a look at our information whisky or whiskey: what is the distinction? Able to get to the tasting? Seize your whisky glass and pour your self a measure of marvellous malt.

How to style whisky


Begin with the fundamentals, what does it appear like within the glass? When you can, take a look at the whisky with a plain white background as it will reveal the colors clearly.

Is it a deep golden color or as mild as a white wine? This might probably provide you with a sign of the age of it, typically older whiskies could have a deeper color absorbed from the barrels they had been aged in. This may also point out if any synthetic colors have been used, e.g. if a whisky is 3 years outdated however has a darkish russet color, some components might need been used.


Give your whisky a sniff earlier than tasting. Our prime tasting tip? Maintain your mouth barely open once you breathe in, you may really feel a bit daft however you will get a greater concept of the aroma by opening up your palate. Do not breathe in too deeply too near the glass, all you will get is alcohol burn and a sore nostril. Youthful whiskies are inclined to have a punchier alcohol scent, and be careful earlier than you are taking a lungful of upper ABVs and cask-strength whiskies.

You might need a bottle with tasting notes, these could be helpful, however give your personal description a go first earlier than studying. When you’re not getting notes of burned rubber and rice pudding as described on the bottle, don’t be concerned. You may get a basic profile, e.g. if it is a peaty whisky you will decide up hints of smoke. Utilizing a flavour wheel could be actually useful in serving to you determine the completely different aromas.


Take a small sip, swirl it round your mouth earlier than swallowing and take into account what your tastebuds can decide up. It may be as broad as a whiff of floral notes, or as particular as chocolate digestive biscuits or a sherbet lemon candy. It would take a few sips on your palate to regulate and detect completely different nuances. Some whiskies style utterly completely different to the way in which they scent, they may shock you!

You might need heard the time period ‘mouthfeel’ earlier than, this refers, surprisingly, to the texture of the spirit in your mouth, separate from the style. You may discover an oily, viscous consistency, it may be refreshing and lightweight, or sizzling and drying. Everybody has completely different tastebuds and one thing strikingly apparent to you may not be to the particular person ingesting subsequent to you.

Read more: How to steep tea leaves

After your first style, you may wish to attempt including a number of drops of water to your whisky to additional open up the flavours. Make sure you add the water slowly, drop by drop, to keep away from drowning your drink. How a lot you add is completely down to non-public choice.


The lingering style left on the palate as soon as you’ve got swallowed your mouthful of whisky known as the end. You may discover the flavours altering or decide up tastes that weren’t as apparent at first sip. The longer the flavours stay, the longer the end. Usually talking, the longer the end, the extra advanced the whisky.

Each whisky has a starting, center and finish, and every stage brings completely different flavours to the fore. Most necessary of all when tasting whisky is to take your time. It is a spirit to be sipped and savoured.

Whisky cocktails to attempt

Conventional whisky cocktails will use substances that convey out the traits of the whisky, e.g. ginger, orange and citrus flavours typically work nicely with this malty spirit. Let the spirit shine with a easy quaint cocktail, add a number of dashes of natural Angostura bitters, soda water and a slice of orange. Combine up a silky clean whiskey bitter with contemporary lemon juice and the important thing ingredient, egg white. Experiment with a peppery rye whisky and check out our candy manhattan cocktail, merely stir and serve.

Try our whisky cocktail recipes for extra creative serves, from twists on a traditional whisky highball to a sensational sazerac.

Learn extra with our knowledgeable guides…

Our greatest ever whisky cocktail recipesWhat is brandy and tips on how to drink itThe finest pisco – prime bottles to purchase within the UKHow to pair wine with meals

What’s your favorite technique to take pleasure in whisky? Go away a remark beneath…

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