With notes of vanilla, maple, and even caramel, whiskey is the perfect spirit for those with a sweet tooth. With such a warm flavor profile, it's also great for making a medley of fall-friendly cocktails. However, we're happy to enjoy a creative whiskey-based libation any time of the year. What we love most is that it has such a robust taste, eliminating the need for a ton of ingredients in a great cocktail.
We've consulted our favorite food bloggers to compile a list of our ten favorite whiskey-based cocktails, from several twists on the classic whiskey sour to adult hot chocolate, to Irish coffee. Keep reading to find your new go-to easy whiskey cocktail.
The Recipe: BLT Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: You won't find tonic in too many whiskey cocktails, but it works wonders in the BLT because it helps cut the whiskey. Plus, the lemon adds just the right amount of acidity.
Why We Love It: Sometimes you're in the mood for a cocktail, but you can't make it at home because the one you're pining for uses ingredients you probably don't have lying around. For instance, we love a good margarita, but we rarely have fresh limes ready to go.
The BLT, on the other hand, requires only three fairly common ingredients, making it the perfect drink for whenever. It's made with bourbon, tonic water, and lemon juice. Yes, that's it!
Spiced Apple Cider Whisky Sour
The Recipe: Spiced Apple Cider Whisky Sour
The Hero Ingredient: One of the easiest ways to add serious "wow" to your cocktail is with your own flavored simple syrup. What makes this spiced apple cider whiskey sour so delicious is the rich, homemade cinnamon simple syrup.
We won't judge if you go the store-bought route, but using freshly squeezed apple cider adds a certain richness that can't be mimicked.
Why We Love It: Apple cider-based cocktails are fairly common in the fall and winter, but this particular cocktail ups the ante with unique ingredients like cinnamon simple syrup and orange bitters.
Maple Whiskey Sour
The Recipe: Maple Whiskey Sour
The Hero Ingredient: Your standard whiskey sour isn't a particularly revolutionary drink, but the addition of maple syrup in this one will have you coming back for seconds.
Why We Love It: It's our belief that maple syrup makes everything better, and this frothy whiskey sour is no exception. It loses its thickness and stickiness when it comes into contact with the other ingredients, but keeps its unmistakable flavor in all the best ways.
Adult Hot Chocolate
The Recipe: Adult Hot Chocolate
The Hero Ingredient: Frangelico adds just a touch of rich hazelnut flavor. It's totally unexpected but much-welcomed.
Why We Love It: We could easily cut down on prep time courtesy of pre-made hot chocolate packets, but we're into this cocktail because it calls for whole milk, dark chocolate, and vanilla bean, making it extremely decadent. It may as well replace dessert.
The Recipe: Irish Coffee
The Hero Ingredient: Freshly-ground nutmeg makes this easy-to-make cocktail feel a little bit more festive—not to mention, rich in flavor.
Why We Love It: There are few cocktails we're willing to try warmer than room temperature, but this Irish coffee is best enjoyed piping hot. The combination of ingredients (coffee, Irish whiskey, and turbinado sugar) work together in the heat in a way we don't entirely understand but are happy to enjoy.
Winter Spiced Old Fashioned
The Recipe: Winter Spiced Old Fashioned
The Hero Ingredient: Muddled cherry and orange give this old fashioned a welcome pop of fruity flavor.
Why We Love It: We consider the classic old fashioned to be one of the more sophisticated cocktails on the market, but this version totally outshines the original. Made with cardamom pods, star anise, and cinnamon sticks, how could anyone refuse this upscale sip?
Plus, the recipe yields four servings, making this an excellent pick for entertaining if you're in a pinch. We promise it will be a crowd favorite.
Spiced Cranberry Pear Bourbon Cocktail
The Recipe: Spiced Cranberry Pear Bourbon Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: Spiced pear liqueur isn't commonly used in cocktails, but it works well in this one because it mellows out the whiskey.
Why We Love It: Of course, there's more to a great cocktail than how it looks, but this one is especially beautiful to the eye. We have a feeling the richly-hued cranberries have something to do with that.
Cook the cranberries until they're tender, but haven't burst. This way, they're still full of flavor.
Orange-Infused Whiskey Ginger
The Recipe: Orange-Infused Whiskey Ginger
The Hero Ingredient: An easy-to-make, homemade ginger juice gives this cocktail just the right amount of kick.
Why We Love It: Though garnish is usually optional, we're going to say it's necessary on this drink. The mint adds a delicious crispness to the already slightly spicy cocktail.
Cinnamon Cider Whiskey Sour
The Recipe: Cinnamon Cider Whiskey Sour
The Hero Ingredient: Cinnamon is a staple in a number of delicious cocktails, and this one is no different, given that the apple cider is heated with cinnamon sticks for optimal flavor.
Why We Love It: Boozy apple cider and whiskey sours are two drinks that are so many people's favorite drinks, and this cocktail offers the best of both. It uses all of our favorite ingredients: apple cider, cinnamon, lemon juice, and maple syrup.
Fig Bourbon Cider Smash
The Recipe: Fig Bourbon Cider Smash
The Hero Ingredient: Figs can prove somewhat tricky to work with when used in cocktails, but fig preserves are a different story: It's excellent way to add the flavor without all the mess.
Why We Love It: This drink puts a unique spin on a traditional glass of bubbly that makes us feel like we're celebrating. Even if there's no occasion, we'll take a round (or two) of this festive sip.