Whiskey is a flavorful liquor bursting with rich hints of oak, caramel, and even coffee, making it perfect for mixing with lighter ingredients like citrus and cider. If you're not a connoisseur, the difference between whiskey, Scotch, and bourbon might seem confusing, but it's really quite simple: Scotch is a type of whiskey distilled in Scotland, and bourbon is another variety that hails from Kentucky.
In addition to classics like the Old Fashioned, negroni, and mint julep, there are a variety of whiskey cocktails perfect for any occasion. For instance, a whiskey lemonade is lovely on a warm spring day and a rosé bourbon cocktail will give your usual brunch fare a run for its money. Take a look through these 10 whiskey cocktails to prepare for your next gathering.
The Cocktail: Whiskey Lemonade
The Hero Ingredient: Honey. Use this ingredient to make a smooth, naturally sweet simple syrup. It helps with flavor and keeps a hangover at bay.
The Pro Tip: This recipe is entirely customizable. Put your own signature twist on it by steeping the simple syrup with your favorite herb. Try basil, rosemary, lavender, or mint to complement the honey.
Smoked Whiskey Apple Cider Cocktail
The Cocktail: Smoked Whiskey Apple Cider Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: Fuji apple slices give this drink all the right flavors and will make any day feel like fall no matter the time of year. They also make a beautiful garnish for the finished product.
The Pro Tip: Make a big batch of this cocktail ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator to pull out just before you're ready to indulge.
Rose + Rosé Bourbon Cocktail
The Cocktail: Rose + Rosé Bourbon Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: A play on the classic combination of whiskey and citrus signature to the old fashioned, this cocktail calls for rosé, making it truly original. It mixes with sparkling water to lighten up the combination of whiskey and grapefruit juice.
The Pro Tip: For a less acidic drink, use small pieces of the grapefruit peel instead of slices to garnish. This will give you all of the flavors without the added acidity.
Orange-Infused Whiskey Ginger
The Cocktail: Orange-Infused Whiskey Ginger
The Hero Ingredient: Orange. The citrus fruit sets up the flavors that create this timeless cocktail. Use a peel to infuse the concoction with bright flavors and fragrances.
The Pro Tip: You can make your own ginger juice by blending chopped fresh ginger and water in a blender or food processor. Plus, when you make it yourself, you can store leftovers to add to smoothies or baked goods later on.
Dublin Appletini Cocktail
The Cocktail: Dublin Appletini Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: Single malt Irish whiskey is necessary to get this drink just right. It's the base of the appletini and blends with sour apple schnapps and cranberry juice to create a tasty beverage.
The Pro Tip: Be sure to fill your martini shaker with fresh ice for the best-tasting cocktail.
Man o' War Cocktail
The Cocktail: Man o' War Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: Kentucky bourbon. Named after one of the greatest racehorses of all time, this drink fittingly uses authentic Kentucky bourbon to honor the Kentucky Derby.
The Pro Tip: If you prefer a tart cocktail, add extra lime to draw out those flavors. On the flip side, if you prefer a sweet drink, add a splash more Cointreau before serving.
The Cocktail: Cinnamon Toddy
The Hero Ingredient: Cinnamon gives this winter hot toddy recipe just the right amount of spice. It's a cozy drink made for a cold evening in.
The Pro Tip: This cocktail just might cure your worst cold symptoms. Honey soothes the throat, cinnamon is chock-full of antioxidants, and citrus lemon juice boasts cold-fighting vitamins.
Winter Bourbon Cider Cocktail
The Cocktail: Winter Bourbon Cider Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: Apple cider is the base of this comfort cocktail. Boil it up with spices and either chill before drinking or add bourbon and citrus straight away to enjoy warm.
The Pro Tip: If you can't find mulling spice, make your own combination of spices from scratch using cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, lemon and orange peels, star anise, cranberries, and cardamom pods.
Bourbon Bomber Cocktail
The Cocktail: Bourbon Bomber Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: Fresh rosemary really gives this spiced cocktail something special. Not only does it add a fresh, fragrant element to the drink, but it acts as a gorgeous garnish to boot.
The Pro Tip: If rosemary is not for you, or you simply don't have any on hand, replace the garnish with a few apple slices to complement the apple cider in the cocktail.
Maple Pumpkin Steamed Almond Milk With Bourbon
The Cocktail: Maple Pumpkin Steamed Almond Milk With Bourbon
The Hero Ingredient: Pure pumpkin makes this dessert drink taste just like pumpkin pie (if pumpkin pie came with a dash of bourbon). Whisk it together with almond milk and spices over the stove before stirring in maple syrup and bourbon.
The Pro Tip: Finish off the whiskey cocktail with a dollop of whipped coconut cream and a cinnamon stick for a real treat.