How to Drink Whisky

“Whisky is liquid sunshine.”
― George Bernard Shaw.

Whisky is a sipping type of drink. Contrary to college days, it should not be taken as a shot. Before you add any ice, water, or any other mix, take a moment to smell the aromas and take a small sip. Enjoy the different taste, the effort, the love and care that was put in to make this magical mixture. Take your time. Don’t rush the process, enjoy it. Once you are familiar with a whisky, you can experiment with various drinking mixture and techniques. The common terms and drinking style are: Neat, On the Rocks, with Water.

How to Find Your Favorite Way to Drink Whisky

Finding your favorite whisky consumption method begins with trial and error. You have to both try different types of whiskies and different ways it is served. Like wine, there are many combinations, different types and different origins. Read out beginner’s guide to whiskies to learn about the origins, types and how it is made. The taste varies especially if you are having different kind of whiskies from Scotch, Bourbon, Rye and depending on the blend each distilleries use. The following ways are methods of whisky consumption.

Whisky Neat

The Modern Day Man - whiskey neat

Asking to be pour a glass of whisky neat means a straight pour by itself. No added ice or mixture, just the whisky and you. The “neat“, “straight-up“, “up” style is popular amongst whiskey enthusiasts because its the purest form of the whisky from the bottle, the way the distillery would want you to have it. If you are having a new whisky for the first time, I recommend drinking it neat first. Adding ice or water lowers the ABV of the whisky and changes its taste (sometime for the better). Taste it as is and if its too strong or you don’t like the current taste, add couple drops of water to change the flavor and strength. How you enjoy the whisky is up to you.

Whisky On the Rocks

The Modern Day Man - On-the-Rocks

Ordering a whisky “On the Rocks” is simply ice with your whisky. Ice chills the liquor and can enhance or detract from the taste.I usually find that it hides the smell of the whiskies. On the Rocks is a well liked way to drink whiskies by many drinkers. The ice is usually made from tap water and full of chlorine helping to mask the flavor of strong whiskies. Ice also melts down as you keep sipping on your whisky and diluting the taste. It is recommend to use large ice cube or ice ball as they melt at a slower pace than small ice cubes. If you prefer to drink your whiskies chilled but not diluted, you can remove the ice with a spoon after the spirit has been chilled.

Whisky With H2O

The Modern Day Man - Whisky with H2O

I loved this Blackadder Raw Cask. Had to add a drop of H2O to make it open it up.

The first time I added a few drops of water, I was surprised by the sudden change of flavor of the whisky. How can adding just a few drop of water change its taste so much? Adding a single or few drops of water opens up the whisky by breaking its surface tension that hold its molecules together. When you break apart the molecules, the process releases small amounts of heat resulting in more fragrance out. Its like adding oxygen to wine, it opens up the flavors and changes the aromas. With the aromas released, you can enjoy and appreciate the whisky even more. Its easy to add drops until you find the flavor profile that suits you but be careful not to add too much and over dilute your whisky. For high-proof whiskies such as this Blackadder Raw Cask, adding water to dilute this 126.8 proof whisky soften the kick of the whisky while letting the flavors come to you. It makes the whole experience better because drinking this whisky straight is like drinking a punch to your mouth! It is hard to enjoy a strong whisky if every sip taste like it will smack you upside down. However, If you find yourself to have added too much water and over-diluted the whisky, simply add more whisky!

Whisky As a Cocktail

The Modern Day Man - Whisky Cocktail

Are you out about with friends at a local bar? Perhaps on a date or just simply enjoying happy hour without the want to get all drunk? Take a sip of a whisky cocktail my friend! Its a perfect way to enjoy whisky with a twist (pun intended)!

“Here’s to alcohol, the rose colored glasses of life.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned

A cocktail follows your mood. How do you feel that day? Do you feel it went like an old-fashioned or was it more of a Manhattan? Perhaps an awful day and you need the Irish Royale or a Japanese Highball? You can have a favorite brand of whiskies and be able to enjoy in many different ways by drinking different cocktails made using that one whisky. Its good to know a few good whisky cocktails you would enjoy for those classic cocktail parties or group gatherings. Holding a cocktail gives you the impression of being more approachable and down to earth as oppose to the fellow with no drinks in his hands.

There are moments for simple whiskies and there are moments for whisky cocktails. The trick is to differentiate the two. Plus there is a fun element of getting a cocktail made just for you, a brand new taste with sugary delight.