Because whiskey parties are the best kind of parties
Alcohol is an unofficial rite of passage for most of us. Some of my friends had their first bitter sip of beer from an uncle or aunt or dad as early as 10 years old. Others had their first taste of diluted wine at the age of 13. Parties began in high school and we all felt very cool to mix soda with any type of cheap liquor we could score (or our parents generously yet carefully provided).
Suffice to say that our taste in alcohol has leveled up since our years of underage drinking. We’ve exchanged local beer for the occasional international brew. Now, we finish bottles of wine instead of a humble glass. But because some things never change, a soda-alcohol mix is still always on the table—except the proportions have evened out, of course.
If you’ve graduated from budget gin to smooth whiskey, here’s to taking one more step at getting a masters in mixology:
Like we said, a soda-alcohol mix is our generation’s classic. And like the rule goes, light + light or dark + dark, so this whiskey cocktail recipe calls for good ol’ fashion Coca Cola. Proportion it to your taste, throw in some ice and get drinking.
The Manhattan Cocktail is a good starting point to the world of whiskey because it isn’t complicated, but it does look expensive and sophisticated. All you have to do is mix in some good rye whiskey with bitters and sweet vermouth—keep the bitters in for aesthetic purposes.
BTW, bitters are ________ and vermouth is an aromatized and fortified wine that’s flavored with botanicals.
Level up with everyone’s favorite whiskey-based drink, the Old Fashioned. All it takes to make is some sugar, a few bitters, a splash of water and—duh—whiskey. The great thing about the Old Fashioned is that it works will all types of whiskey, whether rye, single malt, blended or what have you.
If you consciously taste it, whiskey actually has sweet undertones, which goes perfectly with the tartness of a citrus. So squeeze in some lemon or lime juice into a glass of whiskey and sweeten it even further with simple syrup for a delicious Whiskey Sour.
Even on the weekends, most of us need caffeine to become human. But because there’s no work, why not make things a little more interesting with Irish Coffee? It’s simple if you have some Irish Whiskey in your pantry, because you probably have everything else: Coffee, sugar and some whipped cream.
Sometimes, the way to win drinking is to serve plenty of it—and the Hard Cider Spritz is a crowd pleaser. Just mix in sixteen ounces of dry hard cider with 6 ounces of apple cider, 2 ounces of rye whiskey, 1 ounce of Aperol (an Italian apéritif), 1 ounce of lemon juice and club soda to your liking. Top it off with apple slices for a summer feel.
A proper whiskey Collins calls for some good Japanese whisky, which is generally smoother and more balanced. Put some sugar, lemon juice and club soda into your glass of choice and experience it over ice.
If you’re starting to miss summer, we suggest you go for the Classic Whiskey Smash this weekend—it’s refreshing with a kick that you sometimes just need in a drink. Some whiskey, fresh mint leaves, lemon juice and table syrup mixed with some crushed ice? All you’ll need afterwards is some barbecue.
Time to test your skills (and alcohol tolerance)! To make a great Sazerac, take some bitters, equal parts rye whiskey and cognac, a teensy bit of absinthe, a few anise pods and a sugar cube together. Be weary though; this one really has a kick.
But then again, you know what’s great about Whiskey? How incredibly simple it is. Chivas Regal, for example, is beautiful on its own—just throw it over some ice or add a splash of water and you’re pretty much good for the night. Just remember a little rule of thumb: The older it is, the better.
After all, the years may have gotten to us. But I like to think that we’re all a little like whiskey—we get better with age.
Art Alexandra Lara