30 Must-Try Whiskey Cocktails For Any Occasion

Over the years, whiskey has become more popular among modern drinkers, and the industry is constantly expanding. But you don’t have to drink it neat or on the rocks. 

The world of whiskey has now merged with the cocktail industry, with some incredibly delicious recipes that are considered to be classics.

30 Must-Try Whiskey Cocktails For Any Occasion

Whether you’re a whiskey beginner or a connoisseur, these tried and true recipes are essential to your whiskey experience.

We’ve compiled a list of the best whiskey cocktail recipes (see also ‘33 Easy Yet Delicious Cocktail Recipes‘) that show the outstanding versatility of the spirit, including the most well-known and the most obscure. 

1. Whiskey Sour

The Whiskey Sour is a classic recipe that is perfectly sour and delicious. As a timeless recipe, it’s too good to say no to. The tart lemon flavor combines with the sweeter whiskey notes for a tasty whiskey experience.

You can also add an egg white to this recipe for a thicker, textured whiskey sour, however this is optional, and it will still taste great without it.

Ingredients

  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Lemon juice
  • Simple syrup
  • Egg white (optional)
  • Angostura bitters

2. New York Sour

A twist on the classic Whiskey Sour, the New York Sour is another delicious cocktail you need to try.

The base mirrors the whiskey sour with lemon juice and simple syrup, with the addition of a surprising ingredient – red wine! Adding a red wine float makes this beverage special in both appearance and taste.

Ingredients

  • Rye whiskey or bourbon whiskey
  • Lemon juice
  • Simple syrup
  • Egg white (optional)
  • Red wine

3. Manhattan

Another traditional whiskey cocktail is the Manhattan. With a combination of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, the Manhattan truly is an icon.

It is synonymous with the martini in the world of gin, working as a base for many other whiskey-based cocktails. If you’re not a fan of rye whiskey, this versatile drink will taste great with bourbon, Canadian whiskey, or any other type.

Ingredients

  • Rye whiskey
  • Sweet vermouth
  • Angostura bitters
  • Ice cubes
  • Maraschino cherry

4. John Collins

Topping a traditional whiskey sour will leave you with a tasty John Collins. This cocktail is basically a tall whiskey sour, made with club soda to bulk it out without compromising taste.

It’s refreshing and is the perfect drink for a warm summer day. This recipe is so versatile that you can make it with gin or tequila if you want to change it up.

Ingredients

  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Lemon juice
  • Simple syrup
  • Club soda
  • Maraschino cherry
  • Orange slice

5. Old-Fashioned

Whiskey may be dressed up easily using the Old-Fashioned. This cocktail, which is made with bitters, sugar, and an orange slice, is a great way to try different kinds of whiskey.

Additionally, a variety of equally fascinating modern Old-Fashioneds have been created using this recipe as their inspiration. This includes the use of different liquors and flavors.

Ingredients

  • Bourbon or rye whiskey
  • Simple syrup
  • Angostura bitters
  • Orange peel or Luxardo cherry (optional)

6. Mint Julep

A must-have for anyone who enjoys whiskey, the Mint Julep is one of the most flavorful drinks you can find. All you need is fresh mint, sugar, your preferred bourbon, and a little muddler labor to complete the recipe.

This one is also so well-liked that numerous julep alternatives, all of which are excellent, have been created from the fundamental recipe.

Ingredients

  • Mint leaves
  • Simple syrup
  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Mint sprig
  • Angostura bitters (optional)

7. Irish Coffee

One of the best ways to spike your cup of coffee on a chilly winter night or after a delicious meal is with the original Irish Coffee.

The only ingredients are coffee, Irish whiskey, brown sugar, and a tiny bit of just-whipped cream. This classic is proof that all you need for a superb drink are high-quality ingredients.

Ingredients

  • Packed brown sugar
  • Strong, hot coffee
  • Irish whiskey
  • Lightly whipped heavy cream

8. Highball

The Highball is a straightforward, two-ingredient mixed beverage and a tall way to sip your preferred whiskey.

It’s difficult to make a terrible drink because bourbons, blended whiskeys, and rye whiskey all pair excellently with ginger ale. If you’d like, you could also lighten it up with club soda.

Ingredients

  • Whiskey of your choice
  • Ginger ale or club soda

9. Irish Mule

This new take on the traditional Moscow Mule has a peppery whiskey finish and is effervescent and light.

It’s a wonderful way to add to the fun at any gathering and a good way to try whiskey for the first time! It is quite simple to make; all you need to do is combine three ingredients in a glass to create a cool summer beverage.

Ingredients

  • Irish whiskey
  • Ginger ale
  • Lime juice
  • Lime slices (optional)
  • Mint sprig (optional)
  • Ice

10. Bourbon Sidecar

The classic Sidecar, one of the best sour drinks, can be transformed into the bourbon Sidecar with a dash of whiskey.

It was created in the 1920s, and the captain of an American army who rode around in a motorbike sidecar is probably where the term came from.

If you replace the brandy with bourbon, you get a completely unique beverage! In this cocktail, the brandy’s fruitiness is exchanged for the bourbon whiskey’s smoky, sweet aftertaste.

Ingredients

  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Cointreau
  • Lemon juice
  • Simple syrup
  • Lemon twist or lemon peel

11. Godfather

For Scotch enthusiasts and drinkers who need a little more persuasion, try this whiskey cocktail! This Godfather cocktail is delightfully straightforward.

It combines whiskey’s peppery taste with amaretto’s nutty sweetness using just those two ingredients. The Scotch is more palatable than drinking it straight with the distinctive amaretto flavor.

Ingredients

  • Blended scotch or bourbon whiskey
  • Amaretto

12. Sazerac

For rye whiskey, the Sazerac gives a distinctive flavor sensation. The recipe is straightforward and adds sugar, bitters, and an anise liquor, such as absinthe, to the peppery rye.

This drink’s uniqueness is due to the last ingredient, which is enhanced by the incredible range of rye whiskey currently available.

Ingredients

  • Sugar cube
  • Bitters
  • Rye whiskey
  • Absinthe or anise liqueur
  • Lemon twist

13. Vieux Carre

Despite being a famous New Orleans drink, you don’t need to go there to enjoy it.

The Vieux Carre is a delightfully complicated cocktail made with rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, and two kinds of bitters.

To retain the perfect balance of flavors, follow the recipe exactly and measure your ingredients carefully.

Ingredients

  • Rye whiskey
  • Cognac
  • Sweet vermouth
  • Benedictine liqueur
  • Pimento aromatic bitters
  • Maraschino cherry or lemon twist

14. Rusty Nail

A Rusty Nail is a very simple cocktail that is meant for scotch enthusiasts. In this recipe, Drambuie’s herbal honey flavor is combined with Scotch whiskey. Pouring your preferred single malt or blended whisky can easily alter the flavor character.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces scotch
  • 3/4 ounce Drambuie

15. Boulevardier

The Boulevardier is the ideal pre-dinner beverage in the world of whisky. It’s bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Campari combined to create the Negroni of whiskey.

You may easily serve both drinks to satisfy visitors who favor either liquor by adding the darker spirit to the background, which adds an intriguing depth of flavor.

Ingredients

  • Scotch whiskey
  • Drambuie

16. Algonquin

Although pineapple and whiskey aren’t typically paired, the Algonquin drink shows how well they can complement one another.

Dry vermouth (see also ‘The Best 6 Vermouth Substitutes‘) is used in this tropical whiskey martini, fusing the two distinctive flavors together. You’re sure to appreciate its intricate beauty when you enjoy it at home or out on the town.

Ingredients

  • Rye whiskey
  • Dry vermouth
  • Pineapple juice

17. Lynchburg Lemonade

This type of whiskey has been around for a long time and is frequently oversimplified. However, one of the best ways to enjoy Tennessee whiskey is with a sip of the original Lynchburg Lemonade.

This tall drink enhances the strong flavor of the whiskey with sweet and tangy citrus and lemon-lime soda, making it the perfect summer aperitif.

Ingredients

  • Tennessee whiskey
  • Triple sec
  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon-lime soda
  • Lemon slices

18. Toronto

For a fancier take on the Old Fashioned, try the Toronto! Fernet-Branca and whisky are both ingredients in the Toronto. It has a strong alcohol flavor and a refined, intricate, and rich taste.

It strikes a balance between the rye whiskey’s earthiness and the Fernet-Branca’s mild bitterness.

Ingredients

  • Canadian rye whisky
  • Fernet-Branca
  • Simple syrup
  • Angostura bitters
  • Orange twist

19. Old Pal

The Old Pal cocktail is a three-ingredient, crisp, punchy beverage that is stylish and pleasant. If you enjoy dry drinks like a Manhattan, this distinctive rye whiskey cocktail is rich and spirit-forward.

The Old Pal creates a drink that is simultaneously dry, bitter, and spicy by combining bitter Campari, dry vermouth, and spicy rye whiskey.

The Boulevardier is actually the drink that the Old Pal is most similar to, despite some people calling it a variation of the Negroni.

Ingredients

  • Rye Whiskey
  • Dry Vermouth
  • Campari

20. La Louisiane

This rye whiskey cocktail is ideal for those who enjoy spirit-forward beverages. Most people have never heard of the La Louisiane, a famous cocktail from the nineteenth century.

It is similar to a Sazerac cocktail but with more roundness and complexity in flavors – herbal tones from the Benedictine, lightly sweet from the vermouth, and a black licorice finish from the absinthe.

Ingredients

  • Rye whiskey
  • Sweet vermouth
  • Benedictine
  • Absinthe
  • Bitters
  • Luxardo cherries

21. Brown Derby

This vintage 1930s beverage has the name of a Los Angeles restaurant company. The Brown Derby cocktail uses sweet grapefruit juice to temper smoky whiskey.

But what makes this drink special? In place of the customary simple syrup, honey syrup is used, which provides richness and mellow undertones.

Ingredients

  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Honey syrup
  • Grapefruit twist

22. Brooklyn

Like a good Manhattan? Then you must try this original twist on the traditional whiskey cocktail! A mixed drink called the Brooklyn is named for the Brooklyn district of New York City.

Using rye whiskey, dry vermouth, and Maraschino liqueur, it is a spin on the classic Manhattan. This drink’s first printed recipe first appeared in 1908.

Ingredients

  • Rye whiskey or other whiskey of your choice
  • Dry vermouth
  • Maraschino liqueur
  • Angostura or orange bitters

23. Milk Punch

One of the oldest cocktails in existence, this delicious concoction was originally recorded in Scotland in 1688. In New Orleans and South America, it’s a well-liked brunch beverage made with brandy, bourbon, milk, and sugar.

You’ll understand its brilliance at the first sip; the brandy’s spiciness and the subtle vanilla extract contrast with the chilled, creamy milk.

Ingredients

  • Whole milk or milk alternative of your choice
  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Brandy
  • Simple syrup
  • Vanilla essence
  • Grated nutmeg
  • Star anise (optional)

24. Gold Rush

Although the name suggests a cocktail from the 1920s, the Gold Rush is actually a contemporary twist on the traditional whiskey sour.

This variation on the whiskey sour, which substitutes honey syrup for simple syrup, was created in New York City in the mid-2000s. Simple syrup lacks the depth and richness that honey adds to this cocktail.

Ingredients

  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Lemon juice
  • Honey syrup
  • Lemon twist

25. Whiskey Smash

The whiskey smash was first recorded in a bartender’s manual published in 1887, dating it to the 1880s.

So it’s easy to imagine the Victorians enjoying this beverage! Lemon, mint, whiskey, and sugar are combined to create this refreshing whiskey cocktail, which is then poured over crushed ice to create the “smash”!

Ingredients

  • Spearmint leaves
  • Lemon
  • Simple syrup
  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Mint sprig

26. Tom And Jerry

Another hot whiskey beverage that tastes like warm, creamy, alcoholic eggnog is the Tom and Jerry. It’s a very popular cocktail, especially in the winter, because of its creamy, sweet flavors.

You have the option of making your own Tom and Jerry batter or purchasing a pre-made mix from the store when mixing this cocktail.

Ingredients

  • Boiling water
  • Dark rum (see also our favorite rum cocktails)
  • Cognac
  • Tom & Jerry batter
  • Whole milk or milk alternative of your choice
  • Nutmeg
  • Ground cloves
  • Ground all-spice

27. Rob Roy

For fans of Scotch and Manhattan cocktails, the Rob Roy is ideal. In essence, this drink is a Manhattan that has been altered to use Scotch whiskey in place of bourbon or rye.

This alcoholic beverage is the ideal way to savor a fine Scotch! It has been a classic slow-sipper since 1894.

Ingredients

  • Scotch whisky
  • Sweet vermouth
  • Bitters
  • Maraschino cherry

28. Seven And Seven

This cocktail is a fizzy, light American whiskey concoction that gets its fizz from the addition of the well-known soft drink, 7-Up.

The only two ingredients in this drink are Seagram’s 7 Crown Whiskey and 7-Up, hence the name Seven and Seven. The Seven and Seven is still a well-liked cocktail due to its light, refreshing flavor and its simplicity to prepare.

Ingredients

  • Seagram’s 7 Crown Whiskey
  • 7-Up soda
  • Lemon wedge

29. Blood And Sand

One of the few traditional Scotch drinks is the Blood and Sand, which contains cherry liqueur and blood orange juice. Blood and Sand, a silent film about bullfighters, served as the inspiration for the name.

It’s the complete opposite of most Scotch drinks, which are typically hot and boozy. It has a balanced, lightly sweet, and cherry-forward flavor.

Ingredients

  • Scotch whiskey
  • Sweet vermouth
  • Cherry liqueur
  • Orange juice
  • Orange peel

30. Paper Plane

Bartender Sam Ross created the Paper Plane cocktail in 2007 with bourbon, Aperol, and amaro. Later, he began producing it at New York City’s renowned Milk & Honey bar.

This is a masterful exploration of balance and contrast. The bourbon and amaro work in a remarkable harmony to create a drink that is both bitter, sweet, and acidic.

Ingredients

  • Amaro (preferably Nonino)
  • Aperol
  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Lemon juice

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s The Best Mixer For Whiskey?

Some of the best mixers for whiskey include cola, ginger ale, club soda, apple cider, and grapefruit juice.

What Are The Most Popular Whiskey Cocktails?

There are many popular whiskey cocktails out there. Some of the most well-known include the whiskey sour, Manhattan, old-fashioned, and Irish coffee.

What’s The Best Way To Drink Whiskey?

If you want to drink whiskey as a short, the best way to enjoy it is neat, cleansing your palate with cool water between sips. You can also add a few drops of water to your whiskey to bring out the flavors.

Final Word

There are so many ways to enjoy a good whiskey, and a stunning whiskey cocktail is one of the best! The possibilities are endless with this versatile spirit, so give one of our favorites a try!

30 Must-Try Whiskey Cocktails For Any Occasion

30 Must-Try Whiskey Cocktails For Any Occasion

Recipe by Jenna

From the classics to the creative, these whiskey cocktails are sure to please.

Course: Beverages
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Directions

  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

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