Whiskey is one of the most popular spirits in the world, and it's no surprise why. With its smoky, robust flavor and smooth finish, it's a drink that can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in a variety of cocktails.
Whether you're a seasoned whiskey drinker or just starting to explore the world of whiskey, there are so many delicious and creative ways to enjoy this versatile spirit.
As a bartender, I've had the pleasure of experimenting with a wide range of whiskey cocktail recipes over the years.
From classic Old Fashioneds to modern twists on the Manhattan, there's no shortage of whiskey-based drinks to choose from. But with so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
That's why I've put together this guide to the best whiskey cocktail recipes. Whether you're looking for a simple and refreshing drink to enjoy on a hot summer day or a bold and complex cocktail to sip on during a night out, there's something here for everyone.
So sit back, pour yourself a glass of your favorite whiskey, and let's explore the wonderful world of whiskey cocktails together.
1. Perfect Manhattan Cocktail
The Perfect Manhattan Cocktail is a classic drink that every whiskey lover should try. It's a perfect combination of Bourbon, cherry, bitters, and vermouth. The cocktail is easy to make and fantastic to drink.
It's perfect for enjoying with friends or for a date night at home. If you're a fan of whiskey and bourbon, then this is the perfect cocktail for you. Give it a try and you won't be disappointed.
2. Perfect Old Fashioned
The Perfect Old Fashioned is a classic whiskey cocktail that has been around for centuries. It originated in the 1700s and 1800s when whiskey was not as palatable as it is today. Early bartenders added sugar, water, and bitters to whiskey to make it more flavorful and less harsh.
The Perfect Old Fashioned is a simple cocktail made with whiskey, bitters, sugar, and ice. It is a great cocktail for whiskey enthusiasts who appreciate the simplicity of a well-crafted drink. The Perfect Old Fashioned has a rich history and is a must-try for anyone looking to experience the classic taste of a whiskey cocktail.
3. Cranberry Vanilla Old Fashioned
The Cranberry Vanilla Old Fashioned is a perfect holiday cocktail that combines the classic flavors of bourbon whiskey with the sweetness of cranberries and the warmth of vanilla. This cocktail is a twist on the traditional Old Fashioned, with a touch of cranberry juice and vanilla extract that add a festive touch to the drink.
The result is a smooth and flavorful cocktail that is perfect for sipping by the fire or serving to guests at a holiday party. The recipe is easy to follow and can be customized to your liking with different bitters or garnishes. If you're looking for a delicious and festive whiskey cocktail to try this holiday season, the Cranberry Vanilla Old Fashioned is definitely worth a try.
4. Maple Whiskey Sour
The Maple Whiskey Sour is a delicious twist on the classic whiskey sour cocktail. Made with whiskey, egg whites, lemon juice, and maple syrup, this cocktail is sweet, tart, and creamy all at once. The natural sweetness of the maple syrup pairs perfectly with the tartness of the lemon juice, while the egg whites add a frothy texture to the drink.
This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a sweet and tangy drink with a hint of whiskey. It's easy to make and can be garnished with a lemon slice or peel for an extra touch of flavor. If you're looking to impress your friends with a unique and tasty whiskey cocktail, the Maple Whiskey Sour is definitely worth a try.
5. Whiskey Sour
The Whiskey Sour is a classic whiskey cocktail that combines the tanginess of lemon with the sweetness of simple syrup to create a perfectly balanced drink. This cocktail is easy to make and is a must-try for whiskey lovers. The frothy egg white mixture adds a unique texture that will make you want to keep coming back for more.
If you're a fan of sour cocktails, you'll love the Whiskey Sour. It's a versatile cocktail that can be customized to suit your taste. For example, you can add red wine to make a New York Sour or grenadine for a Cherry Whiskey Sour. Overall, the Whiskey Sour is a delicious and refreshing cocktail that is perfect for any occasion.
6. Whiskey Ginger Cocktail
The Whiskey Ginger Cocktail is a refreshing and easy-to-make drink that is perfect for both whiskey lovers and non-whiskey drinkers alike. With just three simple ingredients – whiskey, ginger ale, and a fresh lime wedge – this cocktail is a breeze to whip up in just a few minutes.
It's a great option for those who want to enjoy a delicious cocktail without the fuss of complicated ingredients or measurements. Whether you're looking to impress your guests at a party or simply want to enjoy a relaxing drink at home, the Whiskey Ginger Cocktail is definitely worth a try. So why not give it a go and see for yourself just how delicious and refreshing this cocktail can be?
7. Classic Old-Fashioned
The Classic Old-Fashioned is a timeless and simple cocktail that has been enjoyed for generations. Made with quality whiskey, bitters, sugar, water, and an orange peel, this cocktail is perfect for those who appreciate the taste of whiskey.
The key to making the perfect Old-Fashioned is to use a cocktail shaker to dissolve the sugar and blend the flavors seamlessly. This cocktail is perfect for a weekend evening with friends or a special occasion. If you're a whiskey lover, the Classic Old-Fashioned is a must-try cocktail that will leave you wanting more.
8. Port Manhattan
The Port Manhattan is a fresh take on the classic Rye Manhattan cocktail. It combines two distinct flavors – rye whiskey and port – to create a unique and delicious drink. The name "Portmanteau" is fitting, as it is a combination of two separate words that come together to create something new and exciting.
This cocktail is perfect for those who love the classic Manhattan but want to try something different. The flavor profile is complex and rich, with the sweetness of the port balancing out the boldness of the rye whiskey. It's a great choice for those who enjoy sipping on a smooth and sophisticated drink. If you're looking to switch up your go-to whiskey cocktail, give the Port Manhattan a try.
9. Peanut Butter and Jelly Cocktail
If you're looking for a unique and nostalgic drink, the Peanut Butter and Jelly Cocktail is a must-try. This cocktail combines the nutty flavor of peanut butter whiskey with the sweet taste of grape jelly, resulting in a refreshing and flavorful drink.
While it may be on the sweeter side, the addition of salt balances out the flavors perfectly. The cocktail is garnished with a tiny PB&J sandwich, making it not only delicious but also a fun conversation starter. Overall, the Peanut Butter and Jelly Cocktail is a playful and creative twist on a classic childhood treat that is sure to impress.
10. Godfather Cocktail
The Godfather Cocktail is a two-ingredient drink that combines the nutty sweetness of amaretto with the spicy finish of Scotch whiskey. It's believed to be named after the famous movie, The Godfather, and became popular in the 1970s when cocktails were strong and sweet.
This cocktail is perfect for Scotch lovers and those who are new to the spirit. The amaretto adds a unique intrigue that makes it more palatable than drinking Scotch straight up. It's a quick and easy drink to mix up and is perfect for any occasion. If you're a fan of two-ingredient cocktails, this one is a must-try.
11. Rosemary and Honey Whiskey Cocktail
The Rosemary and Honey Whiskey Cocktail is a unique twist on the classic Old Fashioned. Made with a spicy rye whiskey and infused with rosemary and honey, this cocktail is a perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors. The infused simple syrup adds a depth of flavor that sets this cocktail apart from others.
This cocktail is easy to make and is sure to impress any whiskey lover. The combination of the spicy rye whiskey with the sweet and savory flavors of the rosemary and honey make this cocktail a must-try for anyone looking to expand their cocktail repertoire.
12. Toasted Pecan Old Fashioned
The Toasted Pecan Old Fashioned is a seasonal twist on the classic whiskey cocktail that is perfect for a chilly night. The infused whiskey is made by soaking toasted pecans in whiskey for days before being combined with sugar and bitters to make a homemade Old Fashioned.
This cocktail is a delightful combination of nutty and sweet flavors that will warm you up and leave you feeling cozy. It's a must-try for whiskey lovers who enjoy strong drinks with a twist. So, if you're looking for a new whiskey cocktail to add to your repertoire, give the Toasted Pecan Old Fashioned a try.
13. Apple Cider Hot Toddy With Maple Syrup
The Apple Cider Hot Toddy with Maple Syrup is a perfect cocktail for the fall season. This warm and cozy cocktail is made with fresh apple cider, pure maple syrup, and good bourbon. The combination of the tart apple cider and the sweet maple syrup creates a perfect balance of flavors.
The bourbon adds a nice kick to the cocktail, making it perfect for a chilly evening. The recipe is easy to make and can be scaled up for a seasonal cocktail party. If you're looking for a comforting and delicious whiskey cocktail, the Apple Cider Hot Toddy with Maple Syrup is definitely worth a try.
14. Black-Beery Whiskey Smash
The Black-Beery Whiskey Smash is a unique twist on the classic whiskey cocktail. This refreshing and subtly sweet drink is made with muddled blackberries, lemon, and fresh mint, and is topped off with a splash of wheat beer.
The combination of flavors may seem unusual, but it works surprisingly well, with the beer adding a caramel complexity and epic fizz to the mix. Whether you're looking for a cocktail to sip on during a weekend road trip or just want to try something new, the Black-Beery Whiskey Smash is definitely worth a try.
15. Old Pal Cocktail
The Old Pal Cocktail is a classic whiskey cocktail that deserves a spot on any whiskey lover's must-try list. Made with rye whiskey, Campari, and dry vermouth, this cocktail is a delicious twist on the Negroni and Boulevardier. The rye whiskey adds a spicy kick, while the Campari brings in a pleasant bitterness, and the dry vermouth adds a bright note to the cocktail.
The orange twist garnish adds a pop of color and complements the spicy rye whiskey perfectly. With only three ingredients, this cocktail is easy to make and perfect for any occasion. Whether you're a seasoned whiskey drinker or just starting to explore the world of whiskey cocktails, the Old Pal Cocktail is a must-try.
16. Midnight Manhattan Cocktail
The Midnight Manhattan Cocktail is a perfect choice for those who want to add a twist to the classic Manhattan cocktail. Created by bartender Travis Fourmont, this cocktail is a complex and layered whiskey-forward variation that brings an essence of cherry and astringency to the drink.
This cocktail won the 2013 Master of the Manhattan competition and is made with Woodford Reserve bourbon. However, if you prefer the spiciness of rye, you can substitute it for bourbon. This cocktail is a great option for those who want to try something new and exciting while still enjoying the classic flavors of a Manhattan.
17. Manhattan and Old Fashioned
The Manhattan and Old Fashioned are two of the most iconic whiskey cocktails in the world. The Manhattan is made with bourbon or rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, and is typically served in a stemmed glass with Luxardo cherries. The Old Fashioned is a simple yet sophisticated cocktail made with whiskey, sugar, bitters, and a citrus peel, and is typically served in a low ball glass with an orange peel.
Both cocktails have a rich history dating back hundreds of years, making them some of the oldest cocktails in the American tradition. If you're a whiskey lover looking for a classic and elegant cocktail, the Manhattan and Old Fashioned are definitely worth trying.
18. Ginger Peach Whiskey Cocktail
The Ginger Peach Whiskey Cocktail is a refreshing and flavorful drink that is perfect for any occasion. It combines the bold flavors of whiskey with the sweetness of peach and the spiciness of ginger beer. The addition of lemon and mint adds a refreshing twist to the cocktail, making it a perfect choice for a hot summer day or a cozy night in.
The use of Q Mixers in the recipe ensures that the cocktail is made with quality ingredients and is free of GMOs. This cocktail is definitely worth trying and is sure to impress your guests with its unique blend of flavors.
19. Bitter Eastern Sour Cocktail
The Bitter Eastern Sour Cocktail is a must-try for whiskey lovers looking for a fall twist on the classic Whiskey Sour. This cocktail features Campari, citrus, orgeat, and bourbon to create a tangy and slightly bitter flavor that's perfect for cooler weather.
The addition of Campari gives it a pop of red color that's reminiscent of changing leaves and adds a slightly bitter edge that cuts through the sweetness. This cocktail is a great way to transition from summer to fall and is sure to impress guests at any gathering. If you're looking for a warming and flavorful whiskey cocktail, the Bitter Eastern Sour is definitely worth a try.
20. The Perfect Manhattan
"The Perfect Manhattan" is a sweet and bitter whiskey cocktail that is sure to please any palate. Made with rye, sweet vermouth, bitters, and amarena cherries, this cocktail has a luxurious taste that is perfect for any occasion. The use of rye in the recipe adds a distinct flavor that sets it apart from other whiskey cocktails.
The amarena cherries, which are used as a garnish, add a pop of color and flavor that complements the sweetness of the vermouth. This cocktail is a tribute to Manhattan, the birthplace of the bartender's great-grandmother, and is a perfect way to honor her legacy. If you're looking for a classic cocktail with a modern twist, "The Perfect Manhattan" is definitely worth a try.
21. Applejack Fall Old Fashioned
The Applejack Fall Old Fashioned is a seasonal twist on the classic old fashioned cocktail. Made with fresh apples, maple syrup, whiskey barrel-aged bitters, and garnished with an orange peel and cinnamon stick, this cocktail is the perfect embodiment of the fall season.
The subtle notes of apple and cinnamon spice, combined with the darker natural maple and vanilla flavors of the maple syrup, create a unique and flavorful experience.
22. Pom Cherry + Whiskey Cocktail
The Pom Cherry + Whiskey Cocktail is a refreshing and whimsical drink that combines the flavors of pomegranate, cherry, and whiskey. The secret ingredient adds a unique twist to the cocktail, making it a great choice for those looking to impress their guests or enjoy a nightcap.
This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy discovering new and interesting cocktails and experimenting with different flavors. If you're a fan of bourbon whiskey, you'll love this cocktail's unique blend of flavors. So, give it a try and see for yourself why it's one of the best whiskey cocktail recipes out there!
23. Honey Bourbon and Pear Cider Cocktail
The Honey Bourbon and Pear Cider Cocktail is a perfect winter drink that combines the flavors of honey, bourbon, pine, pear, and grapefruit. The Barenjager Honey and Bourbon used in the cocktail is a premium spirit that features the perfect blend of honey and Kentucky Bourbon. The cocktail has a syrupy quality that is balanced by the effervescence of the hard pear cider.
The pine syrup adds a woodsy sweetness that complements the caramel flavor of the bourbon. The grapefruit adds a sweet-tart citrus bite that brings a nice counter to the sweetness of the Honey and Bourbon while also adding a nice citrus aroma. If you are looking for a fantastic winter cocktail, give the Honey Bourbon and Pear Cider a try!
24. Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that has been around since the late 1800s. It is made with whiskey, bitters, sugar, and a citrus peel.
While the recipe may seem simple, the key to a great Old Fashioned is in the technique. The drink should be stirred, not shaken, and the citrus peel should be expressed over the cocktail to release its oils and flavors.
When made properly, the Old Fashioned is a delicious and complex cocktail that highlights the flavors of the whiskey.
It is perfect for sipping and savoring, and is a great choice for anyone who loves a good whiskey cocktail. If you're looking for a classic cocktail that never goes out of style, the Old Fashioned is definitely worth trying.
25. Homemade Honey Whiskey
Looking for a unique and easy-to-make whiskey cocktail? Look no further than Homemade Honey Whiskey! This delicious liqueur is perfect for sipping on the rocks or using as a base for hot toddies and other cocktails. The best part? It's incredibly easy to make and uses only a few simple ingredients, including your favorite whiskey and 100% honey.
The result is a sweet and smooth drink that is perfect for cold winter nights or any time you need a little pick-me-up. Whether you're a whiskey aficionado or just looking for something new to try, Homemade Honey Whiskey is a must-try cocktail that is sure to impress. So why not give it a try today and see for yourself just how delicious it can be?
26. Blood Orange Boulevardier Cocktail
The Blood Orange Boulevardier Cocktail is a sophisticated twist on the classic Campari cocktail. This bourbon-based cocktail adds a splash of sweet-tart blood orange juice to the mix, making it perfect for cooler days. The intense flavor of Campari is balanced by the sweetness of the blood orange juice, creating a refreshing and complex sip.
This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a bold and bitter drink with a touch of sweetness. It's best served slowly in front of a warm fire, making it the perfect cocktail for a cozy night in. If you're looking for a unique and flavorful whiskey cocktail, the Blood Orange Boulevardier is definitely worth a try.
27. Cherry Manhattan
The Cherry Manhattan is a delightful twist on the classic Manhattan cocktail. This cocktail is made up of whiskey, sweet vermouth, bitters, and cherry simple syrup, which gives it a fruity and refreshing taste. The cocktail is garnished with a maraschino cherry, which adds a touch of sweetness to the drink.
While the Luxardo maraschino cherries are recommended, cheaper alternatives or even fresh cherries can be used. The cherry simple syrup can be made at home and can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. This cocktail is perfect for those who want to try something new and different from the traditional whiskey cocktails. It's a great addition to any cocktail party or a cozy night in.
28. Rob Roy
The Rob Roy is a twist on the classic Manhattan cocktail, with Scotch whiskey replacing bourbon. This gives the drink a distinct smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the sweet vermouth, resulting in a reddish-colored cocktail that's both strong and smooth.
While any blended Scotch will do, using a top-shelf single malt will take this cocktail to the next level. The Rob Roy is perfect for unwinding after a long day, with its balanced sweetness and smokiness making it easy on the palate. If you're a fan of the Manhattan, you'll definitely want to give this cocktail a try.
29. Brooklyn Cocktail
The Brooklyn Cocktail is a classic whiskey drink that is gaining popularity among cocktail enthusiasts. Named after the Brooklyn borough of New York City, this cocktail is similar to the Manhattan but with a unique twist. The addition of maraschino liqueur gives it a semi-sweet cherry flavor that sets it apart from other whiskey cocktails.
The original recipe calls for Amer Picon, a French Aperitif, but bartenders often substitute it with an Italian Amaro like Ramazzotti or Montenegro. The Brooklyn Cocktail is a perfect choice for those who enjoy whiskey but want to try something different. Its unique flavor profile is sure to impress even the most discerning whiskey drinkers.