Whiskey, the classic American spirit, has been a favorite of drinkers for centuries. Its bold, smoky flavor profile and warming sensation make it the perfect choice for a cold winter night or a relaxing evening with friends.
However, not everyone enjoys whiskey neat or on the rocks. That's where whiskey forward cocktails come in.
Whiskey forward cocktails are drinks that showcase the unique flavor of whiskey while incorporating other ingredients to create a complex and balanced drink.
These cocktails are made by combining whiskey with a variety of mixers, bitters, and syrups to create a delicious and refreshing drink that's perfect for any occasion.
Whether you're a seasoned whiskey drinker or a newcomer to the world of spirits, there's a whiskey forward cocktail out there for you.
From classic cocktails like the Manhattan and Old Fashioned to modern twists like the Whiskey Sour and Boulevardier, there's no shortage of delicious drinks to choose from.
So, if you're looking to expand your whiskey horizons and try something new, look no further than the world of whiskey forward cocktails.
With so many delicious recipes to choose from, you're sure to find a drink that's perfect for you. So grab a glass, mix up a drink, and raise a toast to the delicious world of whiskey forward cocktails.
1. Whiskey Tonic
The Whiskey Tonic is a surprisingly refreshing cocktail that combines whiskey or bourbon with triple sec, premium Indian tonic, and lemon juice. This earthy and complex cocktail has a beautiful depth of flavor that is balanced perfectly by the slightly sweet and bitter notes of the Indian tonic.
The addition of triple sec and fresh lemon juice adds a hint of sweetness and a refreshing finish that makes this cocktail perfect for any occasion. If you're looking for a unique and delicious whiskey forward cocktail, the Whiskey Tonic is definitely worth trying. But don't just take our word for it, give it a try and see for yourself!
2. Whiskey Swirl
The Whiskey Swirl is a refreshing and light whiskey forward cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. This cocktail combines the boldness of whiskey with the sweetness of grapefruit soda and the spiciness of ginger ale. The addition of a squeeze of fresh lime adds a citrusy twist to the drink.
The proportions of the two sodas can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences. This cocktail is perfect for those who want to enjoy whiskey in a lighter and more refreshing way. It's a great option for those who are new to whiskey and want to ease into it. Overall, the Whiskey Swirl is a must-try cocktail for whiskey lovers and cocktail enthusiasts alike.
3. Simple Whiskey Raspberry & Pear Cocktail
The Simple Whiskey Raspberry & Pear Cocktail is a three-ingredient whiskey cocktail that is perfect for those who love a strong, spirit-forward drink. Made with Chambord raspberry liqueur and diced fresh pear, this easy-to-make cocktail is a great option for those who want to mix things up without pulling out a lot of bar tools.
The whiskey shines through, while the raspberry adds a slight sweetness to the drink. Plus, when you're done, you have lovely whiskey-soaked pears to nibble on. Overall, this cocktail is quick, potent, and simply satisfying, making it a must-try for any whiskey lover looking for a delicious and easy-to-make cocktail.
4. Blushing Whiskey Sour
The Blushing Whiskey Sour is a perfect cocktail for those who love a whiskey drink with a twist. This cocktail recipe is perfect for St. Patrick's Day, Easter, or any springtime gathering. The beautiful pink color comes from the addition of blackberries, which also gives it a fruity and refreshing taste.
The whiskey is balanced with the lemon, making it a great drink for those who prefer a lighter whiskey taste. This cocktail is easy to make and perfect for a girl's night in or a summer day outside. If you're looking for a unique and delicious whiskey forward cocktail, the Blushing Whiskey Sour is definitely worth a try.
5. Breakfast-Time Old Fashioned
The Breakfast-Time Old Fashioned is a unique twist on the classic cocktail that will have you wanting more. Made with rye whiskey and maple syrup, this drink is perfect for those who enjoy a sweet and strong cocktail. The addition of Clyde May's Rye Whiskey gives it a smooth and rich flavor that is perfect for sipping on a cold winter's night.
This cocktail is easy to make and requires no fancy equipment or techniques, making it a great choice for both novice and experienced bartenders. If you're looking for a luxurious and indulgent cocktail to enjoy during the holiday season, the Breakfast-Time Old Fashioned is definitely worth a try.
6. Walnut Old Fashioned
The Walnut Old Fashioned is a unique take on the classic old-fashioned cocktail. It's a spirit-forward cocktail with warm and comforting flavors of apple brandy, walnut liqueur, maple syrup, and angostura bitters, with a hint of brightness from the lemon peel.
This cocktail is perfect for sipping slowly on a cold winter evening and is a must-try for anyone who loves whiskey-forward drinks.
7. The Old Fashioned
"The Old Fashioned" is a classic whiskey cocktail that has been enjoyed for over a century. Made with whiskey, sugar, bitters, and ice, this drink is perfect for those who appreciate the taste of a good bourbon.
The addition of fruit garnishes is optional, but it can add a nice touch of sweetness to the drink. Overall, "The Old Fashioned" is a timeless cocktail that is perfect for those who enjoy a strong and sophisticated drink.
8. Festive Whiskey Tonic Cocktail
The Festive Whiskey Tonic Cocktail is a perfect addition to your holiday season celebrations. This whiskey forward cocktail combines the rich flavor of whiskey with the sweetness of amaretto, the tanginess of fresh orange juice and cranberry juice, and the refreshing fizz of Fitch & Leedes Indian Tonic.
The sprig of thyme adds a touch of earthiness to the drink, making it a perfect complement to your fall and winter feasts. This cocktail is perfect for large groups and can be easily made in a big batch and then served individually. If you're looking for a delicious and festive cocktail to serve this holiday season, the Festive Whiskey Tonic Cocktail is definitely worth trying.
9. Oaxaca Old Fashioned
The Oaxaca Old Fashioned is a unique twist on the classic Old Fashioned cocktail. This whiskey forward cocktail combines bourbon and smoky mezcal to create a complex and flavorful drink. The mezcal adds a layer of earthiness and smoke, while the bourbon helps to balance out the flavors.
The cocktail is garnished with a charred cinnamon stick, which adds a smoky aroma and a touch of sweetness. This boozy, spirit-forward cocktail is perfect for fall and is sure to impress any whiskey lover. If you're looking for a new take on the classic Old Fashioned, the Oaxaca Old Fashioned is definitely worth a try.
10. Cherry Whiskey Smash
The Cherry Whiskey Smash is a refreshing and fruity whiskey forward cocktail that is perfect for sipping on a warm summer evening. Made with fresh cherries, tart cherry juice, mint, lemon, and your favorite rye whiskey, this cocktail has a sweet and slightly tangy flavor that perfectly complements the rich and bold notes of the whiskey.
The addition of fresh mint and lemon adds a refreshing touch to the drink, making it a perfect choice for those who prefer their cocktails on the lighter side. Whether you're a whiskey lover or just looking for a delicious new cocktail to try, the Cherry Whiskey Smash is definitely worth a try.
The Old-Fashioned is a classic whiskey-forward cocktail that has been around since the late 1800s. It's a no-fuss drink that is easy to make with just three ingredients.
The cocktail is garnished with an orange peel, adding a nice touch of flavor and aroma. Its simplicity and bold flavor make it a timeless classic that should be on every whiskey lover's radar.
12. Rob Roy Cocktail
The Rob Roy Cocktail is a perfect fit for those who love both Scotch and Manhattan cocktails. This classic drink has been around for over a century and is named after a Scottish folk hero. The drink uses Scotch instead of bourbon or rye, making it a boozy and slow-sipping drink.
It has the same ingredients as a Manhattan, but with a twist of Scotch. The drink is garnished with a Luxardo cherry, which adds a complex fruity and nutty flavor to the drink. The Rob Roy Cocktail is a sophisticated and complex drink that is perfect for sipping on special occasions. If you're a fan of Scotch, this cocktail is a must-try.
13. Blackberry Peach Bourbon Smash
The Blackberry Peach Bourbon Smash is a refreshing and fizzy cocktail that is perfect for the summer season. It is a whiskey forward cocktail that combines oaky bourbon whiskey with fresh peaches, blackberries, mint, and lime juice. The sweetness of the peaches and blackberries perfectly balances the smoky flavor of the bourbon, making it a delightful drink for bourbon lovers.
This cocktail is a part of a virtual baby shower menu that celebrates the arrival of Baby Speckle. The recipe has been created by The Crumby Kitchen and is one of the highlights of the menu. If you are looking for a delicious and easy-to-make whiskey forward cocktail, the Blackberry Peach Bourbon Smash is definitely worth trying.
14. Chai Me a River
"Chai Me a River" is a unique and flavorful Whiskey Forward Cocktail that is perfect for those who love a bit of weight and richness in their drinks. This cocktail infuses Signal Hill Canadian Whisky with loose leaf Chai Tea, ginger, cinnamon, sweet vermouth, orange zest, and dried fruit to create a complex and layered flavor profile.
The Chai Tea adds a subtle spiciness that complements the heat from the ginger, while the dried fruit adds depth and sweetness. The sweet vermouth and orange zest help to balance out the richness of the cocktail, making it a perfect sipper at the end of a long day. If you're looking for a unique and flavorful whiskey cocktail, "Chai Me a River" is definitely worth a try.
15. The Sazerac Cocktail
The Sazerac Cocktail is a classic and one of the oldest cocktails in existence. It is a whiskey forward cocktail made with either Cognac or rye whiskey, absinthe, and Peychaud’s bitters. The cocktail has a rich history, having been invented in New Orleans in the mid-1800s, and is now the official drink of the city.
The use of absinthe gives the cocktail a unique black licorice finish, making it a must-try for those who enjoy spirit-forward drinks like the Old Fashioned. The Sazerac is a slow sipper that is perfect for those who appreciate the complexity and depth of flavor in their cocktails.
16. Irish Whiskey and Melon Cocktail
Looking for a unique and delicious whiskey forward cocktail? Look no further than the Irish Whiskey and Melon Cocktail! This cocktail is perfect for St. Paddy's Day or any time you want to add a little luck o' the Irish to your drink.
The combination of Irish whiskey and melon liqueur creates a beautiful, springtime flavor that is sure to please your palate. While the recipe calls for Jameson Black Label, you can use any whiskey you prefer, including American or Scotch. So why not give this cocktail a try and see if you get a taste for the luck o' the Irish?
17. Toronto Cocktail
The Toronto Cocktail is a sophisticated and complex whiskey-forward cocktail that is perfect for those who enjoy bitter flavors. It is a fancy spin on the classic Old Fashioned, featuring rye whiskey and Fernet-Branca, an Italian bitter liqueur made with a mix of herbs and spices.
The Fernet-Branca adds a subtle bitterness to the drink, balancing out the earthiness of the whiskey. While it may not be for everyone, the Toronto Cocktail is a great option for those looking for a unique and impressive cocktail to impress their guests. It's perfect for slow sipping over good conversation and is sure to leave a lasting impression.
18. Blackberry Whiskey Lemonade
Looking for a refreshing summer cocktail that packs a punch? Look no further than the Blackberry Whiskey Lemonade. This cocktail combines the earthy flavors of whiskey with the sweetness of blackberry syrup and the tanginess of lemonade. The addition of fresh rosemary adds a subtle hint of herbaceousness to the drink.
This cocktail is perfect for sipping on a lazy afternoon or serving at a summer gathering. Whether you prefer bourbon, rye, or Irish whiskey, this cocktail is versatile enough to work with any type of whiskey. And if whiskey isn't your thing, you can easily swap it out for gin or vodka. So why not give the Blackberry Whiskey Lemonade a try and see why it's become a summer favorite?
19. La Louisiane Cocktail
If you're a fan of whiskey-forward cocktails, then you need to try the La Louisiane Cocktail. This classic cocktail from the 1800s is a unique blend of rye whiskey, absinthe, vermouth, and Benedictine. It's a sophisticated and strong drink that packs a punch with its complex and herbal flavors.
The addition of absinthe gives it a black licorice finish, while the Benedictine adds a lightly sweet and spiced flavor. This cocktail is perfect for those who love boozy drinks and want to try something new. So, if you're looking for a whiskey-forward cocktail that's a little different from the usual Manhattan or Sazerac, give the La Louisiane a try.
20. The Manhattan
The Manhattan is a classic whiskey forward cocktail that has stood the test of time. Made with high-proof whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, this cocktail is stirred, not shaken, to create a smooth texture and transparent clarity.
The choice of vermouth and cherries can make all the difference in the taste of this drink. It can be served up or on the rocks, and is perfect for sipping on a cozy evening. The Manhattan is a must-try for any whiskey lover looking for a sophisticated and timeless cocktail.
21. Midnight Manhattan Cocktail
The Midnight Manhattan Cocktail is a perfect blend of the classic Manhattan with a hint of cherry and astringency. Created by renowned bartender Travis Fourmont, this cocktail is a winner of the 2013 Master of the Manhattan competition.
The addition of cherry and astringency gives this whiskey-forward cocktail a more complex and layered taste. If you are a fan of rye whiskey, you can try a variation of this cocktail with rye instead of bourbon. The Midnight Manhattan Cocktail is a must-try for whiskey lovers who are looking for a unique and sophisticated twist on a classic cocktail.
22. Kentucky Mule Cocktail
The Kentucky Mule Cocktail is a refreshing and delicious twist on the classic Moscow Mule. This bourbon-forward cocktail features the smooth and complex flavors of Kentucky whiskey, paired with the bright tartness of lime and the spicy kick of ginger beer.
Served over ice, this cocktail is perfect for sipping on a warm summer day or enjoying as a pre-dinner drink. While traditionally served in a copper mug, this cocktail can be enjoyed in any glassware. If you're a fan of whiskey-forward cocktails, the Kentucky Mule is definitely worth trying.
23. Little Italy Cocktail
The Little Italy Cocktail is a refreshing and easy-to-make Whiskey Forward Cocktail that is perfect for summer sipping. This cocktail is a twist on the classic Manhattan, using Aperol instead of amaro, which gives it a unique bittersweet flavor with citrus and floral notes.
The addition of Montenegro amaro adds a balanced woodiness and vegetal undertones to the mix. The use of Elijah Craig bourbon and citrus-heavy bourbon adds a refreshing touch to the drink, making it perfect for hot summer days. This cocktail is a must-try for whiskey lovers who are looking for a new and exciting way to enjoy their favorite spirit.
24. Brown Sugar Pineapple Whiskey Sipper
The Brown Sugar Pineapple Whiskey Sipper is a perfect balance of sweet, sour, and strong flavors. This smooth cocktail is made with brown sugar pineapple syrup, which adds a unique twist to the classic whiskey cocktail. The syrup is made by combining brown sugar, pineapple, pineapple juice, and ginger, and letting the mixture simmer for 20 minutes.
The cocktail is best enjoyed with your favorite whiskey expression, and the Uncle Nearest 1856 premium whiskey is highly recommended. The brown sugar pineapple whiskey sipper is not your typical sugary cocktail, but a smooth and potent drink that is perfect for celebrating any occasion. If you're looking for a unique and delicious whiskey forward cocktail, the brown sugar pineapple whiskey sipper is definitely worth trying.
25. It's Scotch Thyme
"It's Scotch Thyme" is a unique and exciting Whiskey Forward Cocktail that is sure to impress any whiskey lover. This cocktail uses a French Press to infuse Glenmorangie Scotch with fresh peach, RinQuinQuin, and thyme, resulting in a complex and ever-changing flavor profile with every sip.
The infusion process creates a journey for the tastebuds, making each sip a new experience. This cocktail is perfect for those who love classic flavors with a modern twist. If you're looking for a whiskey cocktail that is sure to impress, "It's Scotch Thyme" is a must-try.
26. Vieux Carre Cocktail
The Vieux Carre Cocktail is a classic whiskey forward cocktail that originated in New Orleans. It's a strong and complex drink made with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, cognac, Benedictine, and two types of bitters. The name Vieux Carre means "French Quarter" in French, and the drink was named after the area where it was first created.
This cocktail is perfect for whiskey lovers who enjoy a slow sipper with a complex flavor profile. The combination of sweet vermouth and cognac balances the spicy rye whiskey, while the herbal Benedictine and bitters add depth and complexity. If you're looking for a sophisticated and intense whiskey cocktail, the Vieux Carre is definitely worth a try.
27. Bourbon Sidecar
The Bourbon Sidecar is a refreshing twist on the classic Sidecar cocktail, which was invented in the 1920s. This variation swaps out brandy for bourbon whiskey, resulting in a spicy and sweet finish that perfectly complements the citrusy notes of the drink.
The use of Cointreau instead of Triple Sec adds a well-balanced orange perfume flavor that is neither too bitter nor too sweet. Adding rum to the mix creates the classic cocktail known as Between the Sheets. The Bourbon Sidecar is perfect for sipping any time of year and is a great option for those who love sour cocktails but want to try something new.
28. Apple Butter Old Fashioned
The Apple Butter Old Fashioned is a must-try whiskey forward cocktail for those who love the flavors of fall. This cocktail combines the warmth of bourbon with the heartiness of apple butter and the sweetness of apple cider.
A few drops of aromatic bitters help to balance out the flavors perfectly. The garnish of apple slices and cinnamon sticks adds a festive touch to this delicious drink. If you're looking for a cocktail that's refreshing, pretty, and delicious, the Apple Butter Old Fashioned is definitely worth a try.
29. Smoked Orange Old Fashioned
The Smoked Orange Old Fashioned is a simple yet elegant twist on a traditional old fashioned that is sure to impress whiskey lovers. This cocktail combines the classic flavors of an old fashioned with a touch of smoke and citrus from the flamed orange peel. The addition of orange bitters gives the cocktail just the right amount of bitterness to balance out the sweetness.
The cocktail is made right in the glass, making it easy to prepare at home. This cocktail is perfect for a cold winter night or for impressing guests at a party. If you're looking for a whiskey forward cocktail with a unique twist, the Smoked Orange Old Fashioned is definitely worth a try.
30. Paper Plane Cocktail
The Paper Plane Cocktail is a modern classic that is perfect for aperitivo hour. It is a well-balanced cocktail with a sweet, tart, and spirit-forward flavor. The cocktail was created by bartender Sam Ross for The Violet Hour in Chicago and has since become a fan favorite in bars and among home cocktail enthusiasts.
The traditional recipe calls for equal parts bourbon, Aperol, Amaro Nonino, and lemon juice, but variations can be made with different amaros or bourbons. The Paper Plane Cocktail is a must-try for anyone who enjoys sour cocktails and wants to experience a well-balanced and flavorful drink.
31. Sazerac Cocktail
The Sazerac Cocktail is a classic whiskey forward cocktail that has stood the test of time. Originally made with cognac, this drink now features rye whiskey as its star ingredient. Its French roots are evident in the inclusion of absinthe, which is used to rinse the glass, and Peychaud's bitters, which add a bright red color and anise flavor.
The drink is finished with a lemon peel for a hint of citrus. If you're a fan of stiff drinks and whiskey, the Sazerac is a must-try. Its complex flavors and rich history make it a standout cocktail that is sure to impress.