Most of the 21+ crowd members have a drink they order again and again at the bar. Maybe you’re still a member of Rosé’s loyal fanbase or love trying trendy cocktails like the Dirty Shirley – but maybe, just maybe, you want to explore a different liquor that has you covered. may have seemed daunting in the past, like whiskey.
US brand ambassador Jack Daniel’s and veteran mixologist Eric “ET” Tecosky believe there are certain misconceptions about whiskey that cause some drinkers to shy away, especially when it comes to its strong taste, which some say people, is indicative of its alcohol content, although this is not the case.
“The whiskeys start at 80 degrees. What is vodka? Starts at 80 proof. Where does gin start? 80 proof. Where does rum start? 80 proof. So 80 proof is 80 proof when it comes to alcohol,” Tecosky says. “When comparing apples to apples, proof to proof, you shouldn’t be afraid to switch categories.”
The numbers speak for themselves, but humans can be creatures of habit when it comes to ordering at the bar. For me, I most often order a lime tequila soda – call me basic! – but I’ve enjoyed my fair share of whiskey on occasions that called for it like St. Patrick’s Day, football tailgates, or any occasion involving cocktails in the winter. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to explore Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee that I discovered a deeper appreciation for black liquor that once seemed too aggressive.
Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey (the one that comes in the signature black label bottle) is the best-selling whiskey in the world and a Jack and Coke is the most in demand in bars around the world according to the base MSS Drinks Report data. Obviously, people love whiskey, but just mixing it randomly with Coca Cola or ginger ale is not enough. Below, find out everything you need to know about incorporating whiskey into your repertoire, even if you’re just starting out.
What is the difference between bourbon and whisky?
Although the two liqueurs may look and taste similar, there are some specific distinctions that separate them. While all bourbons can be classified as whiskeys, the reverse is not always the case. For a whiskey to also qualify as bourbon, the whiskey must be produced in the United States, the grain blend used to distill the product must contain at least 51% corn, distilled at 160 degrees or less, then enter new and charred oak. barrels for aging at 125 or more proofs. Jack Daniel’s, for example, is considered a bourbon but is more accurately considered a Tennessee whiskey due to the extra step of filtering the distillate through charcoal. Specifically, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey is “melted” through 10 feet of sugar maple charcoal to mellow its flavor.
What is whiskey made of?
Whiskey is made from a fermented mixture of grains often consisting of corn, barley, malt, rye and yeast. This must is then filtered and aged in barrels to obtain the typical dark color and taste of whisky.
How to taste whiskey
Tecosky’s advice is to make it an event and invite friends to try different bottles of whisky. You don’t have to go to a distillery and experience an expert tasting to find out what you like “because the palate is the palate”.
Start with an 80 degree bottle and work your way up to higher numbers to ease the palate as you taste. You can diffuse the scent through your nose or even inhale through your mouth first, then go ahead and take a sip. “Take a very small sip. Let it cover your mouth. Don’t even worry about what you taste on that first sip. The second sip is where you start to say, ‘Oh, what do I taste like?’ said Tecosky. His advice is above all not to let anyone tell you what you do or don’t taste, because tasting a whiskey is a unique experience guided by palate and preference.
How to Serve Whiskey Cocktails
Tecosky points out that no matter which glass you use, your cocktail will taste the same, but if you want the drinking experience to be a little more Instagram-worthy, there are a few ground rules. Nick and Nora goblets, stemware and glasses are all great for cocktail parties and can be chosen to suit your look.
Keep in mind that the way a cocktail is prepared can add to the final amount of liquid. If a drink is stirred, for example, the dilution of the ice could confuse the measurements, so Tecosky says to keep “a little room at the top, so you don’t carry that glass on your white mat and knock it over. ”
Best drinks to make with whiskey
“When you think of the iconic whiskey cocktails, Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, those are really a lot of alcohol-based cocktails,” Tecosky told Bustle. “You can do fun riffs on these seasons and there’s no reason to think ‘whiskey can only be that type of drink.’ “”
Using seasonal ingredients like peaches or watermelon mixed into whiskey cocktails in the summer is one suggestion, but simply replacing existing alcohol for whiskey in recipes you love is another, suggests Tecosky. “A famous Tiki drink is Mai Tai [rum, Curaçao liqueur, orgeat syrup, and lime juice]. I love replacing Jack Daniel’s and calling it black tie. Find more whiskey cocktail ideas from Tecosky below.
Jack & Coke Peach Mule
1 ½ oz Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
½ oz peach puree
1 ½ oz Coca-Cola
1 ½ oz ginger beer
Instructions: Lightly shake everything except the ginger beer. Add the ginger beer to the tin. Skip over ice. Garnish with a slice of lemon or a sprig of peach and/or mint.
Hug Don’t hit, hit
750ml Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey
750 mL of Aperol
750 mL Gin of your choice
750 ml cold pineapple juice
1250 ml cold ginger beer
10 dashes of Peychaud Bitters
5 dashes Cocktail Bitters
Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl just before serving. Add a few ice cubes and stir. Serve over ice. If pre-dosing, set aside the ginger beer and ice until a few moments before serving. Garnish with a flower or a pineapple wedge.
What’s a fun fact every beginner should know about whiskey?
“A lot of people know that whiskey is aged in casks, but people don’t realize that the cask has 100 percent the color of whiskey of all ages,” Tecosky says. So if you want to impress the geek in your life, be sure to keep this fact in your back pocket.
Ultimately, whiskey offers more versatility than a stiff drink over ice or the first step in a pickleback shot. It can be used like any other liqueur with a similar proof to create fruity, sweet drinks for the summer or spicy, earthy drinks in the winter. Don’t let the color fool you – it’s just the aging process anyway – and try a whiskey drink the next time you’re at the bar or try mixing your own whiskey concoctions at home. Even the most knowledgeable whiskey experts started out as beginners. Cheers for trying something new.