Not all whiskey cocktails are created equal. Some are too sour, others too sweet. When it comes to badly made classics, professionals agree that the privileged few are in the danger zone.
From over-ordered mixed drinks to monotonous, one-note flavors, there are whiskey cocktails that aren’t bartender favorites, for reasons ranging from unbalanced proportions to sheer ubiquity. We spoke to bartenders across the country and asked them to share what they consider to be the most overrated whiskey cocktail.
A good rule of thumb? Talk to your bartender to get the best cocktail and flavor profile for you. Here, the most overrated whiskey cocktails.
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The most overrated whiskey cocktails:
- Whiskey Sour
- Old fashioned
- Mint Julep
- Whiskey and Ginger
Read on for details on all the recommended bottles!
“Whiskey Sour. It has too much sugar for a whiskey drink. For me, when I drink whiskey, less is more! –Valeria Murrieta, Internal Mixologist, Estancia La Jolla Hotel, La Jolla, California.
“I would say sour whiskey. It’s a great cocktail with a nice balance, but for me it’s tired in its classic form. To make it fun, we’ll add wine on top to make it a ‘New York Sour’, or we’ll play with citrus. But overall, it’s just boring. –Joshua Lopez, Director of Beverages, Osaka Miami, Miami
“Whiskey Sour. Most bartenders tend to do this incorrectly and this is not a good blender. –Miguel Sandoval, mixologist and whiskey specialist, Pasea Hotel, Huntington, California.
“A sour whiskey without egg white, I think, is overrated. I have a love for egg white cocktails and adding that to your typical sour whiskey elevates it to so many levels. –Darren Fallon, Senior Mixologist, The Watch: Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits at The Restoration Hotel, Charleston, SC
“Although I’m a fan of a good Old Fashioned, it’s pretty overrated. I like to do tricks on this classic – sometimes I smoke it or instead of a simple syrup I use a nice Combier fruit liqueur like Crème de Mûre or Peach. –Johnny Swet, Master Mixologist and Founding Partner, JIMMY Rooftop Bar, NYC
“I always thought Old Fashioned was the most overrated! Do not mistake yourself ; they can be well made, but when are you distracting yourself from what should be a nice bourbon or a whiskey with just a little extra sugar? “-Meg Hoberg, Head Bartender, Sidebar at Bode Nashville, Nashville, Tenn.
“Old fashioned. It’s the ‘ham and swiss’ of cocktails. Sure, they’re good. Almost everyone will eat one, but you wouldn’t order it in a restaurant, would you? Every bartender in home should learn how to make a good Old Fashioned so that they can order more sophisticatedly in bars. –Rob Krueger, Head Bartender at John Fraser Restaurants, NYC
“Manhattan; it has caught on. There are more complex cocktails derived from Manhattan that better showcase the whiskey.” –Jeff Fredeen, bartender at Crush Lounge, Meritage Resort, Napa Valley, California.
“Most bartenders around these pieces would agree that the most overrated whiskey cocktail is none other than the ubiquitous Kentucky Derby classic, the Mint Julep. Unfortunately, there isn’t a great way to balance the basic ingredients of bourbon, sugar, and mint, and often a shoddy job will end with a sad, bruised mint salad at the bottom of the glass. , and dilution problems if the julep tin is not freezing and stuffed with pebbles or crushed ice. –SC Baker, Bartender, Bar Expo, Louisville, Ky.
“The whiskey and ginger ale combo is the most overrated whiskey cocktail. And this usually refers to American whiskey (bourbon, rye, etc.). People should take a closer look at ordering a well-designed Kentucky Mule. It’s basically a Moscow Mule, but instead of vodka you use American whiskey and then add a few dashes of bitterness to it. It’s much better than just whiskey and ginger ale. –Anthony Baker, mixologist and “virtual cocktail teacher”, NYC