What to Mix With Whiskey: 10 Ideas & Suggestions

Did the “see a shot, take a shot” trend destroy your liver during quarantine? It was a popular, if not a particularly healthy, coping mechanism for the early days of the worldwide pandemic. The early shuttering of bars made drinking at home that much more common. It’s still not recommended for groups to gather indoors in many places, leaving fans of craft cocktails stranded. If you’re wondering what to mix with your whiskey, becoming a stay-at-home-mixologist is easier than making a sourdough starter. We have compiled a list of 10 ways to mix your whiskey.

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Whiskey Ginger

This mixed drink can get a serious upgrade when you make it at home. For a low-effort option, buy premium ginger soda like Fentimans or Fever-Tree. For a gourmet drink, make ginger soda, with real sugar, fresh ginger juice, and sparkling water.

  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • 4 ounces ginger soda.

In a collins glass, pour whiskey and ginger soda over ice. Gently stir to mix.

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Old Fashioned

The original whiskey cocktail, the old fashioned, is simple, easy to mix, and delicious.

  • 3-6 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters (or more to taste).
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup.
  • 2 ounces rye whiskey or bourbon.

Combine bitters, syrup, and whiskey in a mixing glass. Stir with ice to chill and dilute and pour through a strainer over a large ice cube in a rocks glass.

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Bourbon Smash

The smash is ideal in summer when mint is in season. You can make mint simple syrup for an extra blast of flavor.

  • 10 to 12 mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish.
  • 4 lemon wedges.
  • ¾ ounce (mint) simple syrup.
  • 2 ounces bourbon.

At the bottom of a tall glass, muddle the mint leaves and lemon wedges with the syrup. Then add the bourbon and fill the glass with ice. Stir the drink until it’s diluted and super-cold.

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If you want simple and sexy, there’s no better whiskey drink to mix than the official cocktail of New Orleans.

  • 2 to 4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters.
  • 2 to 3 ounces rye whiskey (depending on the day you’ve had).
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup.
  • ¼ ounce absinthe.

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice. Strain into a chilled rocks glass (no ice). Use medicinally, the Sazerac packs a punch for the uninitiated.

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Mint Julep

With the Kentucky Derby postponed until September 5th, you have plenty of time to perfect the official drink of the annual race.

  • Fresh mint springs.
  • ½ ounce simple syrup (or mint simple syrup).
  • 2 ½ ounces Woodford Reserve, the official bourbon of the derby.

Muddle the mint and simple syrup together in a silver julep cup. Add the bourbon, fill halfway with crushed ice. Stir the drink until the outside of the cup frosts, then fill the rest of the way with crushed ice. Use another mint spring as a garnish down the side.

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This classic cocktail is easy to make at home and requires only three ingredients.

  • 2-4 dashes aromatic bitters.
  • 1 ounce of sweet vermouth.
  • 2 ounces rye whiskey.

If you’re wondering what to mix in a Manhattan, combine sweet vermouth with butters and rye whiskey in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Then strain the drink over a big ice cube in a rocks glass or a chilled martini glass.

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Whiskey Sour

Beloved by coeds in the nineties, the whiskey sour is tart and sippable.

  • ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice.
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup.
  • 2 ounces whiskey.

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker, or a jar with a lid (whatever you have is okay). Shake the drink vigorously for 30 seconds. Then strain it over fresh ice in a rocks glass.

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Whiskey Cobbler

When you’re trying to make a “cocktail” but have little on hand, raid your fridge’s produce drawer. Use whatever fresh fruit you have on hand.

  • Fresh seasonal fruit.
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup.
  • 2 ½ ounces whiskey.

Muddle the fruit and syrup in a cocktail shaker and add whiskey. Shake with ice and then pour–ice and all–into a big glass. It’s perfect for an impromptu summer happy hour.

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Vieux Carre

If you want to impress your whiskey-loving friends, mix them this lesser-known New Orleans classic cocktail.

  • 2-4 dashes aromatic bitters.
  • 2-4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters.
  • ¾ ounce rye whiskey.
  • ¾ ounce Cognac.
  • ½ ounce Benedictine liqueur.

Peychaud’s and Benedictine may be tough to track down, but they’re worth it for this velvety and complex drink. Mix all the ingredients in a glass and stir with ice. Strain it into a rocks glass over a big ice cube.

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Irish Coffee

As summer fades into fall, there’s no better after-dinner drink than Irish coffee.

  • 2 ounces whiskey.
  • 4 ounces hot black coffee.
  • 2 ounces whipped cream.

Pour hot coffee over the whiskey and top with whipped cream. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

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