You may think that the flavors of a certain liquor are dependent on the production and aging process. The truth is, everything impacts the taste of liquor, down to the way you serve and drink it! The liquor’s flavour journey doesn’t just stop at bottling; it stops when it hits your palate and releases its aromas. Whisky isn’t exempt from this science, as it’s one of the most aromatic liquors out there. Want to maximize the full potential of the flavors in your bottle of whisky? Here are some recommended ways to consume whisky.
Use the right glass
Glassware affects how the whisky’s flavors and aromas move around your palate. Just like there are specific wine glasses for specific types of wine, whisky is also best served in these particular glass shapes.
What kind of glass is used to serve whisky?
The best glass to drink whisky from is a rocks glass. This glass is small and stout, with thin walls and a thick bottom base. With this construction, the glass concentrates the vapors of the whisky. This way, when you tilt the glass towards you, you’ll get a face full of the whisky’s aromatic notes.
Another recommended glass for whisky is the Glencairn glass. Shaped like a tulip with a wide bowl and a tapered mouth, this glass is perfect for drinking whisky neat. It releases the aromas of the whisky gently, as opposed to the rocks glass.
Serve on the rocks
Serving whisky on the rocks simply means serving it with ice cubes. Depending on preference on how cold you want the drink to be, use 2-3 ice cubes and then fill up your glass halfway with whisky.
Pro tip: the kind of ice cube you use in your whisky will affect the flavour of your whisky over time. To prevent your whisky from getting watered down too quickly, use large ice spheres or large solid ice cubes.
“Neat” is a bartending term for serving up liquor at room temperature, without water or ice. Serving whisky this way allows you to really savour the aromas present in the drink.
When serving whisky neat, it’s recommended to use a small tasting glass. If you don’t have access to one, a rocks glass will do.
Serve with water
You may be wondering how this would work. Didn’t we just say to be careful of ice cubes that might water down the drink? Well, having whisky with a little bit of water is actually the second most common way to consume it!
Note that you should only be using room temperature water or cold water. You only need about two to three drops of water in a rocks glass.
Serve in a cocktail
If you’re not a fan of the fiery sensation that comes from having straight liquor, you may opt to mix it with other ingredients. Whisky cocktails are among the most popular out there. The mixers balance out the alcoholic punch, making the drink more palatable.
Here are some whisky cocktails you can try out, whether out at bars or at home:
- Whisky sour
- Mint Julep
- Whisky and Coke
- Old Fashioned
- Irish Mule
Whisky is one of the few alcoholic drinks that can be served warm, in the form of a drink called Hot Toddy. In this recipe, whisky is warmed up and served with an array of other ingredients such as cloves, lemon, cinnamon, honey, or a combination of these things.