5 cocktails to celebrate World Whisky Day 2023: While Whisky may have traditionally been considered an elder gentlemans drink, either sipped straight, over ice, or mixed with water, the spirit is becoming increasingly popular with the younger generation. In fact, YouGov reported an increase of whisky consumption by 18-25 year olds year-on-year with a 25% increase in 2022 vs 2023, and a 33% increase vs 2020.
Part of the reason for this surge in a love of all things whisky might be down to its versatility when combined with other ingredients in uniquely mixed cocktails.
Bearing this in mind, and to coincide with World Whisky Day taking place this Saturday, May 20th, the drinks experts at online drinks retailer The Bottle Club have compiled a list of mouth-watering whisky based cocktails sure to appeal to all.
Bitter Temptation Cocktail
The Bitter Temptation cocktail recipe combines rye whisky with Fernet-Branca, simple syrup and aromatic bitters. It’s a delicious, whisky-forward drink with a bitter bite.
Fernet-Branca is a traditional Italian digestif made from a secret mix of herbs including myrrh, saffron, chamomile and gentian. Its pronounced bitterness makes it a divisive spirit.
Prep time: 3 Minutes
Nutrition: 85 Calories
- 2 ounces Rye whisky
- 1/4 ounce Fernet-Branca
- 1/4 ounce simple syrup
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
- Garnish: orange twist
- Add the rye whisky, Fernet-Branca, simple syrup and bitters into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
- Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with an orange twist.
The Whisky Sour is versatile – whether you decide to switch up the Whisky, sour or sweet element, the end result will almost always be delicious – just remember to stick to that golden ratio of 2 parts Whisky, 1 part sour and 1 part sweet.
If you’re after something sweeter, bourbon or brandy are both great options. Prefer a smokier sour? Scotch will be your go-to. When it comes to the sour substitution, lime is a more subtle option if you find lemon too overpowering, alternatively, you can opt for a sweeter pick like orange or a more savoury choice like grapefruit.
Prep time: 3 Minutes
- 2 ounces of Whisky of choice
- 1-ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1-ounce simple syrup
- 1 egg white
- ½ orange wheel (for garnish)
- Maraschino cherry (for garnish)
- Combine Whisky, lemon juice, egg white and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.
- Fill a shaker with ice, cover it and shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is very cold, for about 20 seconds.
- Strain the cocktail through a strainer or into an old-fashioned or rocks glass filled with ice. Make it look the part with an orange wheel and cherry.
Irish Slammer Shot
This shot isn’t for the faint of heart. It will begin to curdle if you don’t drink it fast enough! The Irish Shot drink is a popular one for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy this fun beer-and-a-shot combination all year long.
The Irish Shot is a type of Boilermaker, a style of drink in which a shot of liquor—usually whiskey—is dropped into a beer. But in this case, the shot is a two-part mixture of whiskey and Irish cream.
Prep time: 2 Minutes
- ½ ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream
- ½ ounce Jameson Irish Whiskey
- ¾ pint Guinness stout (1 beer)
- Add the Bailey’s and Jameson to a shot glass, layering the Bailey’s on the bottom. Pour the Guinness into a pint glass or beer mug ¾ of the way full and let settle. Drop the shot glass into the Guinness and chug.
Bourbon Cider Smash
A smash is really just a liquor-based drink served with ice and has some sort of sugar or syrup. It almost always has herbs and usually seasonal fruit. This cider smash is sweet and citrusy. Whether you’re looking for something cold and refreshing, or hot and warming, you really cannot go wrong with cider in a cocktail.
Prep time: 3 Minutes
- 1 lemon (cut in half then each half in quarters. You will end up with eight pieces)
- 4 ounces bourbon
- 5 ounces apple cider
- 2 cinnamon stick (To Garnish)
- Place lemon wedges in the cocktail shaker and muddle for at least 2 minutes. You want to extract as much lemon juice as you can and bruise the skin for the zest.
- Add bourbon and apple cider.
- Fill the cocktail shaker halfway with ice, cap it and shake it for at least 20 seconds.
- Add fresh ice to the glasses. Strain, divide and pour the liquid into the glasses.
- Add 2 lemon wedges to each glass.
- Place two slices of apple in each glass along with 1 cinnamon stick.
The Ruby Queen
The Ruby Queen recipe was developed by Rob Krueger of Extra Fancy in New York City.
Though it is filled with a couple of unusual ingredients, the Ruby Queen is quite easy to mix up. You will need to prepare or acquire fresh beet juice and take a few minutes to make a fresh honey syrup.
It’s a surprise when you taste just how well scotch works against this sweetened vegetable profile, whilst most of us will prefer a more neutral spirit for such a distinct flavour like beets, the whisky adds a depth that vodka and gin cannot.
Simply pour and shake like any other drink and you will have a savoury drink that will rival any Bloody Mary.
Prep time: 10 Minutes
- 1 ½ Ounces / 45ml Scotch Whisky
- 1 Ounce / 30ml Fresh Red Beetroot Juice
- ¾ Ounce / 25ml Honey Syrup
- ¾ Ounce / 25ml Fresh Lemon Juice
- Fresh Dill or Tarragon (Garnish)
- Lemon Twist (Garnish)
- Combine everything except the garnish into a shaker with ice
- Shake for 30 seconds
- Strain and pour into all tall, high-ball style glass
- Add your garnishes and serve immediately