Top 9 Ways to Enjoy Whisky: Neat, On the Rocks, High-Balled, and More

Jack Daniel’s, Crown Royal, Fireball Cinnamon, Johnny Walker Black Label, and Jim Beam – all are famous brands of whisky. Also, you can prefer a Whisky Gift Set that is a good option to enjoy the day.

Some are bourbon, others Scotch or Irish, but all are made with the same process of distilling fermented grain mash.

Drinking whisky is a social practice, but it can also be done solo. In any case, you need to know that there’s more than one way of enjoying this complex spirit.

This article lists down the common serving options for whisky and the most popular cocktail drinks that you can make with it.

5 Basic Whisky Serving Options

Whether you buy whisky online or from a brick-and-mortar store, you can serve it in the following ways:

  1. Neat or straight

Neat or straight serving simply means that whisky is poured into a glass as is – no ice, water, or any other add-ons.

Many connoisseurs champion this serving option as the best way to enjoy a good bottle of whisky. However, this method could overwhelm people not used to drinking whisky because of the liquor’s natural kick.

Still, it does allow the drinker to taste the various flavour notes in the spirit, which is why it is the best way to taste test the product.

  1. On the rocks

Some spirits you bought from an online liquor store in Dubai are meant to be served on their own, while others can benefit from adding ice. Whisky can be served both ways.

Also known as “whisky on the rocks,” this hardcore-sounding drink can be quite refreshing, especially if you’re just getting used to drinking whisky.

However, adding ice changes some of its flavours and can compromise aromas or numb the palate as the ice melts.

Pro Tip: Consider adding large spheres or cubes of ice for this serving option because they melt more slowly, which means you have more time to enjoy a chilled and less diluted drink.

You can also use whisky stones for a literal on-the-rocks drink. Simply place them in the freezer before using them as an ice alternative on your glass of whisky.

Whisky stones are the perfect solution for purists who dislike diluted whisky but want to take it cold. They also double as awesome accessories that can be displayed on your alcohol cabinet.

  1. With water

Some people also water down their whisky to soften its alcoholic punch. This practice is commonly done for high-proof spirits, though there’s a bit of a debate about whether it compromises the quality of the drink.

To be safe, consider gradually adding drops of water to the whisky to avoid diluting it too much. If you accidentally pour more water than intended, the only solution is to add more of the liquor.

  1. Warmed up

Did you know whisky can also be warmed up before serving? However, some connoisseurs don’t recommend this because they believe that the flavours and notes in the alcoholic drink are best enjoyed at room temperature.

Still, this serving method is worth exploring, considering that it is one of the possible ways you can enjoy the drink. You can even try making whisky tea.

Not uncommon in China, Japan, and other parts of Asia, mixing this liquor with Darjeeling and various other teas helps balance the whisky’s dry fruitiness, softens its flavour, and adds more aromatics at the same time.

  1. High-balled

High-balling whisky simply means pouring in a fizzy drink over the spirit.

Though this may sound outlandish, this serving method helps sweeten the whisky. It is also believed to soften the hangover from drinking this alcoholic beverage.

High-balled whisky usually comes with soda in Japan and other Asian nations, while those in the West add lemonade or Coke.

Most Popular Whisky Cocktails

Besides serving in its simplest forms, whisky can also be one of the key ingredients of several delicious cocktails. In fact, the list continues to grow as mixologists experiment more with various combinations that work well with the liquid.

Want to try a few? Below are some of the most popular whisky cocktails that could get you started:

  1. Mint Julep

Mint julep is one of the most refreshing whisky cocktails to date. This sweet drink is unique with its strong and crisp mint flavour.

You can use bourbon to add some oomph to your drink. This type of whisky also blends well with the sweetness of mint.

Mint juleps are quite famous in the southern parts of the United States and have become the signature drink in the Kentucky Derby.

  1. Whisky Sour

A sour is a traditional cocktail made by mixing equal parts of sweet and sour with two parts of strong alcohol.

For whisky sour, you can combine lemon juice and sugar syrup to add sweet and sour notes to your drink. You can use any bottle you prefer, but some experts recommend a smooth Canadian or rye whisky.

  1. Old-Fashioned

Another long-standing way of dressing up whisky, an old-fashioned cocktail entails adding sugar, bitters, and an orange slice (or any other fruit).

You want to use something strong for this one, such as Tennessee whisky, rye, or bourbon. Add a sugar cube to sweeten the drink and garnish with a slice of orange to draw out the natural citrus notes in the whisky.

Although it was most popular in the 1960s, old-fashioned never goes out of style and even evolves into various modern versions.

  1. Irish Coffee

Want to try a warmed-up whisky? Irish coffee is the perfect cocktail for dressing this way of serving the beverage.

All you need is brown sugar syrup, unsweetened heavy cream, and coffee blended together with Irish whisky, and you’re good to go.

Enjoy Whisky in Different Ways

Whisky is a complex spirit that can be enjoyed as is, with ice, warm, cold, and in cocktails. 

Explore your palate and try a few of the serving options listed here to enjoy high-quality whisky.