Easy Whiskey Drinks To Make At Home

Whiskey is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks globally, and for a good reason! It can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with other ingredients to make delicious cocktails. If you're just starting and want to learn how to make whiskey cocktails at home, you've come to the right place.

We'll provide a few easy recipes that are perfect for beginners, and we'll also teach you some basic whiskey cocktail terminology.

So, please sit back, relax, and let's get started!

What Is Whiskey?

Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. The term "whiskey" can refer to whiskey and bourbon drinks. Whiskey is made with any grain, whereas distillers must make rye whiskey with at least 51% rye grain in the mash. Bourbon is a specific type of whiskey only made in the United States, and it must contain at least 51% corn in the mash.

There are many different types of whiskey available on the market, including Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, Canadian whisky, and Tennessee whiskey.

Rye Whiskey

Rye whiskey is a type of whiskey made with at least 51% rye grain in the mash. It has an earthy and spicy flavor that pairs well with sweet ingredients, like honey or maple syrup. This whiskey can be mixed into cocktails or sipped neat (without ice).

Bourbon

Bourbon whiskey is a type of whiskey made from at least 51% corn grain in the mash. It has a rich vanilla flavor that pairs well with citrus fruits, like orange and lemon. This whiskey can be mixed into cocktails or sipped neat (without ice). Bourbon is perfect when served straight up (no ice) because it doesn't lose its aromatics when diluted by melting cubes of frozen water!

Irish Whiskey

Irish whiskey is made in Ireland and aged for at least three years in oak casks before it's bottled up. The most popular types of this drink are Jameson, Powers Gold Label, Bushmills Black Bush, Redbreast 12-Year-Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, and more! It has a lighter taste that pairs well with ginger ale and other easy-to-find mixers. This whiskey can be mixed into cocktails or sipped neat (without ice).

Canadian Whiskey

Canadian whiskey is made in Canada and aged for at least three years in oak casks before it's bottled up! The most popular types of this drink are Crown Royal, Wiser's Deluxe, Lot No. 40 Rye Whiskey, among others.

Tennessee Whiskey

Tennessee whiskey is made in Tennessee and aged for at least three years in oak casks before bottling. The most popular types of this drink are Jack's Old No. Seven, Gentleman Jack, George Dickel Rye, among other brands. It has a smoky, peppery flavor (with a subtle sweetness) that pairs perfectly with cola and ginger ale for a quick fix. This whiskey can also be mixed into cocktails or sipped neat (without ice).

Japanese Whisky

Japanese whiskey is made in Japan and aged for at least three years in oak casks. The most popular types of this drink are Suntory Yamazaki Single Malt 12-Year-Old and Nikka Pure Malt Black Whisky. Many imbibers compare its general flavor notes to the taste of Scotch. It's enjoyable no matter how you decide to sip on it.

Scotch

Scotch whiskey is made in Scotland from at least 51% malted barley grain in the mash. It has a malty flavor that pairs well with honey, ginger, or sweet vermouth. You may also hear the term "peat" used when discussing flavor profiles of many Scotch varieties. Peat is a type of soil found in Scotland. Its purpose is to dry and smoke the barley grain throughout the production process, which gives the spirit its characteristic smoky flavor.

Now that you know a little bit about whiskey let's move on to some easy whiskey cocktail recipes! These recipes are perfect for beginners, and they're all effortless to make.

How Do You Make Whiskey Cocktails At Home?

There are many ways to make a whiskey cocktail, but most recipes follow the same basic steps:

  1. You'll need to choose your ingredients.
  2. You'll need to mix your ingredients and pour them into an ice-filled glass (or sometimes without ice).
  3. You'll garnish with fruit slices, cherries, or whatever you else you may prefer.

A few standard mixology tools you may need are:

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Mixing glass
  • Strainer
  • Jiggers
  • Bar spoon
  • Glassware
  • Muddler
  • Juice press or juicer
  • Fruit peeler

Once you have all your tools for success, it's time for the fun part! Check out the recipes below to start building easy-to-make whiskey cocktails at home.

Popular Whiskey Drink Recipes To Make At Home

The three most popular whiskey cocktails are the Manhattan, the Whiskey Sour, and the Old Fashioned. Since their inception, these drinks have remained among drinkers because they're easy to make at home with just a few ingredients.

These recipes are perfect for beginners who easily make whiskey drinks at home.

Whiskey Sour Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2oz bourbon or whiskey (or any other type of whiskey)
  • 1oz lemon juice
  • 0.75oz simple syrup
  • 1 egg white (optional)

Instructions:

Add all ingredients except egg white into a shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled glass. Add egg white if desired. You can also top off with a few dashes of Angostura bitters for an extra layer of complexity and flavor. Enjoy!

Old Fashioned Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2oz Bourbon (or any other type of whiskey)
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash of water (approximately ½ teaspoon)
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Orange peel for garnish

Instructions:

Add a sugar cube and the bitters to the bottom of a rock's glass. Next, add a splash of water (about one teaspoon) and stir until the sugar almost dissolves. Fill your glass with ice, and then add two ounces of bourbon. Stir to combine and chill. Express an orange peel over the top (squeeze the peel to release the oils) and drop it in. You can also dash in orange bitters for enhanced flavor. Sip and enjoy!

Manhattan Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2oz rye whiskey
  • 1oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • Brandied cherries or lemon peel for garnish.

Instructions:

Add two ounces of rye whiskey, one ounce of sweet vermouth, two dashes of Angostura, and one dash of orange bitters to a mixing glass. Next, add ice and stir. Strain into a chilled glass (with or without ice) and finish with your preferred garnish. Simple as that—enjoy!

Sazerac Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 splash of absinthe
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 splash of water
  • 3 dashes of Peychaud's bitters
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 2oz rye whiskey
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Instructions:

Add a small amount of absinthe into a rock's glass. Spin the glass to rinse it with the absinthe thoroughly. Discard any excess and place the glass to the side.

Add the sugar cube, water, Peychaud's, and Angostura in a mixing glass. Muddle the ingredients until well combined. Then, add in rye whiskey and ice. Stir until chilled. Strain into your absinthe-rinsed glass (no ice) and garnish with a twist of lemon. Sip and enjoy the official cocktail of New Orleans!

Mint Julep Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Handful mint leaves
  • 0.25oz Simple syrup
  • 2oz Bourbon
  • Dash Angostura bitters (optional)

Instructions:

Muddle the mint lightly to release its fragrant oils. Next, add the bourbon and simple syrup. Pack in crushed ice, stir and top it off with more crushed ice. If preferred, finish with a dash of Angostura bitters, then garnish with an additional mint sprig. Voila! The official Kentucky Derby cocktail in the comforts of your home.

Boulevardier Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1.25oz bourbon or rye
  • 1oz Campari
  • 1oz sweet vermouth
  • Orange twist for garnish

Instructions:

Add all ingredients (except the orange twist) into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until chilled—strain into a glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a twist of orange. Cheers!

Kentucky Mule

Ingredients:

  • 2oz bourbon
  • 0.5oz lime juice
  • Top with ginger beer
  • Mint sprig or lime wedge garnish

Instructions:

Add the bourbon and lime juice into a glass. Next, fill it with ice and top it off with ginger beer. Garnish with a mint sprig or lime wedge and enjoy!

Gold Rush Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2oz Bourbon
  • 1oz Honey syrup
  • 0.75oz Lemon juice

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake, and strain into a glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Rusty Nail Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1.5oz scotch
  • 0.75oz Drambuie

Instructions:

Add both ingredients into a mixing glass. Add in ice and stir until chilled—strain into over fresh ice (or one large ice cube if available). And there you have it—a rusty nail. It doesn't get much easier than that!

Hot Toddy

Ingredients:

  • boiling water
  • 2oz whiskey, bourbon, or rye
  • 0.25oz lemon juice
  • 2tsp Demerara sugar
  • 1 lemon wheel
  • 4 cloves

Instructions:

Pour boiling water into a mug to heat the glass. While you wait, put the cloves into the lemon wheel and set them aside. Then, dump out the water in your mug. Add in fresh hot water until the mug is half full. Add in sugar and the clove-studded lemon wheel and stir. Next, add lemon juice and whiskey. Stir again and serve a perfect warmer to soothe the soul. Cheers!

Whiskey Drinks At Home

So, there you have it—a few easy recipes perfect for beginners who want to learn how to make whiskey cocktails at home. If these drinks sound like too much work, you could also try whiskey neat or on the rocks. But trust us, cocktails are where it's at!

But don't go just yet. We have one final trick up our sleeves to share.

If the recipes sound like too much work, but you'd still prefer to make whiskey cocktails at home instead of sipping neat—try using a Mixly mixer! All you have to do is build, stir, and serve. Mix it up with Mixly and impress your guests (and yourself) with expert cocktails and fresh ingredients. Cheers!