Whisky-based Cocktails

Whiskey Types

Although gin is commonly used as a base spirit for bright and refreshing cocktails (and admittedly easier to mix), whiskies can create some complex, spirit-forward beasts. Bourbons (typically sweet) and ryes (typically more spicy) are commonly used as bases. Scotches, particularly peat-forward Islay whiskies (think Laphroaig and Ardbeg), have been one of our personal challenges to try to incorporate into good cocktails.

The most famous whiskey based cocktails are the old fashioned, and the Manhattan which are now entire families of cocktails, but there are dozens of others to try. 

Below is a compilation of our favorite scotch-based, bourbon-based, and rye-based cocktails.

Scotch Cocktails

The Cooper Union
So I realize now as I’m typing this that I misspelled the cocktail name on our latest Instagram post as
Rusty Nail
The Rusty Nail's signature ingredient is Drambuie, a scotch based liquor, sweetened with heather honey, and infused with herbs and
New Best Friend
We decided to start with the Old Pal as a template and started by subbing a blend of Laphroaig and
Drunk Uncle Islay Cocktail
Drunk Uncle
Islay scotch and Cynar. Enough said.
Sedentary Banana
Tasty summery cocktail featuring peated whiskey, rum, banana liqueur, and Sherry.
Douglas Cocktail
Peaty cocktail featuring Lagavulin 16 from L’Abbattoir
It’s Negroni week 2019 in San Francisco! A veritable Christmas for lovers of the best cocktail out there in which
Cocktail on top of plate next to magazine
Last Call
Peaty Whisky and Campari cocktail from American Bar at the Savoy in London.
The Louboutin Cocktail
We named this the louboutin cocktail because we recently visited Saison – the 3-starred Michelin restaurant best known for having
Ichor and Glass
Blood and Sand but better. Way better.
Black Walnut Manhattan
American classic with an Austrian twist.
Peaty Punch
Clarified Peat Punch
Peaty twist on a clarified milk cocktail.
Cocktail in short glass with lemon wedge ontop of blue and black checkered cloth, next to whisky bottle
Bitter Scotsman
Peaty whisky cocktail with some sweet and spice notes
Perfect Rob Roy Sherry Cocktail
For Sherry Week, we are doing a Perfect Rob Roy with PX Sherry.
Cocktail with cherry tomato garnish
Peaty drink with scotch and tomato.
Cocktail next to a bottle of Lagavulin and a Hawthorne strainer
Islay Rob Roy
The classic - with a peaty Lagavulin 16 base
Cocktail with a long stem in front of bottle of liqueur
Lion and the Rose
Supremely simple, delicious cocktail
Cocktail in front of a bottle of Green Chartreuse and a bottle of Laphroaig
Laphroaig Project
Laphroaig based riff on the last word
Cocktail with lime wheel garnish in front of 2 passports
The Islay Word
A Laphroiag cocktail that is shockingly well-balanced

Bourbon Cocktails

Bikini Bottom
Pineapple goes surprisingly well with peaty scotch. This is exemplified in the super-tropical Ardbeg Drum special release whisky. Peated scotch
Poorer Man’s Pappy van Winkle
What to do when you can't afford Weller
Haribo Old Fashioned
One day, while talking to my Jiu Jitsu coach (Kurt Osiander) about one of our shared favorite past-times: alcohol, he
Smoother than a Horse on Skates
Bourbon-based cocktail from Nova Scotia with Lillet Blanc
Cocktail with lemon twist and flower garnish
Yard Sale
High Octane split base cocktail of rye, bourbon, and Calvados
Wicked Behavior Cocktail
Bourbon tiki-like cocktail
Small glass next to small bottle ontop of table
Zemurray Cocktail
Banana and whiskey class from New Orleans
Unicorn Hunter
A very boozy bourbon-based cocktail to drink while hunting for unicorns
Glass topped with cranberries next to bowl of brown colored liquid
Da Vinci Punch
Falernum and IPA based fall punch.
Cocktail in front of bottle of whisky and two plants
Exene Bourbon Cocktail
Gateway Bourbon cocktail, gets you hooked on the oaky American stuff.

Rye Cocktails

Deadpan Fix
We made a lot of ginger syrup, as described in our previous post on the spicy ginger daiquiri. A lot.
Bananarac Cocktail
One thing I sometimes fantasize about is doing the Julie & Julia version of cocktails. To be honest, I have
Sharingan Cocktail
Was thinking the other day: what’s the point in having so many awesome amari if I don’t make more drinks
Twelve Mile Limit
Prohibition era cocktail with a triple base of rye, rum, and brandy.
Red Eye Cocktail on top of glass surface with toothpick
Red Eye
Original cocktail from Jim Meehan designed for the Amex Centurion Lounge
Cocktail with lemon twist and flower garnish
Yard Sale
High Octane split base cocktail of rye, bourbon, and Calvados
Sfumato Cocktail
Sfumato and rye-based boozy cocktail
Cocktail with a lime garnish on top of wooden plank
Cobra Verde
A grassy agricole diamondback variant by Thomas Waguh from Death & Co.
Cocktail in glass with silver rim with two bottles of liquor behind
Final Ward
Last Word with Whiskey from Phil Ward
Cocktail sitting in tray with lemon garnish
Green Hat Cocktail
Old Fashioned Variant with Green Chartreuse and Rye.