Unless you’re one of the few nice people around who hasn’t even savored a drop of liquor in their whole lives, chances are that you’re at least marginally familiar of the drink whiskey.
Whiskey – which is also spelled by other without the letter E – is the name used for a wide variety of delicious and distilled liquors that are produced from grains and later on aged in oak casts. Due to its grain content, a lot of people believe that whiskey is a good type of liquor to drink. In fact, there are numerous couples both in the United States and Europe who prefer to feed their babies whiskey rather than milk or water.
How to Drink Whiskey
In the old days, Puritans had a very specific etiquette when it comes to drinking whiskey. For them, whiskey must be purely enjoyed from a tulip-shaped glass with a dash of still water. The addition of still water is necessary to maximize the uniquely delicious aroma of whiskey. Keep in mind that ice actually mutes rather than strengthens the aroma of whiskey.
There are four ways to drink whiskey:
- Whiskey neat (just room temperature whiskey in a glass) is considered by many to be the only “pure” way to drink a good whiskey. The concept is to taste the spirit as it was distilled, rather than diluting it as the distiller hadn’t intended.
- While the logic behind this is solid, this is typically a very poor way to drink a fine whiskey.
Whiskey With Water
- The best way to drink good whiskey is with some water. While people will claim adding water will open up the bouquet and a bunch of other random things, the real reason is more functional.
- First, take a tiny sip of your whiskey neat. Chances are, especially if it’s cask strength, you will feel your taste buds buzzing as the liquid hits your tongue. This is the alcohol anesthetizing your taste buds. If you continue to drink the whiskey neat, you will eventually lose the ability to truly taste the drink; your tongue will grow numb.
- You should add just a capful of water (only ever use clear distilled or spring water. Chlorine will ruin you drink). If after another small taste you still feel that “buzzing” add another capful. Repeat this until you have the minimum amount of water possible, without melting your tongue. Now you can enjoy the entire glass, tasting it truly through the last drop.
Whiskey On the Rocks
- Many whiskey drinkers like their spirit on the rocks. The argument against this is two-fold:
- Ice is typically made from tap water, meaning it’s full of chlorine.
As the ice melts it will water down your drink, well past the point of simply adding some water.
- If you like to drink ice-cold whiskey you can get around these issues by making your own ice from high-quality water and by keeping a dish and a small spoon next to your glass so you can remove the ice once the whiskey is watered to your liking.
- Finally you can mix whiskey into a cocktail or mixed drink. If you’re doing this please do not use high-end whiskey. While one should never drink the cheapest/worst whiskey you can buy, use middle-ground spirits for your cocktails. You always want to be drinking quality whiskey, but mixing $300 bourbon into a whiskey bourbon sour is a stupid, wasteful, act.
- Examples of whiskey-containing cocktails are the Manhattan, Whiskey Sour, Irish coffee and the very much simple ginger ale for people who are not used to drinking whiskey or any liquor for that matter.
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