Neat, over ice, or with a few drops of water — beauty lies in the eye of the beholder when drinking fine single malt. But limiting your dram to these three avenues ignores a whole world of possibilities. With its depth of flavor and unique character, single malt offers a stunning new take on classic whiskey cocktails. Serving with simple mixers highlights each single malt’s personality, while complex aged expressions provide a remarkable partner when paired with food.
Set the snifter aside (for now) — here are five new ways to drink single malt.
This new all-American classic enjoys an exciting new lease of life when mixed with new-age Colorado single malt. The whiskey’s baked apple and butterscotch characteristics provide a familiar foundation for the cocktail, while notes of cayenne and toasted oak serve new levels of intrigue. Garnish with an orange peel and Maraschino cherry for a luxurious, nuanced Old Fashioned.
A relative of the Manhattan, the Rob Roy incorporates 2 parts blended whiskey, 1 part sweet vermouth, and two dashes of bitters. Where the Manhattan adds decadence with a cocktail cherry, garnish this cocktail with a lemon twist, highlighting the fruity exuberance and approachable character of Bushmills 10 Year.
The Gold Rush is a modern take on the classic whiskey sour. Sweetened with honey simple syrup, its profile is tailor-made for the decadent honeycomb and dried fruit notes The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey develops while aging in Oloroso sherry casks. Perfect for every season, prepare to discover your new go-to whiskey cocktail.
Neat With Cheese
This single malt is full of character and mixes wonderful cocktails, but with its stunning depth of flavors, it shines as a one-man band. Proofed to 40 percent ABV perfection, sidestep the ice, but feel free to add a few drops of water to enliven its aromatic finesse. With its generous mix of crisp apple, dried stone fruit, and toasted nut notes, Bushmills 16 Year provides all the accouterments of a well-stocked cheeseboard.
Highballs are not only one of the most refreshing ways to enjoy whiskey, adding sparkling water also magnifies the spirit’s aromatic qualities. Build in a Collins glass full of ice and use only the best quality sparkling water that will live up to the quality of the whiskey. Garnish with whatever fresh fruit notes hit you from the glass: a slice of fresh green apple or a lemon twist, perhaps.