Whiskey has a kind of allure that no other beverage can match. It’s a cocktail you can sip with your buddies or try while meeting new folks at your local bar or pub. There are a plethora of methods to drink whiskey, such as you may drink it straight, shake or stir it into a contemporary whiskey cocktail, or make classic whiskey cocktails in stunning whiskey glasses.
If you’d like to add whiskey to your ever-expanding list of interests, you’re in the right place. Here’s your beginners guide to drinking whiskey.
Table of Contents
What is whiskey, and how does it differ from other hard liquors?
If you’re a regular visitor to The Manual, you probably don’t need an introduction to whiskey. In fact, there’s a good possibility you’re sipping a tumbler right now. But still, there is much to learn about the wide world of whiskey.
In a nutshell, whiskey is a distilled beverage produced from grain.
In a nutshell, whiskey is a distilled beverage produced from grain. To reach the distillation point, a distiller mashes up the grain to release natural sugars, which he or she then ferments into alcohol. Alcohol is heated in a still to separate the water from the ethanol, resulting in a more powerful spirit.
Whiskies are typically made from corn, rye, wheat, and barley (both malted and unmalted), though grain used can vary. The four primary grains are rice, wheat, corn, and barley. Other grains such as millet and quinoa are occasionally eaten; however, the aforementioned four are the main players. After fermentation and distillation, the mash is then aged in a barrel for flavor and color.
So, there you have it: whiskey in a nutshell. Now, let’s take a look at one of the most successful people in New York City’s history, Tommy Tardie.
“Whiskey has a lot of advantages,” Tardie points out. “It’s so diverse that it can appeal to almost everyone. Bourbon, rye, single malts, and blenders — they’re all whiskey.”
“Exploration” is the theme of this guide. There’s no such thing as the “correct” way to drink all whiskies, instead it’s a personal excursion that might vary from week to week, day to day, and drink to drink. Any whiskey with the golden rays of the sun should be served in accordance with this procedure. We’ll go through the fundamentals, but ultimately it’s up to you to follow your own taste.
How to Drink Whiskey
Enjoying Whiskey Straight or Neat
When you are drinking a glass of whiskey, resist the urge to put ice in it right away. Many whiskeys benefit greatly from ice, but if you don’t at least try the spirit neat, you’d be missing out on something.
“I used to order a whiskey neat before I got into the hospitality business,” says Tardie. “I’d suggest neat whiskey for people who enjoy the taste of alcohol,” she says. “My drink is a one-ingredient cocktail.”
It is totally acceptable if you don’t enjoy your whiskey straight. A single serving of straight whiskey, which has a high alcohol level (approximately 40% to 43% alcohol by volume) and strong flavor profiles, can be like a punch in the face for your taste buds. Why not try adding a little water to increase the likelihood of receiving a warmer hug?
Why You Can Add Water to Whiskey
If you’re new to the world of whiskey, adding a few drops of water may seem like an annoyance. What is the significance of a single drop of water?
“A splash of water may be very beneficial,” Tardie adds. “Water releases the hydrophobic (water repellent) components in the glass after a little bit of water has been applied,” “By lowering the alcohol content and allowing you to detect additional aromatics on the nose, clear spirits can let you taste more tastes on your palate.”
A glass of water and a straw are the simplest methods to go about it. Simply add a drop, twist your whiskey, and take a drink until you discover the characteristics you like. The larger the spray, the more diluted your whiskey will be. This gives the ice a flavor while not chilling the drink.
Should You Order Whiskey on the Rocks?
When it comes to ordering a drink, you should remember one simple fact: “on the rocks” refers not only to ice. Tardie explains, “Ice numbs your tongue and blurs taste.” “But hey, maybe you just want a cold glass of whiskey — I say go for it.”
You should use a huge ice cube (1.5 to 2 inches) or an ice ball for the ice type since that’s what looks most natural. Small ice will melt quicker than bigger pieces, causing your whiskey to be diluted more quickly. You may also try chilling ice cubes or adding chilled whiskey stones to create a similar effect.