17 Great Whiskey Cocktail Recipes

From the old fashioned to Irish Coffee, whiskey is king of cocktails

From the old fashioned and Sazerac to the Irish Coffee and hot toddy, whiskey is king of the cocktail. We’ve collected 17 great cocktail recipes using bourbon, scotch, rye, moonshine, and more.

The spicy bite of rye whiskey makes it a natural mixer. In our recipe for a classic Manhattan, it’s tamed with sweet vermouth to make a balanced sipper.

Perhaps the most popular American whiskey is bourbon, and for good reason. It’s caramelly sweetness makes it perfect for sipping neat, but it’s also a great mixer. In the spring, get ready for the Kentucky Derby with a refreshing mint julep; in the fall, warm up with a rich bourbon old fashioned.

More of a scotch drinker? The penicillin, made with lemon juice and honey-ginger syrup is something of a cure-all. For a fruitier alternative, the scarlet starlet combines scotch with hibiscus and strawberry syrups.

If you’re looking for a caffeine kick, we’ve got you covered. The Irish coffee is a tried-and-true combination of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and cream. If you’d rather go with tea, check out our bourbon-spiked almond milk chai.

Whatever you want to pair your whiskey with, we’ve got the recipe for you. Check out these 17 awesome whiskey cocktails!

Seared Apricot Ginger Cooler

Unlike other stone fruit, apricots stay quite resilient when ripe and stand up to a quick sear on the grill with aplomb. Once the flesh warms through and its juices bake a bit, the apricot takes on deeper flavors that pair nicely with a spicy bourbon or rye and an equally spicy ginger beer. Swap out apricots for peaches or nectarines as the summer gets on toward the dog days. Get the recipe for Seared Apricot Ginger Cooler »

Boulevardier Cocktail

In this negroni variation, gin is swapped out for bourbon. Get the recipe for Boulevardier Cocktail »

Alexis’ Bordeaux Sour

Inspired by a cocktail at New York’s Lafayette restaurant, this twist on a classic whiskey sour gets its fruity flavor and rosy color from muddled maraschino cherries and Lillet Rouge, the fruity red French apéritif wine enhanced with citrus and spices. Get the recipe for Alexis’ Bordeaux Sour »

Thousand-Dollar Mint Julep

This version of the classic three-ingredient cocktail—which combines three parts bourbon to one part of a simple syrup bracingly infused with fresh spearmint—is sanctioned by the Kentucky Derby itself as their official mint julep recipe. Get the recipe for Thousand-Dollar Mint Julep »

Billionaire Cocktail

Developed by Dushan Zaric of NYC watering hole Employees Only and featuring absinthe, high-proof bourbon, and house-made pomegranate grenadine, the Billionaire is as rich as its name suggests. Get the recipe for Billionaire Cocktail »

Evening Shade

Heaven Hill Distillery‘s brand abassador, Lynn House, enjoyed nothing more as a child than picking peaches and other fresh produce on her grandparents’ farm in Tennessee. She continues the tradition as an adult, incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into her cocktails whenever she can—hence her nickname, “The Garden Girl.” This summery drink combines peach purée, cucumber, and whiskey. Get the recipe for Evening Shade »

Carthusian Sazerac

This variation on a Sazerac gets a boost from the complex, herbal flavor of chartreuse and a bright dash of lemon bitters. Get the recipe for Carthusian Sazerac »

Kyushiki (Japanese Old Fashioned)

Japanese Old Fashioned »

Sazerac

The Sazerac—a combination of rye, absinthe, sugar, and Peychaud’s bitters—is the official cocktail of New Orleans.

Manhattan

This classic cocktail is made with rye, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters. Get the recipe for Manhattan »

Ciderhouse Whiskey

Two simple ingredients, whiskey and cider syrup, combine to make a powerfully good drink. A twist of lemon lends a bitter brightness without diluting the richness of the cocktail.

The Clint Eastwood

With slightly spicy Bulleit Bourbon and sweet Italian Amarena cherries, this take on the Manhattan is named for everyone’s favorite Spaghetti Western hero.

The Sidney Poitier

The Bahamian film star would be proud to have inspired this combination of Maker’s Mark bourbon, sweet vermouth and Aztec chocolate bitters. Get the recipe for The Sidney Poitier »

The Patriot

This version of the Manhattan stays true to the classic with Jim Beam rye whiskey and Angostura bitters. Get the recipe for The Patriot »

The Whiskey Rebellion

Bulleit rye, two kinds of vermouth, and West Indies orange bitters make up this riff on a Manhattan.

Elderflower Old Fashioned

Elderflower liqueur replaces the traditional sugar cube in this floral twist on an old favorite. Get the recipe for Elderflower Old Fashioned >>

Kentucky Christmas

In this cocktail, bright, tart cranberry preserves beautifully balance the rich caramel flavor of bourbon. Get the recipe for Kentucky Christmas »