From classic drinks like the old fashioned or Seelbach to wholly unique concoctions like the smoke-infused Courting Rachel or the richly spicy Massamanhattan, you’re sure to find a whiskey cocktail to love.
Eggnog has become the quintessential Christmas drink–holiday parties just wouldn’t be the same without it–but the ubiquitous store version doesn’t hold a candle to this preparation. See the recipe for Eggnog » Christopher Hirsheimer Experiencing the Tom and Jerry is like sipping a hot toddy through a brandy-laced, nutmeg-dusted froth. Serve this thick, batter-like concoction at your next holiday gathering. Todd Coleman This jelly shot is a mix of fresh raspberries and mint with just a touch of bourbon. Michelle Palm Native Dubliner Cathal Armstrong, chef of Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Virginia, recommends using Red Breast or Paddy Irish whiskey in this pick-me-up that’s a classic, simple combination of coffee, whiskey, brown sugar, and soft-peaked whipped cream. Get the recipe for Irish Coffee » Todd Coleman See the Recipe Anna Stockwell See the Recipe Anna Stockwell Bourbon lends warmth to this tea-based cocktail. Anna Stockwell See the Recipe Ganda Suthivarakom See the Recipe Maxime Iattoni Forget the sours of your teenage years; this sophisticated update uses maple syrup to temper rye whiskey, with fresh lemon and orange juices to brighten things up. Khushbu Shah Once the smoke subsides, we’re left with a potent cocktail, sweet-bitter with a balanced smoky kick. See the recipe for the Courting Rachel » Helen Rosner This twist on the Gold Rush substitutes honey for ginger liqueur. Maxime Iattoni The clean, summery aroma of basil completely transforms the classic julep, traditionally made with mint. The drink is also traditionally made with Bourbon–here, we replaced that with Jameson Irish whiskey, whose subtle citrus notes intermingle beautifully with the sweet herbs. See the recipe for the Basil Julep » Anna Stockwell This tangy whiskey drink is just the right amount of sweet, sour, and straight-up booze. Maxime Iattoni White whiskey takes the place of bourbon in this summery interpretation of a julep. Get the recipe for Strawberry Moonshine Julep » Maxime Iattoni A hit of ginger liqueur takes the traditional mint julep and turns it squarely on its ear: spicy, sweet, and modern, with a citrus tang from the wedge of lemon, it’s a fresh twist on the old classic. maxime iattoni See the Recipe Maxime Iattoni Sweet rhubarb syrup, strawberry and fresh mint combine with bourbon for a delicious spring-appropriate cocktail. Ganda Suthivarakom In this dark, easy-drinking cocktail, bourbon, creme de cassis, and elderflower liqueur come together in a beautiful marriage of flavors. Caraline Bianchetto Chase See the Recipe MacKenzie Smith This fresh, bright cocktail marries beet juice with bourbon and Esprit de June, a floral liqueur distilled from grape blossoms that’s available at most high-end liquor stores. Todd Coleman This apple-and-bourbon cocktail is perfect for fall. Todd Coleman Named for the famous hat-shaped restaurant, this simple cocktail of bourbon and grapefruit was the signature drink at LA’s 1930s Vendome Club. Todd Coleman See the Recipe Todd Coleman Coconut milk adds richness to this warm bourbon cocktail. Todd Coleman This riff on a cherry cola uses cola ice cubes to keep the flavor robust. Todd Coleman One of the first mixed drinks, the mint-laden julep was popularized on 18th-century Southern plantations. See the recipe for the Mint Julep » Todd Coleman This anise-perfumed cocktail is a New Orleans classic. Todd Coleman This tart, warming cocktail is perfect all year. Todd Coleman Clear, unaged white whiskey stars in this potent, tropical-inspired punch. Todd Coleman This chilled cider punch combines the fall flavors of a mulled cider with the celebratory feel of a sparkling punch. MacKenzie Smith 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. MacKenzie Smith Julia Travis, the beverage director at New York city restaurant Kin Shop, serves this variation on a Manhattan as a foil for the restaurant’s fiery Thai dishes. Inspired by the rich melange of spices of found in a massaman curry, it’s also perfect for sipping on a chilly evening. Anna Stockwell Sweet champagne, muddled pineapple, and warming rye whiskey form the basis for this pre-Prohibition era cocktail. Anna Stockwell Before the Civil War made foreign products hard to come by in the South, French cognac was the preferred liquor in a mint julep. Michael Kraus See the Recipe Anna Stockwell The rich, spicy warmth of chai is a perfect drink for a cold winter’s day, and it’s made even more warming with the addition of a bourbon like Maker’s Mark, whose notes of clove, vanilla, and caramel marry perfectly with the ingredients in the chai. MacKenzie Smith Bourbon mixed with lemon juice, grenadine, and splash of soda gives the classic Shirley Temple a decidedly grown-up twist. See the recipe for the Lady Shirley » MacKenzie Smith Cognac, fresh raspberries, and sparkling wine combine to make this fizzy, romantic cocktail, inspired by Woody Allen’s movie Midnight in Paris. See the recipe for The French Connection » MacKenzie Smith This punchy Southern cocktail, inspired by nominee The Help, is sweet but surprisingly strong—just like the characters in the movie. MacKenzie Smith Bittersweet with spicy, herbal undertones, the complex flavor of this rye cocktail celebrates the complexity of Oskar’s character in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. MacKenzie Smith Black mission fig bitters from Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters and a cinnamon simple syrup are at once spicy, smoky, and sweet when mixed with grapefruit juice and blended Scotch whiskey. Anna Stockwell This cocktail brightens up smoky scotch with vanilla cognac liqueur and hibiscus and strawberry syrups. Todd Coleman Rosemary brings an herbal note to this whiskey drink. Todd Coleman See the Recipe Todd Coleman Created by 2012 SAVEUR Best Food Blog Awards Best Cocktail Blog winner, Jordan Catapano of This Girl Walks Into a Bar, the Citrus SAVEUR is a punch-like drink that pairs white corn whiskey with grapefruit juice, mint simple syrup, and homemade sweet and sour. Helen Rosner Maple syrup and a healthy dose of bourbon add a delectable kick to this grown-up take on a vanilla milkshake, served at Seattle’s Skillet Diner. Todd Coleman A direct descendant of the Negroni, the Al Capone (a creation of Brooklyn bartender John Bush) blends Campari, whiskey, and vermouth to create the perfect summer whiskey drink. The result is heavy on the whiskey (Bush prefers a fiery rye like Willett), with half as much vermouth (like dark, spicy Carpano Antica). Todd Coleman Made with Buffalo Trace bourbon and fresh lemon, the Melisse Whiskey Sour is delicate and floral, a perfect balance of tart and sweet, with subtle vanilla notes and a sumptuous, meringue-like pillow of foam on top. Helen Rosner Scotch, Cherry Heering, vermouth, and orange juice create a smoky-sweet effect, equally good topped with extra juice and served for brunch. Maxime Iattoni See the Recipe Todd Coleman This throat-warming punch is a sophisticated take on the old-timey cold-season cure of tea dosed with Rock and Rye cordial. Anna Stockwell This sweet and tangy cranberry–beer–bourbon punch, delicately spiced with cinnamon-infused simple syrup, is perfect for a festive gathering. Helen Rosner Bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Portland, Oregon’s Clyde Common tavern gave us the recipe for this extravagant twist on a whiskey sour. Todd Coleman The warm spices in chai echo the flavor of a typical clove-infused toddy. The addition of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and flinty black pepper, coupled with the tannic tang of the tea, made this warming drink even more appealing. Helen Rosner This stiff take on a whiskey sour is traditionally made with apricot brandy, but cognac is a less-sweet alternative. Todd Coleman This magenta-hued whiskey cocktail, inspired by a recipe from mixologist Cory Cuff of Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis, pairs slightly spicy rye whiskey with the rich, fruity flavors of red wine and blackcurrant liqueur, brightened by a touch of freshly squeezed lemon juice. See the recipe for The Whiskey Seduction » Solomon Oh This drink is one of our favorites to make with Rittenhouse rye whiskey. Todd Coleman See the Recipe Todd Coleman The recipe for this potent drink, named for the French Quarter, or Vieux Carré (“old square” in French), comes from the Hotel Monteleone’s rotating Carousel Bar. This recipe first appeared in our April 2013 special feature on New Orleans. See the recipe for Vieux Carré » Todd Coleman This version of the Manhattan stays true to the classic with Jim Beam rye whiskey and Angostura bitters. Todd Coleman The Bahamian film star would be proud to have inspired this combination of Maker’s Mark bourbon, sweet vermouth and Aztec chocolate bitters. Todd Coleman Bulleit rye, two kinds of vermouth, and West Indies orange bitters make up this riff on a Manhattan. Todd Coleman With slightly spicy Bulleit Bourbon and sweet Italian Amarena cherries, this take on the Manhattan is named for everyone’s favorite Spaghetti Western hero. Todd Coleman 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. Helen Rosner Based on a classic Brown Derby, this variation gets its name from the molasses which replaces honey in the original. Pink grapefruit juice adds a bit more sweetness and a rosy glow. Laura Sant Sweet watermelon juice tempers spicy adobo sauce and tart lemon juice in a bright, summery bourbon cocktail. Laura Sant Bright citrus juice and citrus bitters, apple brandy, cherry-flavored liqueur, and bittersweet amaro add layers of complexity to this whiskey drink. Penny De Los Santos At the Grey Plume restaurant in Omaha, dry sherry adds a pretty, floral note to this twist on a whiskey sour. Penny De Los Santos Campari ice cubes morph this drink from a Manhattan into a Boulevardier as they slowly melt. Helen Rosner Sweet citrus, whiskey, and a pleasantly bitter gentian-flavored liqueur combine in an elegant punch concocted by New York City cocktail bar The Dead Rabbit. Khushbu Shah Fresh carrot juice, bourbon, and a sweet, slightly bitter walnut liqueur combine in this drinkable twist on carrot cake. Cory Baldwin Frequently found in Japanese baking, black sugar, or kuru sato, is made by boiling unrefined sugar cane and has a flavor similar to dark brown sugar. Combined with ginger, it adds spice and a deep molasses flavor to a traditional old fashioned. Laura Sant Port, bourbon, and maple syrup come together in this cocktail, which has an intense color, depth of flavor, and a bit of a bite. Laura Sant Su jung kwa is a traditional Korean tea made from cinnamon, ginger, spices, sweet dried dates, and pine nuts that’s commonly served as an after-dinner drink or dessert. Rye whiskey gives the drink an untraditional kick. Laura Sant Inspired by the classics—the Manhattan, the Sazerac—Max Greco created this drink featuring bittersweet, nutty Braulio amaro at Vasco in Sydney, Australia. Helen Rosner Moscato-based Cocchi Vermouth di Torino lends a complex sweetness to a twist on a Manhattan made with rye and Lillet. Laura Sant Elderflower liqueur replaces the traditional sugar cube in this floral twist on an old favorite. Laura Sant This Prohibition-era classic combines grapefruit juice with smoky scotch and dry vermouth. See the recipe for Miami Beach Cocktail » Ingalls Photography Bourbon is combined with grapefruit and tangerine juice in this fruity cocktail. Helen Rosner This variation on a Sazerac gets a boost from the complex, herbal flavor of chartreuse and a bright dash of lemon bitters. Helen Rosner Cream, whiskey, vanilla, and coffee combine with sweetened condensed milk for a silky-smooth alternative to store-bought Irish cream. We love it added to coffee, used to sweeten cake frosting, or just on its own, enjoyed over a little ice. Get the recipe for Homemade Irish Cream » Cory Baldwin