Classic Whiskey Cocktails: American Style

“There is no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others.”– William Faulkner

Whiskey, the epic booze of the great American West. It’s what the dust-covered cattle punchers and squint-eyed outlaws called for when they sidled up to the bar. And it was the belt of choice for tough-guy private-eyes of hardboiled fiction and American film noir. Yes, American culture is steeped in whiskey.

Bourbon or Whiskey?
Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey share much in common. They’re both made from a mash of at least 51 percent corn, and they’re both aged in charred oak barrels, which give them a mild, smoky-sweet character. Here are a handful of our favorite bourbon cocktails.

Top-rated classics:

Classic Old Fashioned

Photo by Jessica

That Ain’t Bourbon, Jack
But there is a difference between Tennessee Whiskey and bourbon. Though both are charcoal filtered, Tennessee whiskey uses charcoal made exclusively from the Volunteer State’s sugar maple trees. Can you taste a difference? Is the Tennessee whiskey a bit smokier?

Lynchburg Lemonade Cocktail

Photo by Arizona Desert Flower

Top-Rated Blended Whiskey Cocktails
Blended whiskeys were Prohibition’s parting gift to America. With repeal in 1933, whiskey makers were eager to meet the newly legal demand for booze. But it was bottom-of-the-barrel time in their warehouses. With reserves running low, they hit upon mixing spirits together.

Whiskey Sours

Photo by lutzflcat

Coming through the Rye
Before corn-based whiskeys stole the show, rye whiskeys were the rage. Today rye whiskey is mostly a blending booze, but it’s also making a comeback behind the bar, starring once again in classic cocktails like the Sazerac and Manhattan.

Rye Manhattan

Photo by DIZ♥

Booze Foods
Don’t drink alone. Add some food to the fun. We’ve picked several top-rated finger food recipes to pair up with your favorite whiskey cocktails.

Brown Sugar Smokies

Photo by morganc

Eat Your Whiskey
Splash a bit of bourbon into these recipes for big flavor.

Scott Hibb's Amazing Whiskey Grilled Baby Back Ribs

Photo by Christine Boutwell Mita

Cocktail Quick Links

Don’t Forget the Ice!
The best tasting cocktails use fresh ice made from pure, filtered water. Bring the water to a quick boil for best results. Then, make it the morning of the day you plan to mix your cocktails, and you’ll enjoy the freshest, most delicious cocktails.