4 classic whiskey cocktails to perfect at home

Staying in doesn’t mean you have to forgo the style and sophistication that accompanies an evening out at your favourite cocktail bar.

For chilled-out drinks, a short (read: thirty second) trip to your bed at the end of the night, and an abundance of home comforts (we’re looking at you, snacks), it’s no wonder many people are declaring staying in the new going out.

Whether you plan to throw a party at your place or simply want to make an occasion of your Friday-night dinner, having some basic cocktail making skills in your arsenal can be just the thing to save a night in from falling into the territory of any old evening indoors. Plus, it’ll send you on your journey to becoming a veritable host with the most.

And when it comes to cocktails, whisky proffers plenty of tasty options, whether that’s a comforting winter warmer or a refreshing sociable tipple.

Be prepared with the basics: a shaker, strainer, jigger and a muddler – all of which can be found in reasonably-priced beginner’s kits – and try these for starters…

For a winter warmer… Irish Coffee


Before the lighter evenings arrive, and to kick things off with something simple, why not indulge in some after-dinner Irish coffee? St Patrick’s Day is coming up, after all.

Pour your favourite coffee into a heatproof glass three quarters of the way to the top. Add two teaspoons of brown sugar – not just for sweetness, but also to help the cream to float on top. Add one shot of Irish whiskey and stir. Whip some heavy cream – lightly so that it remains pourable – and pour slowly over the back of the spoon to ensure the cream sits on top of the coffee. Add nutmeg or chocolate for extra flavour.

To nail a classic… Old Fashioned


Start with a sugar cube in your glass, and add two dashes of Angostura Bitters, followed by a teaspoon of water, and muddle until the sugar has dissolved. The sheer versatility of Angostura Bitters makes it a great staple for your drinks collection, so it’s well worth stocking up.

Add one serving of bourbon and fill the glass with ice. Stir for 20 seconds and add orange peel to garnish. Simple!

The ultimate refresher… Mint Julep


This delicious tipple is known for its association with the American South (and its famous Kentucky Derby) and is surprisingly quick to make.

Add a generous serving of crushed ice to a glass and muddle with a teaspoon or two of sugar and 10 (washed) mint leaves until the sugar dissolves. Now it’s time for the American whiskey: pour in 50ml of your chosen bourbon. Top with more crushed ice and mint leaves to garnish.

If you’re feeling fancy… Whiskey Sour

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This one needs to be shaken, not stirred, so is the most complex of the bunch. But – don’t fret – once you’ve got your technique sorted, it’s easy.

You’ll need two parts bourbon, one part lemon juice, 0.5 parts egg whites and 0.5 parts sugar syrup. Add it all to plenty of ice in your shaker. Remember, separate the egg white into a bowl beforehand to avoid any messy mistakes. Then, shake vigorously for 20 seconds and use a strainer to pour into your glass of choice. Finish with a maraschino cherry on top.

For all your cocktail making needs, head to The award-winning retailer boasts an impressive range of whisky, rum, gin and much more


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