The Optimal Way to Drink Whiskey

Whiskey Girls


“The optimal way to drink whiskey? That’s not even a real question. Straight from the bottle, amirite?”

Steve“C’mon, brah. Just chug it.” -Steve

No, Steve. No.

Chugging a bottle of whiskey will burn your tongue off because whiskey anesthetises your tastebuds if you drink it neat. While proponents of drinking whiskey neat will tell you that doing so allows you to truly taste the whiskey, having a numb tongue will let you taste absolutely zero things. So, unfortunately for Steve up there, swilling whiskey straight from the bottle is less than ideal.

What we’re after is the optimal way to drink whiskey. The best way. The way in which you can taste the full flavours of your single-cask whiskey that has been aged for 21 years. The way in which after you’ve tasted the whiskey, you can turn to your friend and say, “By Odin, that was a fine whiskey.”

Odin“I know, my son. I know.”

Here’s how.

The best way to drink good whiskey is with some water. Some people will tell you that adding water will open up the bouquet and a bunch of other reasons, but honestly, the actual reason behind it is a lot simpler.

What you want to do, is to take a small sip of your whiskey first. Neat. Nothing else added. If you’re drinking good whiskey, your tongue should feel slightly tingly at this point. It’s the dreaded whiskey burn. If you continue drinking this way, your tongue will be a barren wasteland devoid of tastebuds. So don’t do that.

Instead, add a little bit of water to your glass. No tap water though, because chlorine makes your good whiskey sad. Proceed to taste your drink now. Just a teeny-tiny sip.  If your tongue still feels tingly, add more water. Keep doing this until you have the least amount of water possible, without having your tongue feel like it’s on fire. Now, sit back and  enjoy your drink, and truly savour the taste.

If you want to have your drink cold, you could throw in some ice-cubes. However, chances are that these ice-cubes will be full of chlorine and may dilute your drink to the point where it’s just whiskey-flavoured water. Consider investing in some whiskey stones instead. They’ll keep your drink ice-cold without diluting the flavour.

Whiskey StonesWhiskey stones. Better for you than kidney stones.

Lastly, avoid using soft drinks as mixers. I know, I know. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine, too. At the very least, only use lower-grade whiskey when you intend to mix in Coca-Cola or green tea.

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of how to perfectly savour a glass of whiskey, why not learn how to make awesome cocktails? Readers of this blog will be able to enjoy a 1-for-1 Cocktail Workshop. To register, email and tell them CocktailSG sent you!


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