Below you will find easy recipes for homemade whiskey cocktails, which you can enjoy (and brag) with friends and family or just by yourself which is just not as much fun. I always recommend cocktails with friends!
How did we come up with making cocktails, really?
The History Of Cocktails
Cocktails were born somewhere at the end of the 18th century, mostly in the United States and England. They were very successful in the 1920s during the prohibition period (alcohol ban) in the United States, because adding another drink made it possible to hide the bad taste of the contraband alcohol available at the time.
The mixed drinks could be made either with or without alcohol and are divided into two main categories, the “long drinks” (tall drinks) of 120 to 250 ml, often served as aperitifs and also “short drinks” of 70 to 100 ml enjoyed as aperitifs or digestives.
The cocktails can be prepared with various spirits such as whisky, rum, gin or vodka. Here are some timeless homemade whiskey cocktails recipes for making cocktails with different types of whiskies.
Oh, and if you have some visitors who would prefer not to have whiskey – we have them covered too! Check out our lime flavored Caipiroska cocktail
12 Best Homemade Whiskey Recipes
Not only are all of these simple whiskey recipes amazingly delicious, they are easy enough to make even by the most inexperiences bartender (that would be me!). I have broken them down into sections based on the type of whiskey so you can easily see the options for each.
Irish Whiskey Cocktails
Irish whiskey offers a unique flavor compared to other whiskey types, it is also considered one of the smoothest whiskeys on the market. In Ireland they have a rule about their whiskey!
It cannot be considered a true Irish whiskey unless it is produced from cereal grain, barley and malt. It then has to be aged, distilled and bottled in a wooden cask for at least three years. So, lots of work going on to create these flavorful cocktails.
Whiskey in the jar
- 4 ounces whiskey Bushmills
- 3 or 4 ripe peaches (or use a peach juice concentrate)
- 2 ounces unsweetened condensed milk
- 1 tbsp of powdered sugar (or 4 tbsp of peach syrup)
- A few fresh mint leaves
- 1 or 2 ice cubes
- Wash the peaches and then wipe them thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth.
- Peel the peaches and remove their core.
- Put the diced peaches, the powdered sugar, unsweetened condensed milk, the whiskey, the ice cubes and some of the fresh mint leaves in a blender. Blend for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Chill in the fridge before pouring the mix into large glass or a mason jar.
- Add a few more ice cubes just before serving.
The Ginger Ale Whiskey Cocktail
Cocktail made with Teeling Whiskey and Ginger Ale, a true national treasure from Ireland.
- 1/5 ounces of Irish Whiskey
- 6 ounces ginger ale
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
- Lemon for decoration
- Pour whiskey into a glass
- Add lemon juice and ginger ale
- Mix with a cocktail mixer
- Add a few thin lemon slices for decoration
This cocktail is adapted from the original classic recipe of Gary & Mardee Regan (cocktail experts) created in 1999 in New York.
- 2 ounces Irish Whiskey (Jameson)
- 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
- 1/2 ounce red Vermouth wine
- 2 drops of orange bitters (aka Angostura bitters)
- Mix all the ingredients along with ice
- Strain mixture into a cocktail glass
- Decorate with a cherry on top.
Note: In case you don’t have Grand Marnier, you can just substitute with orange liqueur or orange Angostura bitters.
The Irish Gold
This cocktail is not just for big occasions like St. Patrick’s day, it can also be an aperitif for any occasion. The Irish Gold combines Irish whiskey with orange, peach and ginger beer (ginger ale). The result is a fruity and refreshing whisky drink.
You can also easily make your own homemade orange oil with our easy recipe.
- 2 ounces of Paddy Irish Whiskey
- 1/2 ounce of Peach Schnapps
- 1 splash of orange juice
- 1/2 ounce ginger beer
- Put the whiskey, schnapps and orange juice into a glass with ice
- Add the ginger ale beer
- Decorate the glass with a fresh slice of lime
Ginger D. E. W
Although they are quite different, the ginger beer and the Irish whiskey like Tullamore DEW have something in common. Specifically, their colors are very similar, each has its own distinctive scent and a pronounced aroma. The spicy ginger notes blend perfectly well with the light gentle side of the Irish whiskey.
- 1.5 ounces Tullamore Dew 14 years
- 2 cups of ginger ale or ginger beer (there is a difference, but it’s minimal)
- Add Tullamore in a glass with ice
- Mix in ginger ale or ginger beer
- Add a thin slice of lemon for decoration
Elevenses means “the eleven” in English and by extension 11:00 h. This cocktail was first made by Jane Maher, Tullamore D. E. W. brand ambassador for a “late morning break” and is often consumed with tea and jam.
- 2 ounces whiskey Tullamore dew
- 2 tablespoons raspberry jam
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
- 1.5 ounces of Irish breakfast tea
- Add all ingredients in a glass with ice
- Shake strongly with ice in a Collin Glass (tall and thin)
- Decorate with a slice of lemon
Scottish Homemade Whiskey Cocktails
While it is common for Scotch whiskey to have a malty flavor due to the malted barley that is used it can have variations of flavors depending what region it is made in. Like Ireland, Scotland also has requirements for a whiskey to become a true Scottish whiskey.
It has to mature in oak casks for a minimum of three years, be produced at a distillery in Scotland, have a minimum alcoholic strength of 40% (or 80 proof) and have no other ingredients than water and caramel coloring.
As you might guess from its name, it’s an apple whiskey. So, when the words “apple” and “whisky” are combined you get “Wapplesky”.
- 1.5 ounces scotch whisky
- 3/4 ounces apple juice
- 1/2 ounces honey syrup
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Make the “Wapplesky” recipe with a shaker.
- Mix ingredients with ice cubes and pour into the glass filled with ice cubes
- Serve in an old fashioned whisky glass
This famous cocktail drink pays tribute to the Scottish hero, Robert Roy MacGregor, also known as Rob Roy. It was first made in the bar of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York during the premiere of an operetta recounting Rob Roy’s life.
- 2 ounces Scotch Ballantine’s
- 3/4 ounce of white vermouth (or white martini)
- 4 dashes by Angostura orange bitters
- Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass full of ice
- Stir a little with a spoon and add the mix into the glass
- Serve in a stylish martini glass
- For decoration drop a brandy cherry to the bottom of the glass
Japanese Whisky Cocktail
You might have even known Japan had a whiskey, but they do! First, they do not spell it “whiskey” like other countries, but “whisky” – just so you don’t think we have a typo!
Also unlike other countries, there is no real requirement to be considered a Japanese whisky, it just has to be distilled, bottled or sold by a distillery in Japan.
Perfect Nikka Manhattan
This cocktail drink was awarded with the “Best Cocktail” Award at the Cocktail Spirits exhibition in Paris in 2013. So, you know you are drinking the best Japanese cocktail if you happen to know how to make one.
- 2 ounces whiskey Nikka Coffey Grain whisky
- 1/2 ounce dry vermouth wine
- 1/2 ounce red vermouth
- 1 dash of Angostura orange bitters
- Add the ingredients to a mixing glass full of ice
- Stir and pour into a whisky glass
- Squeeze a zest of lemon or orange and decorate with a cocktail cherry
The taste should be very refreshing, so drink it while its still cold.
American Homemade Whiskey Cocktails
In America, we have several kinds of whiskey types which can include Rye, Kentucky Bourbon, Bourbon Whiskey and more. Each has their own requirements for what defines them to be each type.
While most countries have requirements on how a whiskey should be aged, the US does not. They do require a whiskey be bottled at no less than 80 proof though.
The cocktail pays a tribute to the historic Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. This cocktail is often served in a “Mason Jar”, this famous glass jar serving as a can jar at the base, imagined by John Landis Mason in 1858.
- 1 1/4 ounces Jack Daniel’s whiskey
- 3/4 ounces triple sec
- 1/4 ounces fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 ounces cane sugar syrup
- A bit of lemonade
- Make the “Lynchburg Lemonade” recipe directly in the glass
- Pour the ingredients into a glass filled with ice and then add the lemonade
- Stir slightly before drinking
- Serve in a stylish tumbler type glass
Whiskey Sour was invented in 1766. At the time, it was served hot, but the advent of refrigerators and freezers in 1850 changed the recipe and the way it was consumed. The cocktail had also its moments of Fame at the cinema with Marilyn Monroe in the film “7 years of reflection”.
- 1 1/2 ounces bourbon whiskey
- 1 lemon
- 3/4 ounces sugar cane syrup
- Make The “Whisky Sour” recipe with a shaker
- press the juice of a lemon, pour into the shaker with the whisky and cane sugar. Hit with a few ice cubes and pour in the glass
- Serve in old fashioned glass
- Optional: for consistency, pour a few drops of egg white into the shaker before striking vigorously.
The “Old Fashioned” cocktail was invented at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky in 1884. It was developed by bartender James E. Pepper, a member of the Club and one of the owners of the bourbon brand “Pepper”.
He loved this cocktail so much that, throughout his travels, he asked the various bartenders to make it for him. The recipe went around the world and quickly became a must.
During the prohibition era (1920 to 1933), in order to escape the restrictions, some bartenders crushed sugar and orange bitters with a twist of lemon, added a little sparkling water in the cocktail and two cherries to the maraschino to cover the taste of the alcohol and the bitters.
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- 1 dash of Angostura orange bitters
- 1 sugar cube
- Make this recipe directly in the glass.
- Add sugar to glass, sprinkle with the Angostura, a drop of whisky then crush it and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Finally, add ice and whisky.
- Serve in Old fashioned glass.
- Decoration: add a large and long orange peel for an added Wow effect.
And there you have it! twelve simple and delicious whiskey recipes to show your friends you got mad bartending skills.
Do you have a favorite easy whiskey recipe that we should include? Go ahead and tell us about it in the comments!