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HomeChampagneWe Requested 25 Bartenders: What is the Finest Whiskey for Mixing Cocktails?

We Requested 25 Bartenders: What is the Finest Whiskey for Mixing Cocktails?


As the times develop shorter and a chill creeps into the air, there’s maybe nothing extra satisfying than sipping on a warming whiskey drink. In the case of mixing up classics just like the Previous Usual, Boulevardier, or trendy favorites just like the Gold Rush, selecting the right bottle of whiskey (or whisky) could make or break a cocktail.

To seek out out what the specialists flip to when shaking or stirring, we reached out for his or her hard-earned recommendation. From bourbon and rye to Scotch and Japanese whiskies, their solutions span the globe. Hold studying for his or her strategies, together with a current launch from a beloved model and an inviting spin on a Manhattan positive to tempt any whiskey lover.

The Finest Whiskeys for Mixing Cocktails, Based on Bartenders

  • Previous Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon Whiskey
  • FEW Bourbon
  • Barrell Seagrass
  • Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond
  • Wild Turkey Uncommon Breed Barrel Proof Bourbon
  • Johnnie Walker Black Label
  • Buffalo Hint
  • Woodford Reserve
  • Kamet Single Malt Whisky
  • Wilderness Path Bitter Mash Bourbon
  • Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
  • Fort Hamilton Double Rye
  • Colter’s Run Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey
  • Michter’s
  • Laphroaig
  • Suntory Toki
  • George Dickel Rye
  • Leopold Brothers American Small Batch Whiskey
  • Monkey Shoulder
  • Jack Daniel’s Bonded
  • Maker’s Mark
  • W.L. Weller Vintage 107
  • Previous Forester 100 proof (bourbon or rye)
  • Rittenhouse Rye

Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon Whiskey is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

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“My favourite whiskey for mixing cocktails is Previous Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon Whiskey. It’s a bottled-in-bond spirit, that means it was distilled at a single distillery throughout a single season and clocks in at exactly 100 proof. Whereas the alcohol content material is excessive, it drinks very clean and goes down with none burn, due to its high-quality distillation. Having extra of a boozy spine makes it preferrred for any bourbon cocktail, particularly an Previous Usual, and it’s eminently inexpensive, besides.” —Johnny Swet, grasp mixologist and founding companion, JIMMY at Modernhaus SoHo, NYC

“In the case of the cross-section of inexpensive, tasty, available American whiskey, it’s exhausting to beat Previous Grand-Dad 100. Bottled-in-bond and retailing for round $20 a bottle, this heritage bottling by Beam Suntory is excessive sufficient proof to face up in a highball, with a stunning high-rye spice that makes it an ideal slot in basic cocktails.” —Laura Unterberg, head bartender, The Fox Bar & Cocktail Membership, Nashville

FEW Bourbon is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

FEW Bourbon: Love this product — it’s native, it’s storied, and it has a ton of shoulder for any cocktail wants I’ve or as a weighted sipper on a pleasant giant dice. It’s daring, rounded properly, and desires to pair with so many nice secondary spirit choices. At present, I’ve been utilizing this as my go-to spirit for a twist on a Good Manhattan: FEW Bourbon replaces rye, a contact of Berto Candy Vermouth cut up with St. George Spiced Pear, and Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters. Give it a mild stir and a properly skewered Luxardo cherry for an excellent post-dinner cocktail that has all of the boldness of a basic with a contact of seasonal aptitude. I’m keen on the contact of spice on this bourbon and the ABV degree. Its heat and alluring profile makes it certainly one of my go-tos for any on-the-spot concoction, in addition to a last pour to finish one’s night time.” —Adam Pomajzl, head bartender, Swift & Sons, Chicago

Barrell Seagrass is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

“The perfect whiskey for mixing is the Barrell Seagrass. Completed in Martinique rhum, Madeira, and apricot brandy barrels, this offers a blended cocktail the delicate expression of stone fruit and sweetness however doesn’t overpower the whiskey cocktail that you’re making ready.” —Cosimo Bruno, Daxton Lodge, Birmingham, Mich.

Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond: Due to its bonded nature, it stands up nice to being diluted and shaken with different elements whereas sustaining its true whiskey taste.” —Julian Flores Torres, bar supervisor, Palenque Kitchen, Orange County, Calif.

“Evan Williams Bottled-In-Bond if we’re speaking about bourbon. Because of the rigorous requirements governing what will be known as bourbon within the U.S., you actually don’t must spend some huge cash to seek out a wonderful mixing bourbon, particularly if it’s bottled-in-bond. I’ve nothing destructive to say about this whiskey, and actually, I get pleasure from it by itself. To anyone who says this bourbon doesn’t have nuance, look more durable. And in cocktails, don’t get me began. The 100 proof, 4-year-old whiskey opens up fantastically in an Previous Usual because it dilutes, cuts via egg white in a bitter, and speaks simply as loudly in an equal-parts cocktail like a Paper Airplane.” —Harrison Snow, co-owner and beverage director, Lullaby, NYC

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Bourbon is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

“Overproof, B.I.B, cask-strength, and barrel-proof: These phrases are whispered in my ear when a visitor is on the lookout for a advice for his or her whiskey cocktail of alternative. Whether or not you’re going to be enhancing, complementing, or accentuating the flavour of your whiskey, there are some actually advanced barrel-strength expressions that pack greater than only a larger alcoholic content material. One that’s advanced and deceivingly clean is Wild Turkey Uncommon Breed Barrel Proof Bourbon. With layers of candy honey, spicy black peppercorns, and dry almond, Uncommon Breed reveals nicely in lots of whiskey basic cocktails.” —Liz Dabecco, head bartender, Night Bar on the Shinola Lodge, Detroit

Johnnie Walker Black Label is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

“I often go very basic with whiskey. I all the time cherished and appreciated the standard, the flavour, and the value of Johnnie Walker Black Label, which is a unbelievable whisky to combine or just drink by itself. The richness of the creamy toffee and candy fruit are complemented by the good smoky end.” —Federico Doldi, beverage director, Gansevoort Meatpacking, NYC

Buffalo Trace is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

Buffalo Hint: A basic bourbon with notes of turbinado sugar, vanilla, and slight baking spices. Finest for stirred cocktails, but in addition stands up properly when shaken.” —Adrian Juarez, bartender, Magari, Los Angeles

Woodford Reserve is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

Woodford Reserve whiskey is nice for Manhattans, Previous Fashioneds, and different nice mixes. This whiskey may be very daring and clean with an excellent stability of earthy end.” —Pleasure Daniel, beverage director, Favela Cubana, Calle Dao, Mareluna, and Erbaluce, NYC

Kamet is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

“I wish to point out a model that I just lately got here throughout: Kamet. That is an Indian single malt whiskey that’s amazingly clean and easygoing, which makes it nice for cocktail making. I adore it in a Penicillin. It has a fruity profile with oak spice-forward notes, complemented with vanilla, caramel, and raisins. Nutty and candy darkish chocolate notes make it a tremendous choice to twist and blend with many recent fruits and herbs.” —Chetan Gangan Maverick, head mixologist, Indienne, Chicago

Wilderness Trail Sour Mash Bourbon is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

Wilderness Path Bitter Mash Bourbon: This can be a better worth for mixing, however the oak, vanilla, and baking spices shine via. It additionally has a stunning astringency and nonetheless permits its base flavors to shine via in each shaken classics and spirit-forward stirred cocktails.” —Gregory Huston, normal supervisor, Apothecary, Dallas

Elijah Craig is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

“As a rule, I discover myself reaching for Elijah Craig bourbon when making a cocktail. This bourbon is distilled by Heaven Hill simply west of Louisville in Kentucky. It’s wealthy on the palate with out being overly oaky as some higher-proof whiskeys will be, nevertheless it has simply sufficient character at 94 proof to carry as much as something from sours to Previous Usual-style cocktails with out getting misplaced within the combine.” —Mat Ressler, bartender, Bar Goto and Bar Goto Niban, NYC

“I like utilizing Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon for sours and Buffalo Hint Bourbon for stirred cocktails. Elijah Craig is a balanced bourbon with a contact of acidity, which lends itself nicely to cocktails which have citrus in them. Buffalo Hint is spicy and lends itself nicely to stirred, basic cocktails equivalent to a Manhattan and or an Previous Usual.” Jason Asher, vp of beverage, Gray Hen Rx, UnderTow, and Platform 18, Phoenix

Fort Hamilton Double Rye is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

“I like the Fort Hamilton Double Rye for cocktails. This can be very zippy and actually comes via when making an Previous Usual or Whiskey Bitter.” —Ivy Combine, co-founder of Velocity Rack, co-owner of Leyenda and FIASCO! Wine and Spirits, Brooklyn

Colter's Run is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

“Aged at an elevation of over 6,000 ft, this high-corn mash invoice whiskey is made as a tribute to scout and hunter John Colter, who was a part of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Colter’s Run is an 80 proof whiskey that has vanilla and orange aroma on the nostril with baking spices on the end. This whiskey can be an excellent choice to sip on the rocks with an orange peel or in a standard Whiskey Bitter. Lots of the locals additionally choose it in a Mule with ginger beer.” —Jim Waldrop, normal supervisor, The Million Greenback Cowboy Bar, Jackson, Wyo.

Michter's is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

“I actually get pleasure from utilizing Michter’s as a base for any cocktails that decision for bourbon or rye. They’re versatile and nice to make use of for any blended cocktail. Both is equally as scrumptious shaken up and served as a Whiskey Bitter or stirred down and made into an Previous Usual. I discover Laphroaig a pleasant, approachable Scotch to make use of for mixing — it isn’t overtly peated, however the presence of smoke remains to be transferable to the drink. And if we’re delving into the better world of whisky, I’m a extremely massive fan of Suntory Toki. I discover this and different kinds of Japanese whisky the right companion for a pleasant, refreshing highball.” —Liana Oster, bar director, NoMad London, London

George Dickel's rye whiskey is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

George Dickel’s rye whiskey is the one one the famed Tennessee distiller doesn’t make in its dwelling state (that is outsourced to Lawrenceburg, Ind.), however the completely different locale doesn’t make it any much less scrumptious in a cocktail. The mash invoice clocks in at 95 % rye grain with a splash of malted barley, giving it a stunning spiciness rounded out by nutty and vanilla notes. Its alcohol content material of 45 % ABV is the best efficiency for cocktails — sturdy sufficient to shine via, however nonetheless splendidly clean. That’s probably owing to Dickel’s signature contact of chilling their whiskies earlier than filtering them with sugar maple charcoal.” —Noah Manskar, beverage director, Colonia Verde, Brooklyn

Leopold Brothers American Small Batch Whiskey is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

Leopold Brothers American Small Batch Whiskey: It’s an unimaginable worth for one thing that drinks like a a lot higher-end whiskey than it’s. It has some nice tart, inexperienced apple notes (the results of wild yeast fermentation), and works simply as nicely in a Whiskey Bitter because it does in a extra spirit-driven cocktail like a Manhattan.” —Lex Madden, bar supervisor, Level Straightforward, Denver

Monkey Shoulder is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

Monkey Shoulder is by far my favourite whisky to have at dwelling and use in my dwelling bar. Not simply the title is particular (paying homage to the malting workers drying out the barley [by hand] and getting a stiff shoulder), however a not-too-well-known reality is that Monkey Shoulder is a whisky blended from three single malt whiskies (The Balvenie, Glenfiddich, and Kininvie), reasonably than utilizing different grain whiskies. This provides the juice a extremely particular stability that works in lots of sides of numerous drinks. And the value level is excellent as nicely. This whisky doesn’t disappoint!” —Jan Brown, bar supervisor, Faccia a Faccia, Boston

Jack Daniel's Bonded is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

Jack Daniel’s Bonded is a brand new whiskey to the market that I’ve cherished mixing with. At a better ABV with extra intense but nuanced flavors than the unique Jack Daniel’s, I discover it actually comes via nice in cocktails, notably in a Whiskey Bitter.” —Will Krepop, beverage director, Wiggle Room, NYC

Maker's Mark is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

“Little doubt, I’ll all the time go along with Maker’s Mark. It affords you a variety of aromas and flavors — caramel, clove, cinnamon, roasted oak, and nuts — and the delicate candy aftertaste makes it actually versatile when blended in a cocktail.” —Alex Serena, bar supervisor, Teleferic Barcelona, Palo Alto, Calif.

Weller Antique is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

“I choose to make use of a wheated bourbon for cocktail improvement. It’s clean and permits the opposite components to come back via to see what they contribute. From there, I can decide whether or not to make use of a rye whiskey, one other sort of mash invoice bourbon, or maintain to the unique wheated bourbon. I discover Weller Vintage 107 makes an excellent base to make use of on this approach.” —Kai Wilson, beverage supervisor, Mercat a la Planxa, Chicago

Old Forester 100 Proof is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

Previous Forester 100 proof bourbon or rye. Each are spectacular spirits that do an excellent job of carrying the cocktails with out overpowering.” —Caleb Olson, bartender, Society Cafe in Walker Lodge Greenwich Village, NYC

Rittenhouse Rye is one of the best whiskies for mixing cocktails, according to bartenders.

“I like utilizing Rittenhouse for whiskey cocktails, whether or not shaken or stirred. At 100 proof, it has the depth to function a superb spine to an Previous Usual or Boulevardier whereas additionally integrating fantastically right into a Ultimate Ward or Gold Rush.” —Ryan Williams, bar chief and supervisor, Poka Lola Social Membership and Kachina Cantina, Denver



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