Whisky cocktails for non-whisky drinkers

Whisky can be an acquired taste and slightly overwhelming to a non-whisky drinker. However, whisky is truly an elite spirit once you find a winning concoction to suit your tastes. Discover our guide to whisky cocktails for people who don’t like whisky and find a drink that will make you fall in love with this one-of-a-kind alcohol. 

Mint Julep

A refreshing whisky cocktail, a Mint Julep will prove a hit with whisky drinkers and novices alike. This cocktail is so simple, yet effective. The Mint Julep originated in the American South during the 18th century and has remained a staple whisky cocktail ever since. 

Ingredients

  • 65ml whisky 
  • 10 mint leaves 
  • 12.5ml
  • 2:1 sugar syrup 
  • Ice, cubes and crushed 

Method

(Serves 1) 

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and add the whisky, mint leaves, sugar syrup and strain into your chosen glass. Top with crushed ice and use a spoon to stir the drink. Add more ice and a mint leaf to garnish your drink. 

Indulgent Whisky Cocktail

This whisky cocktail is perfect for a cold winter’s evening. Packed with rich flavours such as crème de cacao, this luxurious cocktail is perfectly balanced by the sweetness of grenadine and the tartness of the lemon juice. A truly unique but completely delicious cocktail that will ignite the whisky drinker inside of you. 

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp whisky 
  • 4 tbsp crème de cacao 
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 2 dashes of grenadine 
  • 4 tsp golden caster sugar 
  • Orange zest 

Method

(Serves 2) 

Add all the ingredients to an ice filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously before pouring into your chosen glasses. Serve on the rocks if you prefer. Add the orange zest to finish off your whisky cocktail. 

Whisky drinker trying cocktails

Cabernet Manhattan

This whisky drink is a wine lover’s take on a classic. This cocktail wouldn’t go amiss on a cosy winter’s evening tucked up by the fire (a side of a cheeseboard is not compulsory, but certainly recommended). If a delicious cabernet is your poison, then this whisky cocktail may just be the drink for you. 

Ingredients 

  • 30ml cabernet sauvignon 
  • 30ml Cynar 
  • 30ml whisky 
  • 2 dashes pimento bitters of Angostura bitters 

Method

(Serves 1) 

Simply add all the ingredients to a mixing a glass and stir before straining into a chilled coupe. 

Sweet Manhattan 

Another take on the classic Manhattan cocktail loved by whisky drinkers, but with an added dose of sweetness that makes this interpretation a winner with non-whisky drinkers too.  

Ingredients

  • 50ml whisky 
  • 25ml rosso vermouth 
  • 5ml syrup from a jar of maraschino cherries  
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters 
  • Ice 
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish  

Method

(Serves 1) 

Put all the ingredients into an ice filled mixing glass and give it a stir before straining the mixture into a cocktail glass. Add a cherry and serve. 

Whisky Rickey

You might have heard of the popular Gin Rickey, but the Whisky Rickey was actually the original cocktail created in 1883 in DC. This cocktail really lets the whisky flavour shine, whilst the added lime gives a tart and sweet tang. This whisky drink is easy to make and will become a staple in your cocktail arsenal. 

Ingredients

  • 60ml whisky 
  • Half a lime 
  • Sparkling water 

Method

(Serves 1) 

Start by squeezing your lime into a glass, then add the lime too. Add the whisky and ice then top with sparkling water. Give your drink a stir and enjoy. 

Orange Whisky Twist 

This whisky cocktail has a delightful orange flavour that is sure to satisfy non-whisky drinkers. Bitter yet sweet, this whisky drink is a winner.  

Ingredients

  • 60ml whisky 
  • 15ml Cointreau 
  • 1 drop of orange bitters 
  • Orange slice for garnish 
  • Sparkling water 

Method

(Serves 1) 

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a glass and top with sparkling water and an orange slice. 

Whisky Sour

This classic whisky cocktail has been a staple for generations. A tart flavour with a silky smooth consistency, this cocktail will make a whisky drinker out of you yet. The beauty of this cocktail is that you can make lots of variations based on your taste. Whether you prefer a Berry Whisky Sour or a Spiced Whisky Sour, once you have mastered the classic you can get experimental with your flavours. 

Ingredients 

  • 60ml whisky 
  • 25ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed 
  • 15ml simple syrup  
  • 15ml egg white (optional) 
  • Angostura bitters for garnish 

Method

(Serves 1) 

Add the whisky, lemon juice, syrup and egg white to a cocktail shaker and shake for 30 seconds without ice. Then add ice and shake again until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass before adding a couple of drops of the bitters on top for garnish. 

Berry Whisky Sour 

Ingredients

  • 60ml whisky 
  • 30ml lemon juice 
  • 30ml ginger beer 
  • 15ml honey  
  • ½ cup of blackberries 
  • Mint leaf 

Method 

(Serves 1) 

In a large glass, add the berries, mint and lemon juice then mash them together until the berries are juiced. Add the whisky and give it a mix. Use a strainer and pour the mixture into your preferred glass. Top with ginger beer and add a blackberry and mint leaf for garnish. 

Whisky drinker trying whisky sour

Spiced Whisky Sour

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp water 
  • ½ tsp five-spice powder 
  • 3 tbsp of lemon juice 
  • 90ml whisky  
  • Sugar to taste  
  • Ice 
  • Fresh lemon rinds 

Method

(Serves 1) 

Add the sugar and water to a pan and cook on the stove until the sugar has dissolved. Add the five-spice powder and leave to cool. Fill your cocktail shaker with ice and add the sugar syrup you have just made, the lemon juice and whisky. Give it a good shake, then strain and serve in a chilled glass. Garnish with lemon rinds. 

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