A selection Johnnie Walker Highball cocktails

Blogs & Inspiration

How to Make Great Whisky Cocktails

To look at the potential of whisky in cocktails beyond the traditional serves, we delve into the history of whisky cocktails through the years, with four classic whisky cocktails for you to try.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Whisky is arguably the spirit with the most diversity of flavour, so the application in mixology is endless. The whisky highball is a really versatile serve with an almost endless combination of ingredients and flavours to suit your personal style, season or venue.

To help you ignite the spark in exploring great whisky cocktails, why not try this delicious Johnnie Walker Black Label & Soda classic cocktail recipe.

TOP TIP: Add toasted rosemary to your Scotch & Soda highball to really bring out the smoky flavours of Johnnie Walker Black Label.

Watch Now: How to make a Johnnie Walker Soda Highball

The celebrated history of Whisky Cocktail Culture

Whisky has been distilled in Scotland for hundreds of years and has fallen in and out of favour with customers. Global trends would see the emergence of Tiki Drink culture (1950’s – 60’s) and Disco Drinks (1970’s – 80’s) which welcomed the return to classic cocktail culture. The reignition of the good old days shone a light on whisky in cocktails again.

Bartenders are now armed with a wide range of global whisky options and have started to experiment with liquids believed to be better suited to that of their historical predecessors. Scotch, and Bourbon were finally having their time in the cocktail spotlight.

From Highballs to Manhattans, whisky can be adaptable enough to bring out light fruit, floral notes, to deeper, richer and broodier poached fruit character.

How to create easy whisky cocktails

  • Play around with the whisky choice – Johnnie Walker Black Label is the greatest all-rounder on your back bar, but get creative with other brands, from smokier malts (Talisker) to softer grain whisky (Haig Club).
  • Don’t forget the bitters; fruit, chocolate or dark spice bitters are always a great option.

Watch Now: Rob Roy

Watch Now: Negroni

Johnnie Walker Black Label bottle next to highball cocktail and jiggers in background

Watch Now: Masterclass

Watch Johnnie Walker Brand Ambassadors, Tom Jones and Ali Reynolds, as they discuss Scotch whisky and its flavours, the regions of Scotland, and why Johnnie Walker is perfect for highballs.

Key Takeaways

  • The whisky highball is a really versatile serve.
  • Global trends welcome the return to classic cocktail culture. Scotch, and Bourbon are finally having their time in the cocktail spotlight.
  • Create easy whisky cocktails by trying different liquids and don't forget the bitters!

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