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Forget old men sitting by a fire drinking whisky, Scotch has been cool since forever and you may have noticed more and more people ordering it in your bar. So what do you mix with Scotch? Or how much ice to do you add when someone orders ‘on the rocks’? Take a look at some of our tips to help ensure your customer gets the perfect glass of Scotch whisky every time.

Long mixed drink

As we said, drinking whisky is growing and more and more people are drinking it in long mixed drinks. As Dave Broom wrote in his article ‘Celebrating whisky’ this is actually not a new phenomenon and whisky has been enjoyed long as far back as the 16th century. So what type of Scotch whisky works well in long mixed drinks?

What do you mix with Scotch: A long drink is ideal for lively, bold whiskies that can cut through and bring through their own flavours whilst also complementing the chosen mixer. For example JOHNNIE WALKER BLACK LABEL and soda water, or JOHNNIE WALKER RED LABEL and ginger ale are both great serves. A recommended serve would consist of 1 part Scotch whisky to 4 parts mixer.

How to serve a glass of Scotch: Fill a tall, clean glass three-quarter of the way with ice and add the measure of Scotch. Pour in the required mixer, stir, add the appropriate garnish and serve.

Try these recipes:

Johnnie Ginger


150ml Ginger ale

Lime Wedge


Fill up the glass with ice cubes.


Fill to the top with ginger ale.

Garnish with a lime wedge.

(2 standard drinks*- 1.6 units per serve)

Johnnie Soda


150ml Soda Water

Lime Wedge


Fill up the glass with ice cubes.


Fill to the top with soda water.

Garnish with a lime wedge.

(2 standard drinks*- 1.6 units per serve)


What type of Scotch and why:A neat serve is ideal for rich, powerful whiskies with layers of flavour that are great on their own (although when mixed well in a cocktail they can be amazing). For example TALISKER 10 YEAR OLD ISLE OF SKYE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY is a great Scotch to serve neat and savour.

How to serve: The Scotch is served without ice and poured into an old-fashioned glass.

Splash of water

What type of Scotch and why:A serve with a splash of water is ideal for a rich and intense whisky like the LAGAVULIN 16 YEAR OLD ISLAY SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY, which is amazing when served in a solid tumbler, with a little still water. The dash of water opens up more challenging and powerful Scotch whiskies beautifully, revealing some of the more delicate flavours which might otherwise be masked by the intensity.

How to serve: This is usually dependent on the customer’s preference, but a good estimate would be 2 parts whisky and 1 part water, served in a jug alongside a glass of whisky.

Water on the side

What type of Scotch and why: Serving a Scotch neat with a glass of iced water on the side is ideal for intense, rich whiskies like JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE LABEL. This allows the customer to revisit the Scotch multiple times, each time experiencing new flavours and aromas.

How to serve: The Scotch is poured into a glass without ice, alongside a glass of iced water, which is sipped first to cleanse the palate, and then regularly as the Scotch is enjoyed.

Bottle serve procedure

You might find in your bar or restaurant, there is the opportunity for customers to buy a bottle of a spirit, such as Scotch whisky, but how should you present a bottle and glasses to a customer? Follow these easy steps to ensure excellent customer service:

Bring bottle, ice and glassware (and any requested mixers) on a serving tray to table

Place large, quality ice cubes into glasses if required

Pour Scotch over ice

Serve with mixer if required

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