If you are one who has trouble differentiating Scotch Whisky, Irish Whiskey, Bourbon etc. and what you should order, and how you should order, a whiskey drink? Then this article is for you. Bar terminology is often misunderstood by both inexperienced bartenders and patrons. Let's start with the literal ordering of whiskey! The amounts listed are the ones most bartender use as standard.
Shot: 30 ml to 45 ml (1 to 1.5 ounces) of spirit served up in a small glass.
Neat: 60 ml (2 ounces) of spirit at room temperature served in a standard old fashioned glass or tumbler.
Up: For straight spirit, 60 ml (2 ounces) stirred with ice to chill, generally served in a chilled cocktail glass. For a cocktail, shaken or stirred (depending on the ingredients) with ice, generally served in a chilled cocktail glass.
Rocks: For straight spirit, 60 ml (2 ounces) served over ice in a rocks or old fashioned glass. For a cocktail, shaken or stirred (depending on the ingredients) with ice, strained over fresh ice into a glass specific to the cocktail.
Double: 75 to 80 ml (2.5 ounces) of spirit served rocks or neat.
Tall: A standard mixed drink (for example, Whiskey and Coke) served in a taller glass with extra mixer. There is no extra spirit.
Twist: A swath of citrus peel, twisted to express the oils over a cocktail. Twisting adds to the aromatics and flavor of a spirit or cocktail. I prefer to use a paring knife or peeler, as opposed to the typical channel knife so that the amount of pith is minimal. Twists must be done fresh from the fruit for each cocktail. as they start to dry and lose their oils once they are cut.
Perfect: Used generally with martinis and Manhattans. A perfect Manhattan or martini splits the normal volume of vermouth into equal parts of both sweet and dry. For example: Perfect Manhattan 2 oz rye whiskey .5 oz sweet vermouth .5 oz dry vermouth, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters. Add all ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice, stir to chill. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or over fresh ice into an old fashioned glass.
Now that you know how to order your Whiskey, let's understand the types of Whiskey.
There's a lot of different whiskey out there, not just different brands, but different types. So asking for whiskey is just going to be sort of uncomfortable for the bartender. He's (or she) not going to want to offend you, so he'll probably pour you a Jack Daniels or other local favourite and hope that makes you happy.
So lets look at the whiskey families. Here's the types, and an example or two of each.
Bourbon - sweet, mostly made from corn - Wild Turkey, Maker's Mark
Rye - made from rye. Spicer, but a lot like bourbon - Old Overholt, Rittenhouse
Tennessee - a lot like bourbon, but filtered through charcoal before bottling - Jack Daniels
Blended - a mixture of whiskeys and neutral spirits - Kessler
Canadian Whiskey - Made from grain, blended whiskey - Black Velvet, Crown Royal
Irish whiskey - made from barley. Jameson, Bushmills
Scotch Whisky - Also made from malted (sprouted) barley.
Blends - Different whiskeys blended together - Johnny Walker, Dewar's
Single Malt - all comes from the same distillery. Macallan, Glenfiddich
Grain whiskey refers to whiskey made from grains other than malted barley that's distilled in a continuous column still, which produces a light-tasting whiskey. Grain whiskey is usually mixed with malt whiskey to create a blended whiskey.
Blended whiskey contains both malt whiskey and grain whiskey. It's the most common kind of whiskey available. Brands include Dewar's, Johnnie Walker, Seagram's Seven Crown, and Chivas Regal.
Single malt whiskey is made from a single malted grain, traditionally barley, that is made in one distillery. The term is most often applied to Scotch whisky.
Single barrel whiskey means the entire bottle came from one barrel of whiskey instead of a blend from many barrels. This term is most often applied to Bourbons.
Straight whiskey is a term used for an American whiskey that is aged for 2 years or more in new charred white oak barrels.
So let's just say we've narrowed it down to the type of whiskey we want to order. Try some of the Whiskey types (from well known brands) and you'll find your poison. On the side note I prefer Scotch, Johnnie Walker Black Label is my poison. Whiskey snobs tend to look down upon ice as watering down the drink and numbing the mouth to the more subtle flavors. I say who cares? It's a drink, I like my drinks cold - sue me. So if you want it over ice, you would say so, or use the bar lingo "on the rocks". (as I have explained above)
For those who are Still not sure!
I would venture to say that any bar you go to in UK has at least one whiskey cocktail on the menu. If you're not ready to order a dram or if you're just not in the mood, whiskey cocktails have dramatically improved, thanks to how in-demand the spirit is. For those of you with a growing bar cart at home, whiskey cocktails are pretty easy to make. Stay tuned to Liquor Online for more whiskey cocktail recipes.
My advice is to start at your favorite local restaurant and start mining the whiskey list there. Or, even better, get a group of friends together and invest in some bottles from different regions (Bourbons, Irish, Scotch, etc). Make some fun cocktails, bring out the ice and water, experiment. Also, you can always order you whiskey online. Liquor Online is an ideal place to buy whiskey online. We have every type and brands of whiskey available in our online store. Checkout is out later.
That's it for 'How to Order whiskey like an expert'. Let me know your views in below comment section. Hope this help!