7 Ways to Drink Whiskey

What are the different ways to drink whiskey? 

  1. Neat or straight
  2. On the rocks
  3. Whiskey with water
  4. Warmed up
  5. Highballing
  6. Mixing
  7. Whiskey tea

Whiskey is known to be one of the most popular and delicious spirits. Depending on where the whiskey was made, it can be sweet with vanilla and cinnamon notes, while other bottles tend to be drier similar to toasted almonds and toffee. 

If you are not yet sure how to best enjoy this classic spirit, continue reading on! Discover the different ways to drink whiskey! 

Neat or straight

Whiskey connoisseurs will tell you that the best way to enjoy whiskey is to drink it straight or neat. This simply means you drink the spirit straight up or on its own - no ice, water, just whiskey. 

To first-time whiskey drinkers, drinking it neat may be too overpowering especially if you’re not used to drinking alcohol. However, this method is when whiskey can best showcase its different flavor notes. 

So, if your aim is to take in all the notes whiskey has to offer, drink it neat. Adding water or ice to the spirit can numb your palate and inhibit its aroma. 

On the rocks

On the rocks

When whiskey is served on the rocks, it contains ice. This can be a refreshing way to enjoy whiskey especially if you’re trying to acclimate yourself to the strong flavors of the drink. 

Some spirits are meant to be enjoyed alone, while other drinks benefit when ice is added. When it comes to whiskey, connoisseurs may say that it degrades its flavor since the ice tends to numb your palate and dulls its aroma. 

To make the most out of whiskey on the rocks, add big ice cubes or spheres instead of your regular ice cubes. Spheres and more giant cubes melt much slower. As a result, the whiskey is chilled and does not water down quickly. This way, you can enjoy its flavors more. 

Whiskey with water

You can also drink whiskey with water. This is added by using a straw or a pipette to add a few drops of water into the drink. All you will need to do is to give it a swirl. Keep adding drops of water until you achieve the flavor you desire. The more water you add to the whiskey, the more diluted it becomes. 

When water is added to whiskey, it activates the hydrophobic or water-resistant elements of the glass. In turn, this lowers the alcoholic content of the drink while bringing out more of its aroma. Unlike whiskey on the rocks, you can still enjoy its flavor without numbing your palette. 

Many whiskey brands have high alcoholic percentages. So, this can be the perfect way to soften the punch of the drink.

Warmed up

Warmed up

The Hot Toddy is a hot whiskey drink that originated in Ireland. It is one of the ways that many enjoy whiskey warmed up. This drink is best made with bourbon like Marker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey. This premium handmade bourbon whiskey has a smooth and approachable taste, perfect for this hot drink. 

Compared to whiskey on the rocks or with water, drinking whiskey warmed up masks its original flavor. This is done by adding elements that complement the drink like honey, cinnamon, and other spices.

The taste of whiskey is altered when warmed up. Take the Hot Toddy as an example. You add a twist to the whiskey for this drink by adding honey and lemon in addition to the water. 


Highball cocktails are a popular and easy way to enjoy many alcoholic cocktails, and this all began in the 1900s thanks to whiskey. The only thing added to the whiskey for this drink is soda water or ginger ale. 

These kinds of cocktails are enjoyed in many ways across the globe. For the Japanese, the best way for them to enjoy this is to mix soda water with the spirit. On the other hand, Westerners enjoy it with coke and lemonade. 

When you enjoy a whiskey highball, it is usually mixed with three parts soda water and one part whiskey. This not only sweetens the drink, but it can also help soften the potential hangover the next day. 


Whiskey is also enjoyed in many classic cocktails like The Manhattan, Mint Julep, and a Whiskey Sour. To some, this can be the only way they enjoy whiskey. To others, it can be a way to explore different ways of enjoying the drink.

When added to mixed drinks, the flavor of whiskey is best enjoyed when two parts of it are added to the cocktail. It is also well complimented with the flavors of rosemary, lime, mint, berries, blood orange, rosemary, bitter lemon, honey, and rosemary. 

Whiskey tea

This is a common drink enjoyed in East Asian countries like Japan and China. 

When tea is added to whiskey, the floral notes from teas like Darjeeling balance out the dry fruit flavors in whiskey, as a result, the whiskey flavor is softened while more aromatics are added. 

Key Takeaway

Whiskey is a very versatile spirit that you can enjoy during a nightcap or a night out with good company. Now that we’ve given you different ways to drink whiskey, you can find what method you’ll enjoy this amber-colored drink the most. 

Take a look at Ralph’s Wine & Spirits' full collection of whiskey in the Philippines here. This is a collection of the best bottle distilleries have to offer.

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