Whisky purists avert your eyes as we take a look at some twists on traditional whisky cocktails

Suggest adding ice to a nice single malt and some whisky drinkers will shriek in horror, claiming the flavour will be impaired. Some decry adding water, insisting that the spirit has already been watered down to its ideal strength during manufacture. Add coke to a malt and be prepared to be put in the stocks! With such strict rules around the ceremony that goes with a dram, how did we ever end up with whisky cocktails? Many point to the Volstead Act, the legislation that brought about Prohibition in the USA, and with it, an influx of homemade spirit that was too rough to drink straight. However, many of the most famous cocktails were developed decades before so perhaps the reason is simply that variety is the spice of life! So with that in mind, grab your favourite whisky and try your hand at a few of these twists on classic cocktails!

Whiskey Sour

First written down in the 1862 book "Bar-Tenders Guide: How to Mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant's Companion" by Jerry Thomas but known for over a century prior, this classic recipe has evolved over time with various different versions around.


25 Jul 2016 13:57:55


  1. Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Pour the whiskey, lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg white into the shaker.
  3. Fill the shaker to the top with ice.
  4. Shake away - with vigour - until the shaker feels chilled.
  5. Strain from the shaker into a short glass.

Rob Roy

A twist on the Manhattan, the Rob Roy replaces rye or bourbon with Scotch, typically a blend. Taking inspiration from the man himself, we're using Blair Athol Single Malt, with the distillery located in Pitlochry at the end of the Rob Roy Way.


25 Jul 2016 13:58:51

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add the whisky and vermouth.
  3. Stir the mixture until it's well combined.
  4. Drop a cherry into the glass to garnish.


While you've probably heard of the Manhattan, you may not know that there are cocktails named after each of the five boroughs of New York. The Shimbashi is a twist on the Brooklyn with a Japanese flavour and our Nikka From the Barrel Classic Cocktail Pack will help you get started.


25 Jul 2016 13:59:31
22 Jul 2016 13:07:48 Method:

  1. Combine the whisky, sherry and bitters in a mixing glass.
  2. Pour into a cocktail glass and add the lemon twist.

Mint Julep

Synonymous with the Kentucky Derby, this cocktail was traditionally served in a silver cup as a mark of wealth. Today Derby spectators can purchase a premium version of the drink made with Woodford Reserve, the official bourbon of the race, and served in gold-plated cups with silver straws for a tasty $1000 each.


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25 Jul 2016 14:00:28 Method:

  1. Add mint leaves and sugar syrup to a julep tin or a highball glass.
  2. Muddle the mint leaves to extract the flavour.
  3. Half fill the tin/glass with crushed ice and add the bourbon.
  4. Stir until the mix is well combined then fill to the top with ice.
  5. Add a straw and the sprig of mint to garnish.

Rusty Nail

This cocktail is made exclusively with Drambuie as the key ingredient, a whisky based liqueur whose recipe is said to have been given to the MacKinnon family by Prince Charles Edward Stuart, or Bonnie Prince Charlie to you and me.


25 Jul 2016 14:00:50
22 Jul 2016 13:08:28 Method:

  1. Fill a tumbler with ice.
  2. Add the whisky and Drambuie.
  3. Stir until combined.
  4. Garnish with the lemon twist to serve.

Haig Clubman

From its distinctive square bottle to its unique flavour, Haig Club is designed to be different so it's no surprise that cocktails play a major part in serving suggestions. The Haig Club New Old Fashioned reverses the ritual for this
classic cocktail, with the drinker stirring and diluting the drink to


25 Jul 2016 14:01:39 Method:

  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice.
  2. Pour over the whisky, vermouth and bitters.
  3. Garnish with a lemon twist and a cherry.
  4. Serve with a glass stirrer to dilute while drinking.