How to order a whisky

let’s begin

Love whisky but never know what to go for when you reach the bar? We’ve all been there. Unless you’re the boring bastard that goes for the same thing every time.

If you’re a bit more adventurous than that it can be daunting walking up to a bar and ordering something new. We’ve got you covered.

where to start

Start with the ones you’ve never tried. Simple as that. Maybe you’re really in the mood for your old favourite? Then order that. This article isn’t for you.

Now back to those of us who like to branch out. Go with something you’ve not tried before, even ask the bartender for suggestions. There is no better place to try a new malt than at a pub. Especially if it all goes wrong, then you can just order something else.

Once you have the right dram down, you need to know how to order it, so here’s some useful terminology:

One the rocks: with ice

Neat: without ice

In a cocktail: we recommend an Old Fashioned , highball or Whisky Sour to really get to know the dram.

With a twist: garnished with orange or lemon peel

Short: served in a shorted glass so you get less mixer but the same spirit

Next level ordering

So now you’ve mastered the art of ordering a dram, where do you go next?

Explore more. There are so many different whiskies out there. You already know what you like, so use this as a guide to begin. Enjoy peated malts? Try a different one to your usual, or better still, try an international whisky that uses peat. Like Irish? Try a Bourbon and compare the smoothness. Have a thing for spicier malts? Try a Rye whisky or something Canadian.

If you’re used to some of the bigger names in whisky we recommend trying something more niche, perhaps a craft malt or something small batch. You can learn a lot about whisky from embracing the smaller players as much as the big ones.

The same can be said for international whiskies. There are so many gems out there but some people stick to Scotch because its what they know and there’s so much of it. Irish and Japanese whiskies are becoming more prevalent in mainland UK so we highly suggested getting out and exploring what else is there.

The old argument of blend vs malt also plays a big part in ordering. If you’re more used to one or the other than go for the other every once in a while. There is a lot that can be learnt from just tasting different malts. Even if you don’t enjoy it, you will appreciate your own favourites more and discover more about your own flavour profiles.

What your favourite order at the bar? Let us know in the comments!

Tags: barBourbonCocktaildrammaltsorderWhisky
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My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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