Indulge Yourself

What Are the Different Ways to Drink Whiskey?

What Are the Different Ways to Drink Whiskey?

How to Order Whiskey or Serve Yourself at Home


There are a few ways to drink whiskey. These are neat, on the rocks, and of course, in a cocktail. Each of these affects the flavor of the whiskey in different ways. Whether you are ordering at a bar or grabbing your engraved glasses and sipping at home, here are the different ways to drink whiskey.


Neat: By Itself

Ordering a whiskey neat means you are getting the whiskey, the glass, and likely nothing else. However, there is a secret to drinking whiskey neat. Add in a splash of water. Whiskey often opens up when you add a few drops of water. The different flavors become more pronounced. Add just a splash, though, or you could put in too much water, diluting the whiskey and covering the flavors. If the flavors do not open up after a drop or two, add a tiny amount more and try again. It can be a tricky balance, but it is worth it. If you are at home, it’s easy to add water to the whiskey in your personalized whiskey glasses, but it can be harder at a bar.


On the Rocks: With Ice

Whiskey on the rocks means whiskey with ice. The ice, of course, is the rocks. Having the ice serves a dual purpose: cooling and dilution. As above, the water melting from the ice will help open the whiskey up, though room-temperature water can be better for this as it better dampens the alcohol, letting flavors come through better. Sweetness and bitterness can also be affected by temperature. However, drinking whiskey cold is also appealing, and the dilution will help either way. An easy way to control dilution is to reduce the surface area. Instead of dropping a handful of ice cubes in your glasses etched with your monogram, invest in an ice sphere mold. This will keep your whiskey cold, limiting dilution but opening up some of the flavors. Bars will often use a single large cube or sphere for ice for this reason.


Cocktails: A Blend of Flavors

Finally, there is the cocktail route. From an old fashioned, to a whiskey sour, to a Manhattan, there are plenty of ways to mix whiskey into your favorite cocktail. Bourbon and rye can both be used to make cocktails, but bourbon is slightly sweeter with a hint of smokiness. Rye is spicy and grainy compared to a bourbon, which leads to a different flavor profile. Irish whiskey is less sweet than most American bourbons, while Canadian whisky (minus the e) is more plain and smooth. Generally, you don’t want to use scotch in cocktails, with its peaty, earthy flavor.


Bonus: How to Store Whiskey

Now that you know the different ways to drink whiskey, there are two main ways to store a whiskey. The first, and more common, is in the bottle it came in. The bottle should preserve the whiskey well. The second way is in a decanter. There is no real difference between the two, as a decanter does not change the flavor profile of whiskey as it does with wine, but it is more impressive to pour from a decanter.


About Crystal Imagery

Crystal Imagery started in 2000 as a hobby. Eric Schuchart began his hobby by making deeply engraved gifts for friends and family. His craft proved popular enough that in 2013, Crystal Imagery was incorporated. Sherri Blum joined as a co-founder and business partner. The company’s success led to it growing by leaps and bounds, expanding from a modest garage to a full 10,000 square-foot facility in only three years. The brand uses a special deep carving technique, creating a 3D relief in the glass that is vastly superior to laser or rotary etching. Instead of a surface etching, it gives depth and shadow to products such as personalized whiskey glasses, Glencairn glasses, decanters, beer mugs, and more. Indulge yourself or give a truly unique, personalized gift with Crystal Imagery.


Enjoy whiskey how you want at home with personalized whiskey glasses from Crystal Imagery at