How to Serve Whiskey? The 5 Most Popular Ways

Questioning about how to serve whiskey? Here's 5 most popular ways to do it

The way you drink your whiskey have influence in the flavours and aromas you’ll feel when you sip it. So, the first question you can ask yourself is “How to Serve Whiskey?”. After that, you can choose the way that you like best.

The five most popular ways to serve whiskey are neat, with cold water, on the rocks, chilled with whiskey stones, and in cocktails. All of them are delicious and perfect for savoring the amazing flavor of whiskey.

In this article, we’re going to explain each of the 5 ways of serving whiskey and how to determine which one could be best for you or your guests (depending on the preference of course). Now let’s begin!

Man serving a glass of whiskey


Table of Contents:

  1. How to Serve Whiskey?
    1. Where to Start?
    2. Serving Whiskey Neat
    3. Serving Whiskey Diluted in Water
    4. How to Serve Whiskey on the Rocks
    5. Whiskey Cocktails


How to Serve Whiskey?

Where do you start?

When answering the question “How To Serve Whiskey?” The first thing you need to do is find your favorite whiskey. It could be from anywhere in the world, but it needs to be one you like.

Second, you need to find a glass. You can use a small tasting glass, but if you don’t have one, your best alternative will be a small tumbler aka a rocks glass (a small glass with a thick bottom).

Cocktails would use a bigger glass depending on the cocktail. There are Collins glasses, old-fashioned glasses, straight cocktail glasses and snifters.


Serving Whiskey Neat/ Clean

The first and most likely way you will be served whiskey, especially if you are tasting it at a distillery, is neat or clean. Neat whiskey is room temperature whiskey without water or ice. Use this way of serving whiskey if you enjoy taking in the aroma of your whiskey and enjoying it in the process. This whiskey is free of everything but flavor and smoothness.

The steps needed are:

  • Step One: Find a small tasting glass
  • Step Two: Pour room temperature whiskey into it.
  • Step Three: Enjoy!


Serving whiskey neat is one of the answers on how to serve whiskey


Serving Whiskey with Water

Regarding how to serve whiskey, the second most popular way is to serve it with water. You don’t need much of that, just two or three drops of water is enough to less the alcohol level of your whiskey before you drink it without sacrificing the flavor and aroma. Remeber, you don’t want to drown it out completely.

This can be done either with room temperature water or cold, but not with warm water.

Steps to this are:

  • Step One: Find a whiskey you love and pour it into a small whiskey glass;
  • Step Two: Taste the whiskey and see if it needs water;
  • Step Three: Pour three drops of cold water into your whiskey.


Get to know more about how to serve whiskey with water:


How to Serve Whiskey On The Rocks

Whiskey served “on the rocks” is whiskey with a few ice cubes or whiskey stones tossed into the glass. You’ve probably heard this phrase a million times in movies and shows.

How to Serve Whiskey on the Rocks? Add some ice and serve it on the rocks as great way to keep your whiskey cool while at the same time diluting it at a slower pace so you can enjoy it even longer. With whiskey stones, you’ll get your whiskey chilled but without the diluting in water part.

  • Step One: Find a small glass;
  • Step Two: Add 2-3 ice cubes to glass (depending on preference);
  • Step Three: Pour your favorite whiskey about halfway into the glass;
  • Step Four: Enjoy!

Two glasses of whiskey on the rocks


Whiskey Cocktails

Last but certainly not least, another of the best and most popular ways to serve whiskey is in the form of mixed cocktails. Mint Julep, Whiskey Sour, Highball – whatever your itch that needs scratching, there’s a whiskey cocktail for that. This is the most versatile way of serving whiskey and it is ideal for those who prefer not to drink whiskey straight in any form.

Attempt any one of these classic mixed whiskey drinks. They’re perfect for when you’re out at a bar with friends or in the comfort of your home for the holidays. This specially curated list of 13 recipes has simple ingredients that are easy to obtain. Plus, you’ll know how a bartender should be preparing them for you.

If you don’t like these, there are some interesting whiskey cocktails here to help you to make an impression on your guests (a good one, of course). You can even play professional mixologist in your kitchen or with friends and build a new creation.



And there you have it: Your answer to the question on “How to Serve Whiskey”. This spirit can be served in multiple ways and these are only four ways you can do it. You can always mix it up and make it your own. Whiskey is a drink enjoyed by many around the world and there are near-endless ways in which you can drink it.

It is versatile as it is strong and flavorful. Go ahead and try all these ways of serving whiskey and find your favorite out of the bunch. Pick one you haven’t tried before! The world is your oyster!

Did this article help? Comment below and tell us your favorite way of serving whiskey!

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