Whiskey on the rocks
A double or a shot
Whiskey on the rocks
Elixir from the top
Serious whiskey lovers like whiskey because of the rich, distinctive flavors and subtle notes to be enjoyed with every sip. There are many ways to enjoy these flavors. The purist may say that the only real way to drink whiskey is neat. There is really nothing like a whiskey neat, but for simply enjoying a relaxing and simple drink that delivers the distinctive bouquet of any given whiskey, many of us prefer whiskey on the rocks.
Is there really any wrong way to make whiskey on the rocks? In a word, no. Good whiskey is good no matter how you cut it, as long as you play nice with it.
Maybe you have your preferred method, perhaps you decided to look the recipe up online. These recipes are all very similar and require ice, your favorite whiskey, and a glass to put it in. But how much ice? What kind of ice?
Ideally, we want the ice to do an excellent job of quickly cooling our whiskey to a nice refreshing level. What we don’t want is to degrade our coveted and expensive favorite. A little bit of melting is a good thing and makes the higher proof beverage smoother on the pallet.
There is also the option of whiskey stones. Although interesting and unique, they do a much slower job of cooling the beverage, and since they are not ice, they don’t melt. This means they don’t dilute or depreciate the liquor, but quite often we want that added water. The best way to accomplish this is to use a single large cube or ice ball as opposed to many smaller cubes.
The sphere shape exposes less surface area to the warmer beverage. This causes the ice to melt more slowly and does not dilute the whiskey as much as other options. In a perfect world, every rocks drinker would have some of these.
The size and shape of the ice do matter. Depending on your personal preferences, whether you want more or less cooling and diluting. If you are not as concerned about how cool your drink gets and don’t want any water to be added by the melting ice, your choice would be whiskey stones. If you prefer your whiskey much colder and more diluted grab some ice cubes. For a nicely cooled drink with minimal water added go with the ice sphere.
But what do we put our whiskey and rocks in?
Whiskey glasses come in all shapes and sizes. An old-fashioned or a highball glass in the 6 to 8-ounce range or a double which will be 12 to 14 ounces. In most cases, for whiskey on the rocks, we are not looking for the double.
Once we have decided on the size, the choices become even broader. There is an infinite array of shapes and styles. Lead-free crystal, stainless steel, and many more variations in materials and finish. Many are marked with brand names, and some are available with your monogram. You can even get whiskey glasses for your rocks drink that is designed to hold your cigar while you take your next sip.
The choice is yours.
Find that perfect glass that is pleasing to your eye, feels right in your hand, and best delivers your favorite elixir. Pull out that old favorite or explore some new distilleries and recipes while enjoying them with your new hardware and preferred cooling method. There’s nothing left to do but enjoy.