When it comes to American whiskey, three quintessential drinks immediately come to mind: the Manhattan, the Old Fashioned and the Sazerac. Each of these classic cocktails contribute to the storied history of this native spirit, and American whiskey continues to serve as a reliable spirit behind the bar, whether it’s in cocktails, served straight or presented on the rocks. As new iterations enter the fray, from flavored whiskeys to “white dog” expressions, innovative takes on old favorites are recreating the way whiskey is viewed and mixed. Both a valuable asset to your backbar and an enticing spirit that draws in novice drinkers and experienced whiskey connoisseurs alike, American whiskey never disappoints.
Sweet Old No. 7
On the menu at Midwood Smokehouse in Charlotte, N.C.
2 oz. Jack Daniel’s Black Label Tennessee Whiskey
½ oz. sweet vermouth
3 oz. Coca-Cola
1½ oz. cherry juice
Cherry, for garnish
Mix all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker; shake vigorously. Pour entire contents in shaker, including ice, into glass. Strain as needed to fill. Garnish with a cherry.
Red Stag Brass Buck
Courtesy of Jim Beam Bourbon.
3 parts Red Stag by Jim Beam Infused Bourbon
4 parts ginger ale
Lime wedge, for garnish
Fill a highball glass ¾ with ice. Pour in Red Stag by Jim Beam and ginger ale. Garnish with a lime wedge.
The Black Demure
Created by Franky Marshall of Clover Club in New York City.
2 oz. Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon
¼ oz. Massenez Creme de Mure
¼ oz. Cointreau
¾ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ oz. simple syrup
Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a blackberry.
The Brown Derby
Created by Willy Shine, director of Contemporary Cocktails, Inc.
2 parts Maker's Mark Bourbon
1 part fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
¼ part honey syrup*
Shake all ingredients together and strain into a chilled coupe glass.
*To make honey syrup, mix 2 parts honey to1 part water until fully blended.
Created by Leo Rivas for the Seven Grand in Los Angeles.
2 oz. Limited Edition Seven Grand Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon
½ oz. Carpano Antica vermouth
¼ oz. Amaro Lucano
Burnt orange twist, for garnish
Stir over ice and strain into coupette. Garnish with burnt orange twist.
Created by Jenni Pittman at Proof on Main in Louisville, Ky.
1½ oz. Woodford Reserve bourbon
½ oz. clove ginger syrup
3 oz. apple cider
Shake and strain into a Martini glass.
Texas Peach Mint Julep
Courtesy of TenOak Bourbon House + Lounge in Austin, Texas.
2 oz. Garrison Brothers Texas Bourbon Whiskey
1 oz. sparkling water
Heaping teaspoon powdered sugar
2 wedges fresh Texas peach
4 to 5 fresh mint sprigs (from Texas)
Muddle mint, add peach and muddle some more. Add the bourbon and sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Mix in sparkling water and serve over ice.
Specialty of Brian Miller of Death & Company in New York City.
1½ oz. Russell’s Reserve Rye
½ oz. Rittenhouse Rye
¼ oz. Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
¼ oz. Grand Marnier
¼ oz. Benedictine liqueur
1 dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
Orange twist, for garnish
Pour ingredients into an iced mixing glass. Stir contents and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Created by head bartender Maura McGuigan from Bar Pleiades at The Surrey Hotel in New York City.
1 oz. Brugal Añejo Rum
1 oz. Buffalo Trace Bourbon
¼ oz. vanilla spice syrup
3 oz. organic milk
Grated coffee bean, for garnish
Build in an old fashioned glass, stir briefly. Garnish with grated coffee bean.
Created by Joy Richard from Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar in Boston.
2 oz. Sazerac Rye
½ oz. Benedictine liqueur
½ oz. Cinzano sweet vermouth
½ oz. Royal Combier
Orange peel, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice all add ingredients. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add orange peel for garnish.