Ladyguide: The Only Way To Drink Whiskey Is Neat

So Selena laid the smackdown on all you vodka martini drinkers. It hurt, I know, but learning sometimes involves painful realities.

Now, I’m about to do the same for all you who add unnecessary mixers to whiskey, scotch and bourbon.

Stop. Just stop. (Seconded. ~ed.)

You are ruining the taste of a nice aged whiskey by sullying it with Diet Coke. Seriously, it is sacrilege. I once saw someone mix a 25 year old scotch with Coke and we had to have a “Come to Jesus” talk. It still hurts my heart to think about.

It took me several years into my adult life to realize I was doing myself a great disservice by drinking whiskey in any other form besides neat. I had a friend, we’ll call him Sam, who used to say I was ruining that taste of my whiskey by mixing it with Diet Coke and ginger ale. Granted, we could only afford a small bottle of Jack Daniels at the time, so it wasn’t the fancy stuff, but it’s still no excuse. I ignored Sam’s advice until one day, my aunt told me to drink two fingers straight like a “real woman.” Never one to back down from a challenge, I drank the whiskey and then drank some more. I’ve never gone back. I need to find Sam and tell him that he was right all along and thank him for showing me the light.

I’ll admit, drinking whiskey straight is an acquired taste. It’s got a bite and burn to it as it slides down your throat, but it warms you up. It’s a mellow buzz and fits my personality since I’m not known as the life of the party. I’d rather sit in my corner, sip my whiskey and watch the goings on.

As a caveat, I might tell novice whiskey drinkers to start out with ice and maybe a bit of water (like Frank Sinatra used to drink it) since the burn can be a bit too much at times. However, the training wheels period needs to be brief. Otherwise, a person can spend the rest of their lives thinking that was the proper way to drink whiskey and that would be a tragedy.

What about well whiskey that’s on special during happy hour at the local bar? It’s so nasty that it has to be mixed with something right?

Wrong. The simple solution to that is to NEVER DRINK CHEAP ASS WHISKEY. Drink a beer instead. If you’re gonna drink this stuff, never go below Jack Daniels. Trust me, your future hangover will be grateful for a morning off.

My fellow unicorns, I love you and I would hate to see you miss out on the joys of being a whiskey drinker. It is not my job to condemn, but to educate. Come have a seat at the bar. You don’t have to drink whiskey. You can drink a martini as long as it’s gin. You can drink rum or wine or beer or just have a Diet Coke. Just don’t fucking dare put whiskey in it!

By Stephens

Florida girl, would-be world traveler and semi-permanent expat. Her main strategy of life is to throw out the nets and hope something useful comes back, but many times it's just an old shoe. She also really, really hates winter and people who are consistently late.

17 replies on “Ladyguide: The Only Way To Drink Whiskey Is Neat”

Old fashioneds are my other whiskey cocktail of choice! They’re just a little fussier to make at home, so I stuck with the simpler version this weekend. While we’re discussing whiskey, any recommendations for a decent, cheapish brand? My booze budget is about to be severely reduced, but I don’t want to start drinking utter crap.

This is a tough question, only because there are so many options out there and it’s so personal. Do you prefer blended? Bourbon? Scotch? I rather enjoy Maker’s, which is only about $30 for a decent sized bottle and takes me a couple months to get through. On the other hand, I’ve never had a glass of Jack Daniel’s that I have even remotely enjoyed. Crown is a decent go-to, and I like Buffalo Trace, especially if I’m going to be sharing. (I rarely bring out the good stuff if I’m sharing.)

I think if you’re planning to drink anything neat, though, you’re better off just saving up for a decent bottle and then hiding it from yourself.

I do drink Jack, but then again, my family is from TN so it’s a tradition. On the other hand, I won’t touch Crown Royal (unpleasant non-drinking associations.)

I also really enjoy Maker’s so that’s an option and $30 isn’t bad if it’ll take you a bit to get through.

As far as Scotch goes, a Bruichladdich 10 Year Old is about $60. Macallan 12 will run you about the same amount.

I was always taught that a small amount of water releases the flavours of a good single malt scotch. To me, this means swirling some water in a glass, pouring it out and then adding the scotch.

Of course, thanks to you inspiration, I have a Flora and Fauna Dailuaine bottling that needs my attention.

I have to admit that I don’t GET whiskey/scotch/schnapps/etc. Probably in part because those were the drinks I tried when I was a kid, thus guaranteeing I wouldn’t touch alcohol for another 10 years. (NB-tiny sips from my dad’s glass) Although, I did have an entire sip of good Scotch, and I kinda got what other people see in it, but I still tossed the rest of the glass and went back to my Chocolate Wine.

It IS an acquired case and with like so many things alcoholic, one bad experience ruins it for good (see Bacardi rum for me.)

It’s ok though, because I’m the same way with gin, but many fabulous people I know love it (blows kisses at the editors and other gin drinkers.)

I love you for this. I will admit that I enjoy a seven and seven from time to time in honor of my grandmother. That having been said, whenever anyone mixes a good whiskey, I lecture them for their whole drink so they’re unable to enjoy it. But I just finished a nice glass of Maker’s, so here’s to you!

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