Dilemma: How to sip the nip?!

Something that keeps making the rounds when it comes to enjoying your glass of whisky is how one should savor it. There’s quite a spectrum in terms of the options available. There’s always the one where you can have it neat, ‘on the rocks’, with ‘a splash of water’, as a cocktail, or just down the drink with Soda, Coke or some good ‘ol H-2-O.

So the idea here is to shed some light on the WHYs and the WHY NOTs, post which you might as well go about exploring these options and chose the one that best suits you.

Diving into the most obvious of choices: sipping it NEAT! Drinking whisky in its purest form ensures you get all that 100% unadulterated good stuff – maximising aroma and flavor, a reason why most serious whisky enthusiasts would prefer to only have it this way. However, not all whiskies deliver the best flavor neat which is where adding a splash of water opens it up allowing those complex, hidden, heavily interleaved notes to expose themselves. And you really do feel the difference; you move away from a whisky that is just too involved and sometimes harsh to one that is more mellow with an arms length between the many flavor profiles allowing your senses to better perceive and thus enhancing the overall experience; not to mention cushioning the ethanolic punch making it easier on the nose.

Popping a few ice cubes is the next alternative, especially when you have 30+ degree temperatures knocking at the door, but doing so unfortunately subdues a lot of its potency. Having it at room temperature allows the whisky to breathe; a reason why wine and  cognac drinkers would suggest to hold the glass in a manner where the heat from your hands passes over to the spirit releasing a lot more zing as the fluid expands. So having it cold is one thing, dropping a zillion rocks just kills the flavor altogether.

When it comes to cocktails, bartenders would usually turn to low end Bourbons or Tennessee’s, as they not only are easy on the pocket but also add a certain hit of sweetness to the drink. Same is the case if they were to source some scotch (mostly blended) or Irish (we’ve all heard of Irish coffee/crème). If you happened to have a few bottles of your ‘not so fancy’ alcohol laying around or are thinking of hosting the occasional party where the ask is to be more social and less hung up on what you’re drinking, then cocktails and mixers are the sure way to go.

Coming back to the inevitable…how does one drink their whiskey?  Personally I would go neat or with a splash of water if it’s real good whisky, but that’s just me.

Nevertheless, don’t let anyone tell you the ’right’ way to have your drink. Savoring the goodness is all about how YOU would want to enjoy it. You can have it in any shape or form as long as you get a kick out of it!

I now turn the ‘keyboard’ your way and would like to ‘read’ your thoughts and moreover, your preferences? Cheers!

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