16 Timeless Whiskey Cocktails and Modern Twists

From old fashioneds to mint juleps, whet your whistles with this list of timeless whiskey cocktails and some modern twists on these classic cocktails.

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From lyrics about good ol’ boys drinking whiskey and rye to images of men and women sipping mint juleps at horse races, whiskey cocktails are everywhere—but they’re often under-enjoyed. We’ve put together a list of whiskey cocktail recipes that will help introduce you to the classic cocktails that made people fall in love with this spirit, but also some modern twists on the timeless favorites to give these cocktails a current twist. 

 Infographic of whiskey cocktails and their ingredients.

Just order your favorite whiskey and other needed ingredients from Gopuff, then grab a glass and pour some of these classic whiskey cocktail recipes. Because who says whiskey can only be sipped on straight? Not us, unless that’s how you like it—then, of course, go for it.

Whiskey Sour

A whiskey sour is the perfect weekend cocktail, and remarkably easy to sip on. Don’t let the ingredient list turn you off from this drink. In fact, the dash of egg whites is what gives this cocktail its signature foamy top. Plus, the lemon juice and simple syrup in this whiskey cocktail help highlight the sweet flavor notes of the spirit, making it all go down easy. A good sour is sure to be enjoyed even by those who are turned off by how spirit-forward whiskey and bourbon can be.

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Aquafaba Whiskey Sour

If you’re a little turned off by the idea of having egg whites in your drink, try this vegan cocktail recipe for a whiskey sour. It features water from chickpeas to help achieve the timeless drink’s signature foamy top.

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Old Fashioned 

The old fashioned is probably one of the most popular whiskey cocktails, and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. But the main ingredients of this drink always stay the same: whiskey, bitters, water and a little simple syrup. This cocktail can be very spirit-forward, and sometimes a little too strong for new whiskey sippers—so proceed with caution!

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PB&J Old Fashioned

If you prefer something a little bit sweeter, this version of the classic old fashioned is just what you’re looking for. The peanut butter whiskey is the star of this fun whiskey drink, which makes for a perfect dessert cocktail. 

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Sazerac Cocktail

If sipping on rye whiskey straight is overwhelming, then the Sazerac cocktail is the perfect way to sweeten it up a little bit and make it go down easy. This classic whiskey drink hails from New Orleans in the 1800s, so you know it’s a strong one. 

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Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

This cocktail is sort of like a martini, but with whiskey. It can be made in a variety of ways by switching up your ratio of whiskey to vermouth, using both sweet and dry vermouths or even by swapping out the rye whiskey for your favorite bourbon. But we think the classic rye cocktail recipe is pretty straightforward.

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Rob Roy

Basically the Manhattan’s fancier cousin, a Rob Roy cocktail stars Scotch as its base spirit instead of rye whiskey. It’s a very spirit-forward cocktail, making it perfect for people who already have a love for Scotch or whiskey. 

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Rusty Nail

OK, this cocktail is definitely as interesting as its name. It’s a Scotch cocktail that is perfect for Scotch lovers, and is another drink that you can play around with so as to find your perfect flavor ratios. Try adding some blackberry syrup to the rusty nail cocktail to help sweeten it up. 

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Irish Coffee

Here’s a spiked coffee drink that is perfect for after dinner. Irish coffee is a classic, warm, Irish whiskey cocktail. It’s also pretty simple to make—just brew up your favorite coffee (sweetened to taste), add in a shot of Irish whiskey and top with whipped cream. 

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Hot Toddy

When the weather cools down and you’re looking for the perfect winter drink to warm up with, mix up a hot toddy. This drink isn’t overly sweet, and is sure to warm you up from the inside out. It’s also believed to help reduce cold symptoms—in moderation, of course—so a small hot toddy cocktail could actually be just what the doctor ordered.

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Spiked Eggnog

If you love sipping on eggnog throughout the winter, then this adult version is exactly what you need. You can elevate this simple drink by adding bitters, maple syrup and spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. Whether you opt to make your own eggnog or order your favorite from Gopuff, this winter drink is easy to make and hard to put down.

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Lynchburg Lemonade

On the other end of the spectrum from a hot toddy and spiked eggnog, a Lynchburg Lemonade is the perfect summer whiskey cocktail. Great for day sips, this cocktail is refreshing and light despite its base spirit being whiskey. The bubbles and the citrusy sweetness from the soda combined with the sweet and sour mix highlight the sweeter flavors of the whiskey. 

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Whiskey Highball

Simply put, a highball is a cocktail that features a base spirit—whiskey, vodka, tequila etc.—topped off with a soda. The perfect whiskey highball calls for your favorite whiskey topped off with ginger ale, also known as a whiskey ginger. If Scotch is more your speed, then a Scotch and soda is the highball for you.

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John Collins

Another type of highball cocktail, a John Collins is a bourbon-based cocktail that’s topped off with club soda. It features a few dashes of lemon juice and simple syrup to brighten up the drink, but it’s a pretty simple cocktail that even novice mixologists can get right in no time.

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Mint Julep

Put on your Sunday best, dawn an ornate hat and feel like you’re at the Kentucky Derby with this bourbon cocktail. The mint julep has been the signature drink of the famous horse race since 1983, but we think you can enjoy it any time of the year—even if you’re not into horse racing. 

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Ken-Tiki Julep

A sparkling spin on the crowd-favorite mint julep, a Ken-Tiki Julep marries the refreshing aspects of the minty staple with a little more sweetness and a little sparkle from the Champagne. 

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Four Horsemen

This whiskey cocktail is not for the faint of heart. With equal parts bourbon, whiskey, Scotch and tequila, this spirit-only cocktail gets its name from the four liquors used to make it. It packs a punch, and definitely isn’t the right introduction to whiskey cocktails—but it’s perfect for those whiskey and bourbon connoisseurs out there who can handle the intensity. 

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