5 Whiskey Cocktails to Make Tonight A collection of smooth classics that enrich the home bar.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Ramble through 1898 with the Ward 8, traverse summer with a Smash, and be transported by the Rye Hummingbird Down. Elegant and balanced, these classics have stood the test of time and elevate the whiskey experience.

1. Ward 8

A classic cocktail that originated in Boston at the turn of the 20th century with a legend around a constituent ward that helped secure an election. This is a bartender’s favorite and one of the tenements of whiskey cocktails.

2 oz rye whiskey
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz orange juice
2 tsp grenadine

Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake with ice and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with two speared cherries.

2. Whiskey Smash

Bright and smooth, this is a favorite to make and sip. It’s also universally pleasing with different types of whiskeys, so go ahead and use your preferred brand.

2 oz whiskey
3/4 oz simple syrup
3 lemon quarters
5 mint leaves

Add ingredients to a pint glass and smash with a muddler. Next shake with ice. Finally, strain over ice in a glass.

3. Bobby Boucher

The Bobby Boucher cocktail is a nice blend of cherry, herbal brandy, and bourbon. It’s classic 1930s in a glass — sophisticated and well thought-out.

2 oz bourbon
1/4 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
1/4 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Dolin Rouge sweet vermouth

Combine all ingredients over ice in a glass and then strain into a chilled coupe glass.

4. Rye Hummingbird Down

Created by the late Sasha Petraske and included in his posthumous work Regarding Cocktails as a Gin Hummingbird Down. Petraske’s friend, Marcos Tello, gave it a spin with rye.

2 oz rye whiskey
3/4 oz honey syrup
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1 tsp green Chartreuse

Combine whiskey, syrup, lemon juice, and Chartreuse in a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice until chilled and then strain into a chilled coupe glass.

5. The Waldorf

Featured in The Waldorf Astoria cocktail book, this is the executive’s Manhattan enhanced with a touch of absinthe.

2 oz Rittenhouse bonded rye whiskey
1 oz Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth
1/4 oz Pernod Original Recipe absinthe (or Grainer or Pernod)
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Pour the Pernod absinthe into a mixing glass and swirl the glass to coat the inside. Then pour out the excess absinthe. Next, add the rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters over ice and stir. Strain into a chilled glass.


Photos by Jeff Naples.

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