Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 18 June, 2024
more than a teeling

7 expert tips to get the most from your whiskey drinking

We need to know this.

Teeling Whiskey Fareham Wine Fareham Wine

WE, AS A nation, love our whiskey – this much we know.

And with Dublin’s first whiskey distillery in 125 years set to open in the capital next week – it’s safe to say we’re coming into a whiskey boom.

So went along to the Teeling Whiskey Distillery to check it out and, more importantly, get some insight into how we can get our whiskey drinking just right:

1. Even the connoisseurs switch from beer to whiskey

Thirsty? Lars Plougmann Lars Plougmann

Beers on a night out before some whiskey is a classic combination, and you’ll be glad to know that even the experts do it. Master Distiller at the Teelings Whiskey Distillery is Alex Chasko and even he enjoys a few pints before switching to the harder stuff:

In all honesty, when I go out with some friends I would probably have a few Heinekens or some Cider too. Before moving on to whiskey, of course.

So now.

2. The higher the percentage of whiskey, the better


Why? Well, the higher the alcohol percentage the more interesting stuff you can mix into the whiskey – as Kevin Hurley, expert mixologist and Teelings brand ambassador says:

For bartenders and cocktail connoisseurs, what they really love is whiskey above 45%, because the slightly higher ABV means you can dilute it and mix it with things but you’re still getting that whiskey essence in it. It just gives you more space to mix around and add things to it without losing the whiskey flavour.

We’ll take that.

3. And on the point of mixing, anything goes

Avo - The Sutter's Mill bhamsandwich bhamsandwich

If you love your Coke on top of the whiskey – that’s fine. Even anything more extravagant is grand, according to Kevin:

You’d never dictate to people how they should have whiskey – whatever way they like it, that’s the best way. If you like it with two litres of coke on top of it, that’s grand. It’s all so subjective.

4. But if you want the full whiskey taste when just sipping, water is good

a glass of water [cipher] [cipher]

A little bit of water will help open up a whiskey’s aroma. It lowers the alcohol percentage and your nose can pick up on it more then. When you taste a little bit of it you’ll notice its lightness when the water is added, compared to drinking it straight.

Straight whiskey might be a little hard to handle for some, so yaye for water.

5. And ice should be saved for a night out

Untouched ice magerleagues magerleagues

You’re on a night out and sipping some good whiskey just won’t do - Kevin Hurley explains why ice is your go-to companion in the club:

If you’re going to drink whiskey with a mixer, add ice to it. You want it to be refreshing and easy to drink on a night out. It depends where you are. If I’m sitting in a whiskey bar and I’m looking to try a new whiskey that I’ve never tried before I’ll drink it straight or have a little water with me. If I’m out though, loads of ice in and some ginger and drink away.

Onwards to the club.

6. It’s incredibly important to have a fresh glass


The house party might be in full swing and the whiskey is flowing. But, please, don’t use a glass that has had anything else in it. Even whiskey with another mixer or different types of whiskey can be catastrophic, as Kevin explains:

It might seem obvious, but if there is anything in the glass before it’s going to affect the taste of the whiskey – even more so than other drinks.

Obvious? Yes. Happens all the time? Also, yes.

7. Whiskey cocktails are seriously easy to make at home

Celebration (64/365) LifeSupercharger LifeSupercharger

Cocktails look very fancy (and delicious) when you’re out somewhere, but we’re sometimes intimidated by them and don’t make them ourselves. For shame:

You don’t need all the specialised equipment or anything like that. A cocktail is anything that you’re mixing two different flavours together.

Taking your whiskey drinking to the next level isn’t all that hard:

You take a base spirit – vodka, gin, whiskey, rum, tequila, brandy – a strong base. You then add to that a modifier like a liqeuer, some kind of secondary alcoholic ingredient. Then you add a soda or a fruit juice and an element of citrus or sugar to give you that refreshing sourness to the cocktail.

We even made a list of cocktails you can make in your own gaff right here.

Enjoy, everyone.

More 11 of the best Old Fashioned cocktails to try in Dublin>

More 10 places every whiskey lover needs to visit in Ireland>

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