We talk a lot about bottles of whiskey here at Pancakes And Whiskey. What to buy, what to not bother with, what it tastes like. But what if you’re not really a straight whiskey drinker, or if you’re new to the whiskey scene and want to just dip your toe in the water? How do you choose which cocktail to have? Before you panic (and order Jack & Coke), here’s a list of tips and drinks that will see you through until you need this post about hangovers.


Go-to Drink

Having a go-to drink can help in all sorts of situations. First date? You look like you know what you’re doing, without coming off like a lush (unless that’s your aim). Unfamiliar bar? If you pick a recipe that’s easy and well-known, then you won’t be playing Stump Your Bartender (a game they don’t really like). You can always ask your bartender, too. If you know you like bourbon, tell them that and see what they suggest. If the bar’s packed, it’s good to have a quick choice at the ready.



Some call the Old Fashioned or the Manhattan overrated, but they’re still delicious when made right. Try rye in your Manhattan for something a little less sweet.


Old Fashioned



New York Sour – the secret to this classic is red wine. Some sours use egg white, so if you’ve got an aversion to eggs, make sure you ask first.

NY Sour

NY Sour


Fancier (or complicated, depending on your bartender)

The Brooklyn – hopefully you can find the cocktail named for your ‘hood in most bars there. If not, here are 8 versions you can try at home.

The Brooklyn

The Brooklyn


Remember the Maine – one of my personal favorites, I even bought Cherry Heering to make these at home. You might not find them on a menu, but if the bar isn’t slammed and your bartender is game, give them this recipe. Deliciousness happens with the rye and Cherry, along with the hint of absinthe.


Remember The Maine


If nothing else

A Kentucky Mule is easy – ginger beer, whiskey of some variety and a lime. You can’t go wrong, though different whiskies + different ginger beers = cocktails that don’t all taste the same.

Kentucky Mule

Kentucky Mule




Article: Jeanne Runkle


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