Jameson Journal

How to Drink Whiskey – Neat, On the Rocks or in a Mixed Drink

What’s the ‘correct’ way to drink whiskey? The good news is there isn’t one. “Neat”, with a splash of water, “on the rocks” or mixed in a cocktail… our advice to you is to enjoy whiskey however you like it best. So let’s discover that now, with a little help from some Jameson Tastemakers.

“Neat” or “Straight” 

DJ Ron Poe loves whiskey

Just the whiskey in a glass. Nothing else!

Purists will tell you this is the only way to drink whiskey, but with an alcohol content starting at 40% ABV (Alcohol by Volume) / 80% proof, a glass of neat whiskey isn’t for everyone. Or maybe not right now. But wait a few years…

DJ Ron Poe only ever used to drink his whiskey mixed with soda, but now likes to switch things up once in a while. "I started drinking whiskey on the rocks and sometimes neat,” says Poe. Small change, big impact.

With Water

Whiskey with water

If neat isn’t your thing, try adding a splash of water to your whiskey. Many aficionados do.

Why? Well, the addition of a few drops of H2O does two things.

First, it takes the edge off that high alcohol content, making the whiskey smoother and easier to drink.

A little water also brings out different flavors in the whiskey. Scientifically speaking (if you want to impress your mates), this is because the water releases water-repellent (hydrophobic) molecules in the spirit. Whatever the reason, water enhances some whiskeys.

“On the Rocks”

Whiskey on the rocks

Swap a few drops of water for a handful of ice cubes and you’ve got whiskey “on the rocks”.

Now, here’s one of the cool things about whiskey; people enjoy it in different ways, on different occasions.

DJ Ron Poe likes his Jameson Irish Whiskey two ways: “It really depends on my mood and where I am at. When I am at home and chilling in front of the TV, I usually drink my Jameson on the rocks. When I am DJing in a club or event, I have my Jameson mixed.”

The same goes for Leanne from Manila-based pop duo Leanne & Naara: “I prefer it mixed when I’m out, but I also like it on the rocks at home sometimes.” For Naara, “Jameson on the rocks is definitely my favorite.”

So what’s it like? The ice provides a nice chill to the drink of course – especially on a hot Filipino summer’s night – though it does numb your tastebuds a little too, so you’re maybe not getting the full effect. As the ice melts, it dilutes the whiskey, bringing out those different flavors again.

Like the chilling but not the diluting effect? Try a single, large, clear ice cube or sphere. This will melt slower than ordinary ice cubes and it looks pretty impressive too. Or ditch the ice altogether and go for chilled whiskey stones instead.

In a Mixed Drink 

whiskey in a mixed drink - A J Dimarucot

If you think whiskey should only be enjoyed by itself, think again.

Whiskey makes a great base for a mixed drink and there are loads to choose from. They don’t have to be complicated creations either. Far from it!

Just ask Manila-based graphic designer and creative entrepreneur A J Dimarucot. His go-to cocktail is the classic Jameson, Ginger & Lime: Jameson Irish Whiskey, ginger ale, a slice of lime, and lots of ice.

“I'm a huge fan of the JGL, ever since I learned how to make it. When there's no ginger ale available, I use Sprite instead, but prefer the ginger ale every time. I also use calamansi if lime isn't available.”

Naara is also a fan of simple, do-it-yourself mixes. Her favorite is the Irish Whiskey Highball: “It's perfect for every occasion, whether you want to chill at home or drink with your friends.” Leanne loves it with ginger ale: “The drink is so refreshing.”

For Ron Poe, “a simple Coke Zero or Diet Soda mixed with Jameson gets the job done” when he’s DJing. “I’m a simple guy,” says the DJ and tattoo artist. So he likes his Jameson mixed drink “plain and simple, nothing too complicated.”

If that sounds like your kind of thing too, read our 6 EASY COCKTAILS YOU CAN MAKE AT HOME OR AT PARTIES

Whiskey, Your Way

Drinking whiskey your way

So, how do you like your whiskey?

It’s a question more and more Filipinos are asking themselves, if A J Dimarucot’s experience is anything to go by. Introduced to whiskey in his mid-to-late 30s, “it's now the go-to drink for people in my circles. Whiskey appreciation is huge in my network of friends.”

There’s definitely no wrong way to drink whiskey. However, it certainly gets a lot better when you learn how to enjoy it.