Why You Should Try Drinking Whiskey with Water

Whiskey, uisce beatha, the ‘water of life’. While this Irish meaning for a smooth sipper has its own backstory, it also makes a lot of sense when it comes to adding a dash of water to your whiskey. A drip, a drop or a dash of water is often preferred by many when it comes to serving their favourite spirit as it means they can expand the flavour and tweak the taste to their liking. If you want to get in the know and understand a bit more about the power of whiskey and water and perfecting your serve, keep reading. First though, we’d recommend you understand How to Drink Whiskey Like a Pro and come back here for the finer details.  

How Does Adding Water Affect Whiskey?

So what’s the story with whiskey and water, and how does adding water affect whiskey? Adding water to whiskey has an impact on the taste, texture and aroma of the whiskey. Many new whiskey drinkers might wonder ‘does water dilute the alcohol?’, but really when you’re throwing in a drop, adding water doesn’t make the alcohol weaker, it’s just tailoring the flavour to your preference—especially as a newbie in the whiskey game. This is a trick that’s not frowned upon or anything (we’re a friendly bunch), it’s actually encouraged for a lot of whiskeys. If you’re new to whiskey or just want to refresh yourself on the basics, here’s our Beginners Guide to Irish Whiskey.  

How Much Water Should You Add to Whiskey?

Now you’ve gone back to basics and have a better understanding of why water is added to whiskey—just how much water should you be adding? Well, that’s totally up to you. How much water to add to whiskey is all about what you get from the added water, so we’d recommend adding a few drops at a time, then do a taste test until you find the balance that works for you.  



What is the Best Water to Add to Whiskey?

Why do people have whiskey with water and what water should you choose? It all comes down to those two key words again: personal preference. Different types of water like still, sparkling, soda and tonic water are all Whiskey Mixers that people know and love. Still water is best for dropping in to expand the flavour profile and release the aroma, tonic water can help ‘take the edge off’ strongly flavoured whiskey, ginger ale is an iconic partner to whiskey which gives you a bit more sweetness and sparkle (have you met our Jameson, Ginger and Lime yet?), and the list goes on.  


Why not organise a night with friends to sample different whiskeys and waters for a whiskey tasting experience that gives you a better insight into flavour compounds, your preferred whiskey to water ratio, and all the essential background any good whiskey connoisseur needs?  

Adding Water to Whiskey Vs Whiskey on the Rocks?

You’ve mastered adding water to whiskey and all the reasons you might do it, fair play! But now there comes the question, what’s the difference between adding water to whiskey and whiskey on the rocks…  


As you’ve learned, adding water is all about diluting the strong taste of whiskey and making it work for your own palette, whereas when you add ice you’re chilling the whiskey before diluting it. So if you’re in the mood for something more refreshing, maybe a Whiskey on the Rocks is what you’re after, but if you only want to adjust the taste, then a drop or two of water should do.  



Hot Water and Whiskey

We wouldn’t be the type to shame anyone for how they take their whiskey, but when it comes to adding hot water to whiskey, we’d say it’s best to stick to the tried and tested whiskey cocktails that incorporate hot water and whiskey: the Hot Toddy and the Irish Coffee 

Jameson’s Thoughts on Whiskey and Water

Well there you have it. That is why people have whiskey with water, why it’s good to drink whiskey with water, and how much water to add to whiskey. Now, we don’t mean to confuse you anymore, but this ‘water in whiskey’ option doesn’t apply to all Irish Whiskey, there are 4 Different Types of Irish Whiskey and each have their own serving suggestions, but when it comes to Jameson Irish Whiskey, you can add what you like, experiment with serves, and most importantly, enjoy its smooth sip (neat, with water or on the rocks) with your mates. Slainte!  



A glass of Whiskey on the rocks