So, you’re at the bar and ready to get your Jameson, but what do you ask for? No matter if you’re getting a round, or ordering for yourself, the moment the bartender makes eye contact can be intimidating.  

Well never fear, we’ve put together this handy guide to give you all the info you need to order whiskey like a true connoisseur. Knowing the language of whiskey, will not only impress your friends, but will help ensure the bartender knows exactly what you’re asking for, and you get the whiskey experience your heart desires. 

The Basics of Whiskey Ordering

Whiskey is such a versatile spirit with so many ways to enjoy it. And different orders will give you different experiences, some differences might be subtle, but can make a big difference depending on your personal preferences. Here’s some basic lingo to get you started. 

The four serving styles above don’t have to exist in isolation but can be combined to create even more ways to experience your next Jameson. 

Singles vs Doubles: What’s the Difference?

Understanding the quantity, you are ordering is another crucial aspect of a whiskey order. A single usually refers to a standard measure or shot, about 25ml, while a double is well, double that, providing 50ml of whiskey. If you’re ordering whiskey straight up, this makes no difference to flavour, there is just more, but when the whiskey is diluted with ice or a mixer a double will have a stronger flavour profile than a single. As with most things there is no right choice, it really depends on your preference, but if you are having a few drinks sticking to singles is probably the smart move. 

Customizing Your Whiskey: Ice and Water Options 

The relationship between whiskey and water goes right back to the origins of the spirit. Did you know the name ‘whiskey’ comes from the Gaelic ‘uisge beatha’, or ‘usquebaugh’, meaning ‘water of life’? Whether it is in its solid or liquid form water is one of the easiest and most effective ways to tailor your whiskey experience. 

We have already spoken to the fact that many whiskey lovers believe a splash of water is the secret ingredient to open up the flavours. And a 2017 study that looked at the relationship between ethanol (the alcoholic component) and guaiacol (a molecule that gives whiskey its smoky, bitter taste) showed that adding water allowed the guaiacol to rise to the top, highlighting these flavours.  

Another important factor to consider on whether to add ice or water is the whiskey itself. Depending on your palate some whiskies may require a bit of softening for you to enjoy them. The choice as always is down to your personal preference, the important thing is that you enjoy the experience. 

Popular Whiskey Cocktails to Order at the Bar 

Whiskey cocktails are a delightful way to enjoy this versatile spirit and open up a world of potential options. From proven classics to winter warmers, the possibilities are endless. Here are two of our favourites: 

If you’re looking to discover the world of whiskey cocktails, you can find many recipes on our website, so take out the cocktail shaker, and start exploring. 

Choosing the Best Whiskey for Your Drink

Selecting the right whiskey for your drink is key to enjoying it to the fullest. Consider the flavour profile you enjoy—whether it’s bold and spicy or smooth and sweet—and let that guide your choice. Some whiskies are better for drinking neat, while others are great in certain cocktails. The choice as always is yours. 

Advanced Ordering: Talking Like a Connoisseur

For those well-versed in the nuances of whiskey, conversing about your preferences can significantly enhance your experience. And the best way to learn is to share the experience with friends, so you can share their knowledge and experience. 

Ordering whiskey is an art form that extends beyond mere consumption. It’s about engagement, exploration, and education. Each bar visit becomes a chance to perfect your preferences and perhaps, stumble upon your next whiskey love. Cheers to that!