Order Whisky Like an Adult
(For the Newbies to Whisky)
So after shooting whisky and taking whisky shots and whatever bombs for many years in college, you now have a real job and have to attend real meetings with real people. The question often comes down to how do I order a real drink without looking like I have no idea about what I’m doing? You want to avoid any weird mixed drink and don’t want to appear stuffy and order wine.
Beer is often an easy choice, but with so many meetings and events, the calories add up very quickly. And you don’t want to drink that watered down low calorie stuff. So what do you order?
Whisky is a great choice. It’s all American (even George Washington distilled whisky). It’s international (it’s distilled in many, many countries all over the world). And it’s a real drink.
There a very few things to remember when it comes to ordering whisky. This primer will help you order a drink and look like you know what your doing.
When ordering American Whisky, ask for Bourbon or Rye. Both are spicy in nature, but Bourbons have more vanilla notes. Drink these straight, with water, or with ice.
Tell stories about George Washington having a still and how whisky was used as currency at one point in American history. Score extra points at a meeting for talking about Elijah Craig whisky and explaining that he was a minister that had his own distillery.
Order it as a ‘Scotch whisky’ to look like you know what you are talking about. There are blends and ‘Single Malts’. Briefly this means that blends are whiskies from different distillery mixed together to give it consistency from bottle to bottle. Single malts are from a single distillery are usually more expensive. Single malts from the Highland and Speyside regions of Scotland are generally lighter and fruitier to taste. These often have the word ‘Glen’ in the names. Single malts from the Islay (pronounced eye-luh) region are often heavier, earthier and smoky tasting. They often have names that most mortals cannot pronounce.
Order your single malts neat with water on the side. Order your blends neat or on the rocks and a ginger beer on the side. Extra points for telling stories about how many Scottish people love to drink their whisky with ginger ale.
Order whiskies from other parts of the world like you’ve been there. One of the most popular countries that is making whisky is Japan. Order whiskies from other parts of the world neat, with water on the side, or on ice- light ice. Score points with stories of the origin of the Japanese whisky industry came from the marriage of a Japanese chemist to the daughter of a Scottish distiller and the fact that people in Japan often drink their whisky with green tea.
Whiskies from hotter climates like India and Taiwan cause a lot of evaporation. Extra points for talking about the climate and the fact that the “Angel’s Share” is higher in these countries- as a result, these whiskies are bottled younger.
At the end of the day, find out what you like and order and drink it as you like it. It’s your whisky, so drink it however you please. By doing so, you will display confidence and that’s what will let others know that you are approaching adulthood. But, in my opinion, the most important thing about ordering whisky like an adult is how you drink it- responsibly. Enjoying your whisky responsibly after ordering is what will truly separate from the others on the kiddie table.