Unleashing the Flavors: Discovering Exciting New Whiskey Cocktails

Although bourbon and scotch rightfully take the spotlight in the whisk(e)y world, with rye and Irish whiskey not far behind, there is a vast array of other spirits to sample. Whiskies from previously overlooked countries, such as Canada and Japan, are emerging as frontrunners in the whiskey industry, joining spirits from India, Israel, and Italy.

These traditional cocktails and innovative takes on the spirit will help you explore new whiskey territory.

High Tide cocktail

Cointreau isn't just for Margaritas, after all. Try this new twist on an old favorite if you're looking for a different way to sip your liqueur. Green tea syrup adds an earthy note to the orange liqueur and Japanese whisky, while the effervescence and bitterness of tonic water round out the drink nicely. The result is a cocktail in the Collins style that is both refreshing and highly drinkable.

Toronto cocktail

Michael Dietsch's "Whiskey: A Spirited Story with 75 Classic & Original Cocktails" features this modified version of the Old Fashioned, which was first seen in Robert Vermeire's 1922 edition of "Cocktails: How to Mix Them." The combination of Canadian rye, Fernet-Branca, simple syrup, a few drops of Angostura bitters, and an orange twist is surprisingly beautiful (and not too bracing).

Washington Apple

The urban legend states that in the late 1980s, a particularly nasty bug wiped out most of the apple orchards in Washington state. A resourceful man didn't let the ruined apples go to waste; he fermented and distilled them into apple liqueur, which he enjoyed mixing with his go-to cocktail of Canadian whisky and cranberry juice. The resulting cocktail became a huge hit in bars, and variations of it are still served (typically as shots) today.

Japanese Sour cocktail

The traditional Whiskey Sour cocktail calls for whiskey, citrus juice, sugar, and egg white. ROKC owner and beverage director Shigefumi Kabashima creates this Japanese-inspired twist by combining Japanese whisky with tart yuzu and richly sweet kuromitsu. The ingredients are dry shaken first, then shaken with ice, strained, and finished with a dash of bitters, as is customary for a sour.

Whiskey Cocktails

Nail in the Coffin

You can take a little bit of San Francisco's ritzy Dirty Habit bar's ambiance with you when you order this drink. Infused with the aroma of freshly shaved black cardamom, this spirit-forward cocktail is made with Yamazaki 12-year-old whisky, dry Madeira wine, Licor 43, and Fernet-Branca.

Burgundy cocktail

This drink is a big deal, just like the legendary Anchorman from which it takes its name. This cocktail's three ingredients—Canadian whisky, ginger ale, and a touch of cranberry juice—may seem minimal, but one sip will convince you otherwise.

Green Tea Highball

Whiskey and green tea, two of Japan's most popular drinks, combine to create a highball that is anything but ordinary. Cooled green tea's palate enhances the whisky's fruity and floral notes, and a splash of soda water on top keeps things light and refreshing. Garnish with a single maple leaf candy for a visually stunning and uncomplicated presentation (and an extra dose of sugar).

Cynar Flip cocktail

The head bartender at Clive's in Victoria, British Columbia, Jayce Kadyschuk, created this cocktail using a bottle of Cynar you may already have lying around. Cynar's bittersweet flavors are perfectly balanced by the higher rye content in Canadian whisky, and both are elevated by the addition of a splash of Cointreau. Spice it up with some clove simple syrup and give it some substance with a whole egg, and you'll have a drink you'll want to repeat.


Enjoy your favorite Japanese whisky in a straightforward highball made in the Tokyo style. To break up the monotony of whisky and soda, this recipe calls for apple-infused soda to add sweetness and fizziness, along with a dash of shochu for kick. Finish it off with a splash of Angostura bitters.

Canadian Manhattan cocktail

If you want to pay homage to Canada, but don't want to travel all the way there, a standard Manhattan can be made with Canadian ingredients. A Canadian take on the classic Manhattan, this drink combines whisky, sweet vermouth, and bitters.