While all you need for a beer is a nice glass, there’s quite a selection of must-haves to improve your whiskey experience.
And no, we don’t mean coca cola. Unless you’re drinking from the bottom shelf, you’ll want to enhance the refined, sophisticated flavors of your favorite hooch.
We figured out exactly what you need to enjoy your newfound hobby. Or, if you’re looking for a nice gift for a loved one to enjoy their iron dram at home.
Let’s check it out!
Why Do People Love Whiskey?
Distillers construct each liquor differently depending on the intent. Vodka is distilled over and over for a smooth finish with virtually no flavor. Meanwhile, whiskey makers craft their products with different kinds of mashes, distilling techniques, and age processes to produce a wide variety of tastes.
The complex notes found in a good bottle of hooch are just plain fun to compare and contrast. Tastings are a sophisticated and relaxing way to spend an evening with friends or on a date. Plus, even touring the brewery’s a fun time.
As you explore the variety in different distilleries and styles, you’ll discover subtle differences between two barrels of the same brew. It’s fun to explore and experience the nuances in each little sip.
Trying to please a die-hard fan is no easy task. Some people prefer bourbon or rye. Others are into Canadian styles. Then there’s Scotch or Irish. You get the idea. But you can find quite a few whiskey must-haves to enhance the experience, no matter the style.
Pro Tip: If you’re a bourbon drinker, you’ll want to know Is Costco Bourbon Worth It?
#1 Bar Set
The key to making consistently good cocktails is a nice bar set. It has everything you need to measure the ingredients and mix them evenly. You’ll also be able to muddle fresh herbs or fruit to maximize the flavors. The channel knife included with a cocktail set helps you get a nice cut of rind, which is especially nice for an Old Fashioned.
Juicers are another must-have, especially if you like to switch gears with a mojito or margarita. Most bar sets will also have a strainer to chill a drink and serve it without ice.
Classy drinks require balanced flavors. Bitters are essential to some of the best cocktails, including Manhattans and Old Fashioneds. But they’re also an excellent way to top off a whiskey soda if you want to add a little extra flair.
There are dozens of varieties of bitters to choose from. If you’re unsure which kind to choose, you can always grab Angostura, one of the most popular styles. Still, it’s worth trying some of the more unique options available. Rhubarb and plum bitters are refreshing and flavorful, and their tinge of sweetness makes a good combo with whiskey.
#3 Cocktail Smoker Kit
If you’re big on peat monsters, you’ll want to give this gizmo a go. A cocktail smoker lets you add a hint (or a dollop) of smoke to your beverage of choice. This can enhance the peat flavor of Scotch or add an extra layer of complexity to an Old Fashioned.
You can play around with different kinds of wood chips to find your favorite flavor. It’s also a nice party trick to add flair to your at-home happy hours. Just be careful and don’t use it if you’ve over-served yourself.
This must-have is especially crucial if you like to drink your whiskey neat. With a decanter, you can add oxygen to the mix to let your bottle breathe before serving. It can help take the edge off of an unaged moonshine or unlock hidden layers in a barrel-aged spirit.
These are designed to fit a whole bottle, so quality is important. You’ll want a good-sized decanter that holds a full liter. And it needs an air-tight seal to help the leftovers keep long enough to enjoy at a leisurely pace.
#5 Ice Sphere Mold
A nice chill takes some of the harsh edge off the whiskey. This is especially noticeable when you’re drinking a cask-strength bottle, which typically has a higher alcohol content.
Some people keep their bottles in the freezer, which can ruin the flavor. In fact, the ideal temperature is between 40 and 60 degrees. Adding some ice to your tumbler can help cool it off without killing the taste.
However, you don’t want to water down the flavor while sipping your favorite spirit. An ice sphere mold is the perfect solution. This shape takes longer to melt because it has less surface area. It’s also larger than the average ice cube, so you can enjoy your whiskey longer before it gets diluted.
#6 Rocks Glasses
A rocks glass is the perfect tumbler for almost any style of whiskey beverage. The versatile glassware is ideal for a neat pour, an Old Fashioned, or a Manhattan. As the name suggests, it’s also the go-to drink for iced drinks.
A good glass should have a bit of weight to it so it won’t get dinged up with everyday use. A textured pattern adds a lovely aesthetic while keeping it easy to grip as you start to let loose. The ideal glass holds eight to ten ounces. That way, your drink has some space to breathe, and you’re not overpouring.
#7 Whiskey Stones
These handy water-free rocks let you chill your beverage without worrying about cutting it. You have complete control over the temperature and any added water content with whiskey stones.
The stones come in several styles. Stainless steel ones stay cold longer using a gel similar to those found in ice packs. But they may scratch your glass or leech a metallic taste. Soapstone is soft and non-porous, so it won’t hang on to any flavor. This makes it one of the most popular choices for people looking for a pure experience.
Pro Tip: Want to drink whiskey while on the road? We uncovered Can RV Passengers Drink Alcohol While It’s Moving?
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