Scotch enthusiasm is at an all-time high these days, and with good reason: It's a fascinating and delicious spirit. A fine whisky is the product of centuries of tradition, and that's not to mention years of barrel-aging.
With that said, we recognize that your liquor cabinet may contain more Johnnie Walker Red Label than Blue Label -- and that's fine. In fact, Scotch of all quality levels works amazingly well in cocktails.
Don't believe us? Then try making these five drink recipes. And as they say in the Highlands, Sláinte!
We'd like to say we only visit bars with amazing cocktail selections, but that's not true. And when we're at a watering hole with a, well, less-than-stellar mixological pedigree, this is one of our default orders. It's simply a Scotch & Soda with ginger ale swapped in for half the soda, but its deliciousness and drinkability belies that simplicity. The base spirit's burly character shines through, buoyed by the bubbles, subtle sweetness and ginger notes.View recipe: Presbyterian
Don't be scared by its name: You'll want to get to know this piping-hot concoction, especially if you're going to encounter snow this winter. The recipe, which consists of Scotch, boiling water, Demerara sugar and a lemon peel, is, according to Liquor.com advisory board member and award-winning author David Wondrich, the predecessor to the Hot Toddy. After a few sips, we're sure you'll be fast friends.View recipe: Whisky Skin
The Rusty Nail is a classic use for reasonably priced Scotch, pairing it with the smooth honey-and-whisky liqueur Drambuie. (The drink's recipe, according to legend, was even created by the family of Scottish revolutionary Bonnie Prince Charlie.) This version is a more contemporary spin, adding lemon, bitters and maraschino liqueur and using a Champagne flute instead of the traditional rocks glass.View recipe: Enc(rust)ed Nail
The key to this complex cocktail is keeping the peace, so balance the mixture of fruity Plymouth Sloe Gin and smoky whisky with potent absinthe and acerbic lemon juice. Add a cherry if you're feeling confident.View recipe: The Modern Cocktail
Named for the great Scottish poet who penned "Address to a Haggis" and "Address to the Devil" (both of which may have concerned the same meal), this potent little cocktail may just inspire you to write some rhyming couplets of your own. In addition to Scotch, it calls for sweet vermouth and French Bénédictine. Garnish with lemon and hold forth.View recipe: Bobby Burns
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