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How To Order Whiskey At A Bar: Full Guide (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on August 17, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Learning how to order whiskey at a bar could save you time and money. Besides, ordering a shot of whiskey can be a long conversation with the bartender. Without knowing what each bottle contains, you might even end up drinking the wrong spirit. 

So to avoid the stress in ordering whiskey, our team of experts spent 24 hours researching and found these helpful tips for you. 

5 Ways To Order Whiskey At A Bar 

5 Ways To Order Whiskey At A Bar 

1. Know The Different Types of Whiskey 

Bourbon & Tennessee Whiskey on desk with old fashioned cocktail

Know the different whiskeys before ordering from the bartender. American whiskey such as the Bourbon whiskey offers a sweeter taste. Tennessee whiskey also has sweet savor as well as rye whiskey. Irish whiskey has a smooth taste which is best taken neat.

Another smooth, neat whiskey with a smokey taste is the Scotch whiskey. It can either be single malt Scotch or double a blended Scotch. These can be single, double-distilled, or even triple distilled.

2. Check What’s Available On the Menu

Check What’s Available On the Menu

Before you order whiskey, look at what is on the menu. A busy bartender may not have much time to explain each one to you. You can commonly find Scotch whiskies on the list. Bourbon and the Tennessee whiskey, Jack Daniels, is also a permanent bottle on the shelf. 

3. Decide Which Type of Whiskey You Want To Order

Each type of whiskey has its unique qualities and malting process. Knowing their flavors and how you should drink them is important. Some whiskeys are best without mix, while others require a mix. So, you must know what type suits your palate before you give your order. 

Read: Top Sipping Whiskeys For Beginners

4. Decide How You Want Your Whiskey To Be Served

Neat 

Whiskey neat glass on table with Jack Daniel's

Neat means drinking whiskey straight, without water or anything else. You can ask for a whiskey neat with separate ice should your mind change. A whiskey connoisseur enjoys their glass more when served this way.

On the Rocks 

You can order whiskey on the rocks from the bartender. Bourbon with ice cubes on it also tastes good. Most beginners start with this order. It gives them a chance to enjoy the liquor without the strong flavor of alcohol [1] lingering in their mouth. Learn how to make crystal clear ice cubes for your whiskey here

With Lemon or Lime 

This is where you order your favorite spirit with a lemon or lime wedge. Whiskey Sour blended with simple syrup is the perfect example of this order. Lime or lemon juice stirred with whiskey to create that sweet, sour savor.

Short 

Short 

A short alcohol order would mean having 100 ml of a strong whiskey type. Served with pure and undiluted whiskey, you can also add it with a little bit of non-alcoholic liquor. Normally, these are in cocktail glasses when served. 

Shaken

You can ask the bartender for a shaken whiskey. It is similar to other beverages that are stirred or shaken. You have to strain the contents before pouring them on a cocktail glass. You can have Irish whiskeys shaken if you do not want to consume them at room temperature. So, what’s good to mix with whiskey?

With a Twist 

This order is simply having the bartender place a thin strip of the citrus peel over the surface of your glass. The beverage does not include the meat of the fruit. You can serve a delicious Sazerac with a twist, where citrus and old-fashioned Bourbon are blended.

Dram

Dram  

Dram is the traditional Scottish name or term for a single-serve of Scotch. A dram is just enough to have the sides of your glass wet with whiskey. This is about an eighth of a fluid ounce. But, how much is a dram of whiskey?

Cask Strength

This is whiskey straight from the barrel. It can be from a single cask or double. These are taken straight from charred oak barrels, aged, and kept. You can taste the true flavor of your favorite whiskey with this order. 

Read: Most Affordable Whiskeys To Drink Straight  

Stirred

Stirred whiskey is typically cocktails made ground up in the cocktail glass they will be served in. A whiskey cocktail like the Black Tea Sunset is a good example of this order. 

Read: Best Irish Whiskeys To Drink Straight

Whiskey with Water 

Whiskey with Water 

The bartender will add a drop or two of a special quality of water that can enhance the flavor of your drink. This is regardless of the variety of whiskey you are having.  

Read: Peanut Butter Whiskey & Coke

Up 

Ordering an old-fashioned Scotch chilled but without ice in a glass is an example of an order “up.” Mixed drinks, stirred whiskey cocktails, and strained ones are examples of this order. The Manhattan and Rob Roy are best enjoyed when served “up.” 

With Chaser 

A chaser is another beverage you take other than the whiskey served in a shot glass. This is given separately. The best chasers for a straight whiskey are ginger beer, soda water, or coke. This can bring out the sweetness or enhance the smoky taste of the whiskey you are drinking. 

Read: What Does Whiskey Smell Like?

5. Call Your Order

Call Your Order

Once everything is already decided, you can call your order of a blended whiskey drink. You will enjoy your alcohol more if you are all prepped up once you get the bartender’s attention. Find out how many shots are in a 5th of whiskey here

FAQs 

How much whiskey a day is healthy?

It is healthy for men to drink 2 ounces of whiskey a day and an ounce for women. Consuming 21 units in a week for men is still considered healthy. On the other hand, women have a limit of 14 units a week. 

How much whiskey should you get at a bar if you’re driving?

If you’re driving, an ounce of whiskey is enough. The body typically processes alcohol every 45 minutes. Therefore, you have to wait that long before getting behind the wheel. The effects would be the same whether it comes from rye, malted barley, or grain. 

Sit Back, Relax  & Enjoy Your Drink!  

Ordering whiskeys at a bar is not supposed to be confusing. It can be overwhelming if you look at the long list of liquors line up. However, if you already know the difference between a single malt from double or malted barley, it wouldn’t be confusing anymore.

You can easily order a mint julep or something with less mix, such as a spiked southern tea. Bars are places you can buy and drink whiskey and enjoy it as the ice melts. So the next time you go out, be ready so you can enjoy yourself more. 

Reference:

  1. https://www.who.int/health-topics/alcohol

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