"There is no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others."-- William Faulkner


Whiskey, the epic booze of the great American West. It's what the dust-covered cattle punchers and squint-eyed outlaws called for when they sidled up to the bar. And it was the belt of choice for tough-guy private-eyes of hardboiled fiction and American film noir. Yes, American culture is steeped in whiskey. Here are some of our favorite whiskey cocktails.

Bourbon or Whiskey?

Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey share much in common. They're both made from a mash of at least 51 percent corn, and they're both aged in charred oak barrels, which give them a mild, smoky-sweet character. Here are a handful of our favorite bourbon cocktails.

Old Fashioned Cocktail
Old Fashioned Cocktail | Photo by Meredith

But there is a difference between Tennessee Whiskey and bourbon. Though both are charcoal filtered, Tennessee whiskey uses charcoal made exclusively from the Volunteer State's sugar maple trees. Try Tennessee whiskey in cocktails like Lynchburg Lemonade Cocktail and Apple Jack. Can you taste a difference? Is the Tennessee whiskey a bit smokier?

See how to make a Classic Old Fashioned:

Top-Rated Blended Whiskey Cocktails

Blended whiskeys were Prohibition's parting gift to America. With repeal in 1933, whiskey makers were eager to meet the newly legal demand for booze. But it was bottom-of-the-barrel time in their warehouses. With reserves running low, they hit upon mixing spirits together.

Tall Whiskey Sour
Tall Whiskey Sour | Photo by Meredith

Coming through the Rye

Before corn-based whiskeys stole the show, rye whiskeys were the rage. Today rye whiskey is making a comeback, starring once again in classic cocktails like the Sazerac and Manhattan.

Sazerac | Photo by c-biskit

Don't Forget the Ice!

The best tasting cocktails use fresh ice made from pure, filtered water. Bring the water to a quick boil for best results. Then, make it the morning of the day you plan to mix your cocktails, and you'll enjoy the freshest, most delicious cocktails.

Booze Foods

Don't drink alone. Add some food to the fun. We've picked several top-rated finger food recipes to pair up with your favorite whiskey cocktails.

Bacon Wrapped Smokies
Bacon Wrapped Smokies | Photo by Meredith

Discover more top-rated Whiskey Cocktail Recipes.