Oh, whiskey. Seen as warming, it is the perfect cold winter night spirit, but can also bring pizzazz to summertime cocktails.

whiskey pouring into a shot glass

What is whiskey?

Whiskey is one of those spirits that is inherently warming and what designates rye whiskey from say a bourbon, is that it is made from a mash of at least 51% rye grain.

Mash is a liquid created by adding hot water to something (in this case a grain) to create fermentable sugar from the starches.

Rye is a grass that is a member of the wheat family and closely related to barley. It can be processed into grain for things like whiskey or used as a cover crop or a forage crop for livestock.

When it is harvested as a grain, it is used in things like rye flour to then be used in bread and crackers and it can also then be used to make beer, some vodkas, some whiskey, and obviously rye whiskey.

How to Serve Whiskey

Whiskey is most commonly served standing alone and sipped. Sometimes people will ask for a side drink, like water or soda and others times a rock (ice cube or two).

It can also be combined into cocktails, see below for my favorites. Old Fashioned, Manhattans and Whiskey Sours are probably the most popular.

But you can also cook with whiskey like my Whiskey Steak on the grill. A little bitter and a lot of yum! Sometimes it is whipped into BBQ sauce or even flavored butter and baked goods.

The Most Popular Brands of Whiskey:

  • Johnnie Walker
  • Jack Daniels
  • Makers Mark

There are hundreds of speciality and small batch whiskey makers as well.

Cocktails that Use Whiskey:

Ruby Red Jubilee Cocktail is the perfect holiday cocktail made with Sagamore Spirit rye whiskey, grapefruit and lime juice and cinnamon syrup.
Jubilee Cocktail 
As Seen On Better Homes & GardensBuzzFeedCountryLivingMashedMen's JournalParadeThe Philadelphia InquirerDaily Meal