6 whiskey cocktails for every occasion

Take any occasion with friends and family to the next level by sharing a whiskey cocktail. There's no better way to break the ice.

Spring has sprung and the warmer weather is bringing people together. Whether it's a romance blooming, a sunset chat with loved ones, or a weekend feast for a special celebration, the experience can always be enhanced by the addition of a fine whiskey cocktail.

Make the most of the lengthening nights and show off your cocktail-making skills with a whiskey-based tipple for every occasion.

  

A romantic evening

Little Italy

Fresh branded red alcoholic cocktail with a small bottle for alcohol and a red marmalade snack on a black stone bar counter.  Concept of alcoholic and non-alcoholic bar beverage.

A balmy night is a great excuse to share a little romance with someone special, and this modern twist on a classic Manhattan is the perfect drink for lovers.

"The Cynar adds a layer of subtle elegant bitterness and a top note of cacao," says Mixologist and Campari National Brand Ambassador Daniele Pirotta. "This is my definitive pick for a date."

Ingredients

45ml Wild Turkey Longbranch

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30ml Cinzano Rosso

15ml Cynar

1 drop Angostura bitters

Method

Stir ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with an orange peel.

  

After dinner with family on the deck

Paper Plane

paper plane cocktail

Making a Paper Plane is pretty straightforward, with equal parts of everything, and not much to do but shake and pour. But simple can be beautiful, which would explain why it has landed on cocktail lists all over the world since being invented by bartender Sam Ross in Chicago in 2007. And ease of preparation equals more time to sit and enjoy.

Ingredients

20ml Wild Turkey Longbranch

20ml lemon juice

20ml Aperol

20ml Amaro Averna

Method

Combine, shake and serve straight up – no garnish.

  

An impromptu sunset drink when the neighbours pop by

New York sour

The BC Sour cocktail, which includes Canadian Rye, and Cab Franc -Merlot from the Skaha winery.

The doorbell rings and the quirky neighbours you have been curious to meet are on your doorstep. Just tell them to step right in and whip them up a New York sour.

"This is a great classic," Pirotta says. "Add some mandarin juice in equal parts to the lemon juice for an even richer experience."

Ingredients

60ml Wild Turkey Longbranch

​30ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

15ml sugar syrup (use equal parts of raw sugar and hot water)

10ml egg white (or vegan emulsifier option, aquafaba)

Rich tannin shiraz (float)

Method

Shake ingredients (except wine) hard in a cocktail shaker. For better textural results, strain the contents from the ice and dry shake again to emulsify. Strain into a sour glass or a large rocks glass. With the help of a teaspoon, slowly float in a few mls of red wine to deliver a great contrast of flavour through every sip. No garnish.

  

Outdoors, around a barbecue with friends

Mint Julep

Homemade classic mint julep

With American classic the Mint Julep – served cold with lots of crushed ice – you will channel the deep south and imagine you are shooting the breeze on a porch in Virginia. The guests may even be compelled to fan themselves (a good way to get rid of the barbecue smoke, if nothing else).

Ingredients

60ml Wild Turkey Longbranch

15ml sugar syrup

12 mint leaves

Crushed ice

Method

Pack it all down in a tin cup. Swizzle and enjoy with a metal straw.

  

Poker night with the boys

Sicilian Old Fashioned

A whiskey-based cocktail is on the bar in the restaurant on a blurry bottle background

Sometimes you have just got to hang with the boys. So, settle in for a night of Texas Hold'em with this twist on a classic Old Fashioned. Dating back to the early 19th century, the Old Fashioned has had a resurgence in recent times – partly due to it being the favourite tipple of dapper Don Draper in Mad Men. Here, we have taken the classic and upped the ante.

"Amaro Averna brings a totally different dimension to this simple drink," Pirotta says.

Ingredients

45ml Wild Turkey Longbranch

15ml Amaro Averna

10ml sugar syrup

1 drop Angostura bitters

1 drop orange bitters

Method

Build ingredients in a large Old Fashioned glass, stir with ice to dilute and chill the ingredients. Garnish with a large lemon peel.

  

A special celebration

Blue Blazer

Flaming cocktail over black

Got a wedding anniversary? A significant birthday? Heck, even an insignificant birthday? Celebrate in style by ordering a Blue Blazer from the bar – a blue-flamed whiskey cocktail that is always a showstopper.

"This is usually a scotch-based drink," Pirotta says. "It's a very theatrical way of caramelising the sugars in the bourbon and syrup and brings out some amazing aromatic spices."

Ingredients

60ml Wild Turkey Longbranch

15ml sugar syrup

90ml boiling water

Method

Your skilful barman will combine all ingredients in a small vessel, light the liquid and pour from cup to cup while it is on fire. To finish they will pour into a brandy balloon or snifter glass and garnish with a large orange peel and a whole star anise.

   

Wild Turkey Bourbon, produced on the limestone banks of the Kentucky river, owes its quality and status to the legendary father and son Master Distilling team, Jimmy and Eddie Russell. The duo boast nearly 100 years of collective experience in distilling the award-winning bourbon, never compromising on quality or taste. Find out more at wildturkeybourbon.com.au