Tag Archive for: Drinking Whisky

Serving Whisky in Alternative Ways


Seasoned whisky drinkers often complained about waste – the waste of a whisky when it is not drunk neat. The assumption that whisky must be drunk as intended by the whisky distiller often intimate beginners and causes some to avoid the liquid altogether. Do we need to drink whisky neat every time? Well, not if you are looking to drink whisky for different reasons! There is no right or wrong way to drink whisky. In fact, whisky is a versatile drink.

We look to bartenders and observe how they serve whisky to understand how other people are drinking whisky. We realised that bars serve whiskies in more ways than one!

What are some of the other ways to serve whisky? Let’s find out!

Mixed with Soda aka a Highball

The world credited the Japanese with the invention of the Highball, but the Scots also have drunk whiskies this way since the 16th century. A rich and heavy whisky can benefit from the adding of soda water to make it a Highball, or what we call a “long drink”. It creates a refreshing beverage and also dilutes the alcohol level of the whisky. It is especially enjoyable on a hot day where all you want to do is to chill at a local bar!

With Iceball or Ice Cubes

Whisky is refreshing when it is drunk with an iceball or ice cubes. The ice dilutes the whisky slowly while retaining most of the flavours. It is also an excellent way to test whether a whisky can stand up to the onslaughter of ice and water. A complex and well-balanced whisky will put up a good fight against the ice and water, creating a multi-facade drinking experience for the drinker. A whisky bar will serve whisky with a solid piece of ice as it melts slower and does not dilute the whisky as quickly as ice cubes.


Some bars chill whisky the same way that they chill wine. Interestingly, some whiskies perform better when chilled. We tried chilling whiskies with overwhelming flavours, and the lower temperature does subdue the flavours just a little to make the whisky more manageable. It is also a fantastic way to enjoy whisky without getting it diluted with ice or water.

With a Splash of Water

Some whiskies open up only after a splash of water. Usually, the water is served on the side with a dropper so that the drinker can add the water when he or she wants to. In our opinion, the best way to open up a whisky is to add a drop of water to it, swirl it around and try it again. It often works wonder without diluting the whisky much.

Have it with a mixer

This happens mostly in a pub or a club where people look to drink more than they should. Most of us probably started drinking whisky this way. Add it to a mixer and enjoy it without tasting the alcohol burn. However, as we mature and walk deeper into the whisky forest, we do forsake this habit for more advanced ways of drinking. That does not mean that others who drink their whiskies with a mixer are wrong. We all have to start somewhere, isn’t it?

As a Cocktail

Of course, we are familiar with whisky cocktails. These are perfect companions for dinner or a light drink before a party. Famous whisky cocktails such as Old-Fashioned are popular in Singapore and have always been a favourite among many drinkers. Bartenders who shake up brilliant whisky cocktails are valued (even treasured) by whisky lovers because there are still some days where you want to drink something lighter than a whisky!


Finally, the most basic serving method is to have your whiskies neat. While this is the premium choice of most seasoned whisky drinkers, remember that it is not necessary the best way. If you are not comfortable to drink it neat, why not have it with ice, water, soda or even any other mixers? There is no fixed way to drink whisky! Your bartender is more than happy to serve you whisky in whichever way that you desired!


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    Is there such a thing as drinking too much whisky?


    Is there such a thing as drinking too much whisky? It was a question that I asked myself when I felt a distaste for whisky towards the end of last year. It was a “horrors of the horrors” when I found myself craving for a glass of Bailey’s instead of a glass of whisky as my New Years’ dram.

    “What have I done?” I asked myself. Nonetheless, the thought of drinking yet another glass of whisky put me off, and so I poured myself the Baileys.

    My suspicions for the whisky fatigue

    I am going to call what I experience as “whisky fatigue” as it does seem like the most appropriate name for it. I had a lot of whiskies to drink during a short period of 1.5 months. From Whisky Live Singapore 2017 to Whisky Fair TAKAO 2017, it was two weekends of indulgence. In between the two events, we also visited Nantou Distillery and drank Omar for breakfast! Following that, I attended various tasting events and finally ended all activities on 30 December 2017.

    With all the whiskies in the blood, I suspected that the body had more than it could take, and automatically reject the idea of more. However, I think there could be more reasons, and so I asked around.

    Results of my “asking around”

    I chatted with a few friends in our community and received many different feedbacks. Many claimed that a dram or two each night before bed calms the nerves and help them sleep better, while others claimed that they have drunk whisky all their lives and never get tired of it. Some even suggested that I am perhaps, falling sick!?

    Finally, I found someone who agreed with me. He is a good friend of mine, and he agreed that he, too, has issues with drinking too much whisky within a short time. However, he feels that it could be related to stress. His point of view is valid – too much pressure during the whisky tasting sessions resulted in a psychological rejection of enjoyment and reduced the joy of drinking whisky. When the brain associated unpleasant stress for a prolonged period, the brain linked whisky with stress. Therefore, whisky fatigue set in.

    Internet research into whisky fatigue

    After our chat, I decided to google whisky fatigue. What I found was disappointing. Most discourses speak of rising whisky prices as whisky fatigue, leading to a switch to other liqueurs. While I do not disagree that prices do have a part to play, it is likely not the only reason.


    There is no satisfying answer to my question. The top three reasons are toxic in the body, psychological stress, and whisky prices. Are there more to this whisky fatigue which I experience? I would like to throw the question to our community here and overseas and humbly ask for your opinions. Please share your experiences with us and explore this phenomenal together!


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      Appreciating Whisky in 5 Different Ways

      The world of whisky is varied and often contentious. Good whiskies may be everywhere, but the affordability of said whisky may be questionable. With the price of whisky trending upwards around the world, the way we serve and drink it becomes a controversial part of how we enjoy the precious liquid.

      Whisky lovers would agree that there isn’t a correct way of drinking whisky, but there are specific preferred ways of drinking it. We highlight five different styles of drinking whisky below.

      Drink it Neat

      Drinking whisky neat (just as it is) is a conventional method favoured by many whisky lovers. Taking the liquid as it is and not adding anything helps to retain the flavour of the whisky. The drinker experiences the purest form of the whisky, just as how the whisky maker has tasted it. The excitement comes through when the drinker interacts with the whisky to find the different aromas and flavours over time and oxidation, all without the influence of external substances.

      Drink it with Water

      Some people enjoy whisky with a little water. There is a whole argument behind the adding of water to whisky. Some people said that water dilutes the alcohol influence in the whisky and opens up the flavours and aromas of the whisky. It allows for a better appreciation for some whisky lovers. The opposite camp argues that drinking a whisky neat is the way to go because one should taste whisky straight from the bottle. There is no right or wrong answer to this – it is merely a matter of preferences.

      Drink it with an Iceball or on the rocks

      Adding ice is yet another conventional way of drinking whisky – with ice. It can be an iceball or some ice cubes. The idea is to dilute the alcohol level in the whisky as well as to chill the drink. While some whisky drinkers swear by this way of drinking, others feel that the ice spoils the taste and flavours of the whisky.

      Make a Highball

      A highball is a favourite way of drinking whisky among Japanese and some ladies around the world. It is simple to make – just add lots of ice and carbonated water to whisky, stir it with a long spoon, and you have a highball! The highball lengthens the drink and also dilute the alcohol content to make it palatable for drinkers who dislike the bite of higher abv.

      Make a Whisky Cocktail

      A cocktail is meant to be light and suitable for people who can’t drink very well. However, a whisky cocktail can be potent, and those who do not take very well to alcohol should be careful before ordering one of these. A whisky cocktail is full of surprises because it can vary from smokey to overtly sweet, depending on the whisky base used. A cocktail made from an Islay whisky is smokey and savoury while a cocktail made from American bourbon tends to be a tad too sweet. Nonetheless, every whisky cocktail has its uniqueness.

      Other ways to drink whisky

      There are other different methods to drink whisky. One can add cola or green tea to their whiskies, or one can drink it with whisky stones. Whisky stones are made from steel or granite and work to chill the whisky without diluting the taste.

      Everyone has their preference, and nobody is right or wrong. Some whisky drinkers may cringe when they see others adding cola or green tea to their whiskies, but nobody should dictate how another drinks his or her whisky. It is entirely up to the drinker.

      Therefore, if you are a beginner and did not like the bite of the high abv too much, remember that you can enjoy your whisky in other forms besides having it neat. A whisky highball may be the best drink for you, if only you try it!

      Enjoy your drink! No one will judge you.


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