As a female twenty-something, when I tell people that I like whisky, I often get an odd look. I would love to say the unctuous brown liquor is something that I have always enjoyed, but I would be lying. Not being one to miss out, I taught and tricked myself into savouring the peaty richness. I like the idea of preservation. In a time when we are always in a rush – it goes against the grain to have enough patience to age whisky to perfection.

Getting into whisky is like opening a can of worms, not only are excellent sippers being made in the far flung isles of Scotland, Japan and Holand, but there is a wealth of pioneering influencers and passionate writers dedicated to its appreciation. The Whisky Woman AKA Allison Patel is a lady leading the charge, blogging and distilling Brenne Single Whisky to be aged in Cognac barrels in the heart of France.


Many articles have gone before this, trying to break down the stereotypes and preconceptions attached to whisky, supressing it’s intensely intimidating label and moreover increasing accessibility to women. All of these features, like mine, are written by a handful of whisky-loving ladies. That said, the best place to start is in the art of disguise. Whisky cocktails are the good Samaritan that, I hope, will eventually wean everyone on to sipping and swirling as wee dram with a couple of cubes of ice. Here are our favourite tipples to make at home:

1. Bourbon: The Manhattan


The Manhattan is to American whiskey, what the Martini is to gin. I am biased, I like my drinks short, cold and strong. If you hate this, have a second and your taste buds will be sufficiently numbed- you can’t mess with a classic.

60ml Woodford Reserve Bourbon
30ml Belsazar Red Vermouth
2 dashes Bitter Truth Orange Bitters
Glacé Cherries

Fill a shaker/ large glass with ice, add the Bourbon, Vermouth and Bitters. Stir with a long spoon, or bar spoon and serve in a chilled Martini glass.

2. Rye: Celebration

Whisky Prosecco

For a celebratory tipple sip American Bulliet Rye in the mix with some fresh flavours and exuberant fizz factor!

30ml  Cloudy Apple Juice
15ml Lemon Juice
15ml Elderflower Cordial
40ml Bulliet Rye
Sparkling Wine (Prosecco)

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the Apple Juice, Elderflower Cordial, Lemon Juice and Bulliet Rye, shake well and strain into a champagne glass. Top up with the fizz and garnish with a slice of apple.

 3. Scotch Blends: Monkey Jam Sour

Jam Jar Whisky

If you want a blended Scotch that is perfect in a cocktail, look no further than Monkey Shoulder. The Monkey Jam Sour is promised to loosen your shoulders and make you swing from the chandelier.

50ml Monkey Shoulder
5ml Sugar Syrup
2 Tsp Strawberry Jam (or whatever you have knocking around)
20ml Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Bitter Truth Orange Bitters
Soda Water

Add the Lemon Juice and Jam to a shaker, or better a jam jar and shake well. Add in the Sugar Syrup,Bitters and Monkey Shoulder and fill the shaker with ice.  Pour into a tumbler and top up with ice.

4. Japanese: Duck Soup

Duck Soup

For something to please the crowd, that is wonderfully sixties, crack open the Yamazaki Whisky and get your mix on.

50ml Yamazaki Whisky
15ml Apricot Brandy
20ml Lemon Juice
20ml Pineapple Juice
5ml Sugar Syrup

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the ingredients, and strain into a rocks glass/ tumbler with ice. Garnish with a cherry wrapped in lemon peel, pierced with a cocktail stick!

5. Irish: Whiskey and Ginger Ale

Fever Tree

 If you have had a long day, take a weight off and imbibe something simple and down right delicious.

50ml Jameson Irish Whiskey
Fever Tree Ginger Ale
Lime Wedges

Fill a glass with ice, pour over the Whiskey. Top up with Ginger Ale and squeeze in a couple of wedges of lime, serve with another lime wedge.