The Rise of Whisky Cocktail Culture

The world of whisk(e)y is opening up. A shelf that once felt confined to tasting glasses and smoky lounges, is now more accessible than ever before. Take new producing regions, unusual cask finishes, a global pandemic, and you’ve got a recipe for a new type of whisky drinker. One that is excited to be in your venue and ready to be delighted online. 

Of course, whisk(e)y cocktails are nothing new to the scene of bartending. But outside the realms of Boulevardiers, Old Fashioneds and Penicillins, bartender innovation and recommendation play vital roles in this new wave of whisky cocktail culture. 

We love this take on new whisky cocktail trends from The Whisky Yearbook’s deepdive into Influencer Outlets 2020: 

“Where once the thought of using a fine single malt in a cocktail would be sacrilege, many single malt-based serves are cementing themselves as drinks list staples for their unique flavour, impossible to recreate with any other spirit.”

The changes to the rulebook have been rippling through bartender communities for some time but, 2021 is truly the year to be bold! Shake the mould and push the boundaries of flavour with your whisky mixology. Delve into fruit purees to lengthen and freshen, and place a twist on convention with syrups that add dimension. 

Take stock of your whisk(e)y inventory and consider the breadth of style you have to offer drinkers, and present them in a way that helps them explore the category (if you like rum, you might like this – for example). Blends, malt, rye and grain… it’s time to prop up the bar because highballs and summer serves are on the whisky menu!

Find some inspiration for your whisk(e)y cocktails below:



Bourbon whiskey 45ml

Red Vermouth 15ml

ODK Hazelnut syrup 15ml

Citrus bitters (2 drops)

Lemon Zest

Cinnamon stick



Begin by flaming your cinnamon stick. 

Place your smoking cinnamon stick on a heat-safe plate and place your cocktail glass over it to smoke it.

Chill your mixing glass and add Bourbon whisky, vermouth and ODK Hazelnut Syrup. Stir to chill and dilute.

Strain over ice and garnish with lemon zest and cinnamon stick. 

Add two drops of bitters and serve.




Sherried whisky 50ml

ODK Raspberry Fruity Mix 20ml

ODK 100% Lime juice 15ml

Cranberry juice 50ml



Fill stemmed glasses with crushed ice.

Add all ingredients to the shaker, add ice and shake hard for 1 minute.

Double strain over crushed ice. 

Top with more crushed ice, garnish and serve.