Whiskey is a spirit that has experienced a recent revival in popularity as a trend toward simple classics takes over the drinking world. The beverage has a rich history, dating back centuries to Irish roots. Now there are several varieties of the distilled grain liquor worth knowing as a bartender.
Regions of whiskey
It is generally agreed that whiskey was first distilled in Ireland, although Scottish brands are more widely recognized today. Eventually, production of the drink traveled to the Americas as well, where it is now beloved in the southern United States and Canada. In the U.S., Canadian whiskey has gotten a negative reputation, but there are many notably smooth Canadian whiskies that should be recognized.
Types of whiskey
Whiskey is always made from fermented grain, which can be a blend of one or more of the following: barley, corn, wheat, and rye. It can be aged for a varying number of years, typically in oak barrels. The flavor of the drink can vary from dark, smoky tones to fruity and floral notes, and it is enjoyable served on its own or in a variety of whiskey-based cocktails like the favorites listed here:
- Old fashioned: A mixture of bourbon, bitters, water, sugar, an orange slice, and a maraschino cherry served over ice in a lowball glass.
- Manhattan: Rye whiskey shaken with dry vermouth, bitters, and served up with a maraschino cherry. A variation made with Scotch whiskey instead of rye is often called a Rob Roy.
- Whiskey sour: A simple combination of whiskey, sour mix, ice, and a cherry served in a highball glass.
- Mint Julep: The refreshing southern beverage consists of freshly muddled mint leaves, simple syrup, and Bourbon served over ice in a lowball glass.
At Professional Bartending Schools of America, you can learn all about whiskey and all other popular libations in one of 34 locations nationwide. Check out our website or call us at (513) 542-3500 to learn what our nationally recognized programs can do for your career.