Ladies, it is time. It is time to put down all of the mixers, sodas, fruit and whatever other sugary shit you are putting into your drink. It is time to enter into the world of a true Whiskey Woman and start drinking your whiskey neat.
Whiskey Neat: Meaning or pertaining to drinking whiskey straight up out of the bottle; no ice- no mixers. Just whiskey, at room temperature, in a glass.
Why should I drink whiskey neat, you ask? Well, first, it’s the best way to truly taste the whiskey. Believe it or not, distillers do not ask themselves what flavors will taste best with coke or ginger ale when they are blending and distilling. There are rich flavors and aromas present in just about every whiskey out there. They can be hard to point out at first (we’ll write an article on this later) but the more you drink your whiskey neat the more apparent they will become. Also, I know what you’re thinking- you’re asking yourself ‘is it really lady like to drink whiskey neat?” Yes. Yes it is; it’s what Katharine Hepburn would have wanted. And remember, whatever a lady likes, is ladylike.
Secondly, it makes you look like a complete badass. You do not even understand how many points you will gain by going up to the hot bartender and asking for Blanton’s Original Single Barrel Whiskey Neat. A word of caution here, you may shock the heart and mind of that hot bartender or your super amazing date so much that they ask you to marry them right then and there. As such, make sure you have an even more witty come back to whatever baffled remark they have (this is usually the most fun part of the entire experience, second to drinking whiskey).
Now, I know it can be completely overwhelming to go up to the bar and ask for whiskey served neat. Allow me to make the experience go a lot more smoothly.
First rule, don’t ever ask for a well whiskey served neat. I guarantee you that will be your hell and your badass points will go out the door. I think it’s best to start experimenting with blends. A blend is a mixture of two or more whiskies that are, well, blended together and bottled as one. They are extremely consistent and great primers to ease you into the intense flavors that can come with drinking whiskey. If we were sitting at a bar together and you wanted me to order one for you, I would get us a round of Four Roses Small Batch.
If you’re looking to be a bit more adventurous, or maybe you want somebody to help walk you through the ins and outs of the bourbon shelf, is never hurts to ask your bartender for their recommendation. If they are exceptional at their job, they should be able to point you in the direction of something that matches your taste preferences. If they can’t suggest something to you because they don’t drink whiskey, go to another bar immediately.
Can’t stand the heat? Throw a cube in it! If you’re still having trouble drinking whiskey neat it’s totally okay to put some ice in it. In most cases, the ice will more than likely open up additional flavors and aromas.
And you know what, if you still really can’t stand it, mix it into a cocktail. The point of drinking whiskey is to enjoy it and share a story or two with the soul sitting across from you. All I ask is you don’t let previous perceptions hinder you from tasting your whiskey neat in the future. I promise you, the complex notes and aromas will totally grow on you and sooner or later you may even find yourself saying really silly things such as, “Oh yeah, I am definitely picking up on those notes of leather”.
It’s a whole new world out there once you start drinking your whiskey neat. Here’s to your explorations, cheers!