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How to host a whisky themed party at home

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Hosting a big party soon? Whether it’s for a landmark birthday, anniversary or a “why the heck not?” celebration for your nearest and dearest, you’ll need to find the perfect party theme.

A great theme will help you plan all other aspects of your party by giving you clear direction, and you probably won’t be surprised to know that our favourite kind of parties are whisky themed. 

A whisky themed party is a little unexpected, but a whole lot of fun, with loads of potential for whisky party entertainment, decor and much more.

It really is the ideal theme for any whisky lover, anyone with a passion for mixology, or someone who enjoys life’s simple please… so basically – anyone! As long as they’re over the legal drinking age in your country that is.

We’ll be sharing a simple guide for throwing a whisky themed party to remember, so keep reading to equip yourself with plenty of easy yet effective whisky party ideas.

Host a whisky tasting night


Whisky tasting is a must-do activity at your whisky themed party. It’s a fairly low maintenance activity for you to organise, but will provide heaps of entertainment for your guests. 

You definitely do not need to be a whisky expert to taste whisky, and all your friends will be able to get involved.

We recommend that you read our guide on how to drink whisky first of all, which will clear up any myths on whisky tasting. But to recap – there’s no right or wrong way to taste whisky. It’s all about being open minded and seeing what your unique palate picks out. Whatever you can taste – well, that’s the “right” answer.

Begin by choosing several bottles from our whisky range to bring a whisky tasting element into your whisky themed party. We suggest that you opt for our original, Ballantine’s Finest, some options from the Ballantine’s Iconic Whisky Collection such as Ballantine’s 21 Year Old, plus a bottle or two from Ballantine’s Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection, such as Miltonduff 15 Year Old Single Malt

What bottles you pick is totally up to you, the aim is just to create a varied selection.

Decant each whisky into a different bottle or carafe, so that guests won’t know which is which (but make sure you, the host, have a way to identify them discreetly!), that way they’ll have no expectations on how they will taste, and nothing to influence their palate.

You can make this activity as simple or interactive as you like. If you take the simple route, each guest will taste the same whisky together, and jot down what they smell, taste and feel. Then compare opinions and reveal which whisky is which at the end. 

Make sure to have a great playlist to accompany the whisky tasting party, and remember to provide different drinks between whiskies so that guests can cleanse their palates. We would say water, but hey, it’s a party – so whatever floats their boat.

Provide whisky party drinks


You’ll no doubt be looking for some delicious whisky cocktails to serve at your whisky themed party. Luckily for you, we have a whole host of cocktail recipes, ranging from traditional classics, such as the Whisky Sour, to super modern and innovative, like our Cold Brew Kick.

Pick a handful of whisky cocktails that tickle your fancy, and arrange the ingredients on your at home bar. Don’t forget fun garnishes and accessorize such as fresh fruit, herbs, novelty straws and cocktail umbrellas. 

You could rope a friend in to play bartender all night, but why not write cocktail recipes on chalk boards and let people make their own? This will provide even more interactivity and entertainment to your whisky themed party, and guests can learn new skills while enjoying delicious whisky drinks with friends.

Whisky Sour

This cocktail is 150 years old, yet you’ll still find it in the trendiest bars. Give it a go with your favourite Ballantine’s!


Cold Brew Kick

Meet the cool, laid-back cousin to the Espresso Martini. Simple to make but still gets you those sophisticated host points.


Accessorise with Whisky themed party decorations


Talking of recipe chalkboards, let’s move onto decorations for your whisky themed party.

Your at home bar adorned with whisky bottles, mixers, liqueurs and garnishes will be an eye catching decoration in itself, as will your whisky tasting table. But you can elevate the atmosphere by adding candles and string lights, a personalised sign for your whisky bar and place names for the whisky tasting activity. 

All sorts of whisky themed party decor is available online, from balloons to garlands and even real vintage whisky barrels. You can go cheesy with the whole “aged to perfection” birthday vibe, or keep it classy with a trendy bar theme. 

How elaborate you go with the decor overall will depend on your party space and budget. Rest assured that less is sometimes more, and a well arranged, well stocked and inviting home bar set up with a personalised sign will be more than enough for an at home whisky party. 

Remember too that sharing is caring – don’t be afraid to ask friends if you can borrow furniture such as bar stools. Being the host doesn’t mean you can’t ask for a helping hand.

That covers the three main areas for throwing a whisky themed party. Use our handy tips to help guide you on whisky party activities, cocktails and whisky themed decorations, and the result will be a legendary celebration that all guests will love. They may even learn something new, too. Have fun!

You’ve thrown the party, now you need to keep up the reputation of being a whisky expert. Wow your guests in the future with conversation on the best whisky regions in Scotland whilst enjoying a delicious whisky dessert cocktail. Coupled with knowledge from our collection of whisky drinks, you’ll be a pro in no time.

13 fascinating fun facts about whisky

Whisky is rightly seen as one of the world’s most iconic drinks – look at how many times it turns up in films and on tv. But there are many smart facts about it you probably don’t know. Wow your mates with this insider info.


How to drink whisky: a beginner’s guide

The title of this blog, how to drink whisky, is somewhat of a paradox. There’s no wrong way to drink whisky, what works for you – works. 



You already know we’ve nailed the Finest Whisky to ever grace a glass. But that’s just a little drop of what we’re about. Scroll on for the latest news and features from across the world of Ballantine’s whisky, True Music and much, much more.