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How to make whisky taste even better

ballantines B7 old fashioned

We think our whisky tastes great on its own. Blended to perfection by our master blenders, our smooth, sweet scotch has won a bunch of awards. But if you feel like the classic whisky burn has got you grimacing, stick around. There’s plenty of ways to drink whisky, and we’re fans of them all.

Whisky is a porous spirit. Meaning that whatever you add will impact its flavour. Often reducing the alcoholic strength and elevating its light, honeyed notes. 

From adding ice to making fruity cocktails, you can combine whisky with anything. 

Here’s our favourite ways to make whisky taste even better.

Add water

A few drops of water can change the taste of whisky, making it less alcoholic and bringing out the spirit’s smooth texture. 

Sip your dram before and after adding water to notice the difference and experiment with hot vs cold to elevate various flavours. You want to do it gradually – just one or two drops can change things up. 

Drink it chilled

Adding ice to whisky not only cools it down – making it a more refreshing sipper. It also takes away the burn, meaning its ABV won’t taste as strong. 

Serve it with a singular large cube whisky on the rocks style so that the ice slowly melts into the spirit. Our favourite blend to use is our 30 Year Old whisky, a powerful, luxurious mix of juicy pear and peach flavours. With a long-lasting vanilla finish.

Whisky on the Rocks

As the pinnacle in the Ballantine’s range, the 30 year old has been garnished with a simple cube of ice, in order to accentuate its natural depth and layers.


Pour in a mixer

Whisky is great on its own. But if you fancy a lighter drink, or one that lasts a little longer, adding a mixer is going to be right up your alley. This can be fizzy sodas, fruity juices or anything you can get your hands on. If it works for you, it works.

Try classic combos like whisky and coke, a whisky tonic or scotch and soda. Or add a summery twist with scotch and coconut water and whisky ice tea. Whether you’re looking to add sweetness, lightness or pure bubbles, there’s plenty of soft drinks that work.

Find more whisky mixers to try with Ballantine’s.

Whisky & Ginger Ale

Spicy and refreshing in one, kick things up a gear with the classic pairing of Ballantine’s whisky & Ginger Ale.


Whisky & Grapefruit

One sip of this, and you’ll be seeing a lot more of Grapefruit in your cocktail rotation, we promise.


Mix with other drinks

If whisky isn’t your go-to beverage, that’s totally fine. But don’t put the bottle to the back of the cupboard yet. Because your favourite drink might just be whisky’s best companion.

First up – the lager lovers. Did you know that whisky and beer are a top tier match? They’re made from the same ingredients, so it makes sense when you think about it. The most common combo is the Boilermaker (a shot of scotch dropped in a pint) but our Berry Beer cocktail is another great invention. Fruity, fizzy and light, it’s the ultimate beer and whisky mix.

Whisky is also a good friend of wine. Whilst very different from one another, these two liquids work surprisingly well together. Take the New York Sour for example. This red wine and whisky cocktail is a warming favourite. Then there’s our take on the classic French 75 and Spritz My Way, both made with Prosecco.

As long as you do it responsibly, there’s no reason why you can’t mix your usual with whisky.

Speyside Spritz

Celebrate any occasion in style with our whisky twist on the classic French 75 cocktail.


Make it a cocktail

Whisky’s been used in cocktails for centuries. In fact the oldest known cocktail has whisky at its core; none other than the Old Fashioned. This one’s a great shout if you like the smooth, spiced sweetness of whisky. A dash of bitters muddled with sugar elevates the natural flavours for an easy sipping serve.

There’s plenty more classic whisky drinks from the Sazerac and Boulevardier (try this one if you like a Negroni), to the Whisky Sour, another cocktail that dates back over 150 years. Make them the traditional way or put on your own spin mixing up ingredients to create drinks like the Cherry Whisky Sour or Apple Cider Old Fashioned.

But don’t stop there. Whisky is super versatile, so you really can mix it with anything. Trust us, we’ve tried. From grapefruit to sriracha sauce, to coffee and green tea, we’ve made an epic drink with almost every ingredient. So don’t be afraid to get creative.

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!


Kentucky Mule

Simple and refreshing. This zingy Kentucky Mule recipe is soon to be your new go-to, but don’t just take our word for it, try it for yourself!


Check out our collection of whisky cocktail recipes to get inspired. There’s coffee whisky drinks, seasonal cocktails, easy scotch cocktails and more. Plus we’ve got guides on how to taste whisky and how to make better cocktails at home.

17 light and refreshing whisky cocktails to drink this summer

Here are our favourite light whisky cocktails to keep you cool this summer season. Discover 17 refreshing recipes made with sweet, smooth scotch whisky.


12 fruity whisky drinks for the citrus and berry lovers

Whether you’re into tangy citrus, bursting berries or more tropical produce, there’s a cocktail recipe for you. So get juicing and shake up our shortlist of the best fruity whisky drinks.



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.