Classic whisky cocktails remixed for World Whisky Day
Winner By a Nose

To help you celebrate World Whisky Day on May 21, Iain Meldrum brings you re-mixed four iconic cocktails – The Old Fashioned, The Whisky Sour, The Manhattan and The Mint Julep – all using Scotland’s national tipple.

World Whisky Day parties are taking place all around the world to celebrate the ‘water of life’. You can find your nearest celebration on the World Whisky Day website or you can mark the day wherever you wish by simply raising a dram or mixing up a cocktail using our recipes as inspiration.

And don’t forget to share the results on social media using #WorldWhiskyDay.

1. The ‘Old Blackened’

Old Blackened cocktail

This version contains the DNA of a classic Old Fashioned but with the rich smoke and dark chocolate flavours of Bowmore 12 Year Old Single Malt replacing the more traditional American whiskey, complemented by flavours of walnut and oak-aged cider. The whole drink is lifted with a final flourish of pink grapefruit zest.

Stir all the ingredients over cubed ice until the desired dilution is achieved. Strain into a tumbler filled with fresh ice. Crack a strip of pink grapefruit zest over the drink to release the oils and place it in the glass.


  • 60ml Bowmore 12 year old
  • 12.5ml homemade vintage cider syrup
  • 3 dashes Fee Brothers’ Black Walnut Bitters

2. The ‘Whisky Business’

The Whisky Business

The soft, tropical notes of Auchentoshan American Oak Single Malt match beautifully with zesty grapefruit liqueur and subtle, lavender-infused sugar syrup, all brought together on a backbone of zingy fresh lemon and the Whisky Sours trademark velvet frothiness from egg white.

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker and shake hard without ice (a ‘dry’ shake) to help the egg-white foam. Add cubed ice and shake hard once more. Quickly double-strain into a chilled coupette and sprinkle with dried, edible lavender flowers.


  • 40ml Auchentoshan American Oak
  • 20ml Giffard Pamplemousse
  • 25ml freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 12.5ml lavender sugar syrup
  • 12.5ml fresh egg-white

3. The ‘New Y-Orkney’

New Y-Orkney cocktail

Highland Park 12 year old shares many characteristics with the dry, spicy American rye whiskey so beloved of Manhattan traditionalists, with subtle smoke and briny sea air adding an extra dimension. Herbal depth comes in the form of Bitter Truth E**x**r and Boker’s Bitters, with a rich cherry liqueur adding a welcome sweetness.

Stir all the ingredients over ice until the desired dilution is reached. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange zest and a whisky-soused cherry.


  • 50ml Highland Park 12 year old
  • 12.5ml Bitter Truth E**x**r
  • 12.5ml Gabriel Boudier Guignolet de Dijon
  • 3 dashes Boker’s Bitters
  • Simple syrup to taste

4. The ‘Winner By A Nose’

Winner By a Nose

Staying true to the simple elegance of the classic Julep, this Scotch variant substitutes the bourbon for the equally smooth and rich Auchentoshan Three Wood. Peach bitters add a fruity freshness as well as a nod to early Julep recipes containing peach brandy.

Pick the leaves from all but two of the mint sprigs to give a reasonable handful. Lightly scrunch the picked leaves and place in your cup or glass of choice. Add the sugar syrup, whisky and a spritz of peach bitters and muddle gently to release the oils from the mint, being careful not to break up the leaves. Add a generous scoop of crushed ice and churn the drink with a barspoon to encourage a little dilution. Top with more crushed ice, the two saved sprigs of mint and a further spray of bitters over the drink.


  • 50ml Auchentoshan Three Wood
  • Fee Brothers’ Peach Bitters in an atomiser
  • 4 to 5 generous sprigs of fresh mint
  • 15ml simple syrup

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All images: Peter Dibdin