The Whiskey Cocktail Revival
Maxim|November - December 2021
From classic Old Fashioneds to more elaborate concoctions, here’s how to drink whiskey now
By Jared Paul Stern

When Conor McGregor and Justin Bieber recently posed for an Instagram pic hoisting whiskey cock-tails in Los Angeles, there was not so much setting a trend as jumping on the bandwagon. Whiskey cocktails are currently enjoying a revival that too many connoisseurs is long overdue. The latter list includes Jesse Estes, a spirits author, and expert who has tended bar all over the world and frequently acts as a judge for awards including Drinks International’s International Spirit Challenge. In 2018 Estes authored From Dram to Manhattan, with photographs by the endlessly talented Alex Luck, which has come to be regarded as one of the definitive books on whiskey cocktails. And Ryland Peters & Small has now decided to re-issue it under the title Whiskey Cocktails: 40 Recipes for Old Fashioneds, Sours, Manhattans, Juleps, and More, making this the essential season for concoctions featuring brown spirits from around the world.

“Some of the most iconic classic cocktails are whiskey-based,” Estes tells us. “When craft cocktails enjoyed their big revival in the early 2000s, these classics came back to the forefront in full force. The impact only became stronger when Mad Men hit the screens, with Don Draper sipping Old Fashioneds, Manhattans and Martinis seemingly constantly.” The whiskey cocktails that have stood the test of time are “tried-and-true favorites, and contemporary craft cocktail bars today are full of twists on these classics,” Estes notes. “Whiskey’s versatility in mixing will ensure that it will always be a staple of the modern bar.”

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