A go-to dive bar order for many, the humble Whiskey Ginger is a simple, clean, uncomplicated cocktail. Typically made with well whiskey (and only about one to two ounces at that) and ginger ale from a gun, the cocktail is easy to gulp down. And we don’t want to mess with that (though we do have some ideas for Whiskey Ginger upgrades if you’re interested). But if you’re thinking about making the drink at home, there are some whiskeys that work better than others. Here are the five best bottles for your Whiskey Ginger satisfaction.
For a Classic Whiskey Ginger: Jameson ($26)
Jamo and Ginger is a classic order for a reason. The slightly sweet, almost peachy Irish whiskey is a perfect match for light, sugary ginger ale. The two blend seamlessly together for a drink that is bright, refreshing and affordable.
This isn’t some artificially flavored, ultra-sweet shooter. This whiskey is infused with heirloom ginger grown just thirty miles from where the booze is bottled. It’s full and round with a zesty twinge of ginger on the nose and upon first sip. Those gingery notes come forward even more when you mix it with ginger ale.
Though on its own this Indiana-distilled, Colorado finished whiskey is fairly spicy, thanks to it high rye content, the chill of the ice keeps that spice at bay when it is mixed into a drink. The bright, almost lemony notes shine through, making for a light, summery Whiskey Ginger perfect for porch sipping.
For a Spicy Whiskey Ginger: Ragtime Rye ($45)
This old-school New York rye, made in Brooklyn, is boldly spicy and designed to be mixed into cocktails. Its spicy, piquant flavors nod to the ginger ale and then burst through on your palate. This is a cocktail for people who really want to taste the whiskey in their Whiskey Ginger. If you want, swap out the ginger ale for a ginger beer, whose spicy flavor will match that of the whiskey.
For a Sweeter Whiskey Ginger: Bulleit Bourbon ($29)
Reliably honeyed with just a touch of spice, Bulleit is a delicious option for a Whiskey Ginger that leans into the cocktail’s sweetness. The bourbon’s high corn content accounts for its smooth drinkability. Watch out how many of these you throw back, though. It may be easy to gulp down, but the whiskey is still 90 proof.