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Become a Whisky Drinker: A Guide to Hosting a Whisky Cocktail Party

Forget your G&Ts, whisky is the new tipple of choice. If your friends aren’t converted whisky drinkers yet, then introduce them to this exquisite spirit with a whisky cocktail party. For a night full of delicious drinks and fantastic food pairings, discover our guide to how to host a whisky cocktail party and encourage your friends to fall in love with whisky.

How to Host a Whisky Cocktail Party

Whisky is the perfect spirit for a cocktail party because it is so versatile, not only is it delicious neat, but it is also great alcohol base for many different cocktails. Decide whether you will be chief cocktail maker or whether your party will have a touch of DIY. Before you get your glad rags on and get ready to party, follow our tips to ensure that your event goes smoothly.

Create the Perfect Ambience

Creating the perfect ambience is key when hosting a party. Curate a playlist that is upbeat yet ideal for background noise – save the power ballads for later in the evening. The right music sets the tone for the party, if the music is off then the vibe will not be as good.

Lighting is also super important when hosting an event. Avoid harsh, bright overhead lighting and instead opt for warmer lowlighting. Stick to the whisky theme and make use of your old whisky bottles buy turning them into candles or adding fairy lights. Dot your homemade whisky candles around to create a warm atmosphere that is perfectly in keeping with the theme.

Consider using Pinterest to find some inspiration for how you want your party to look and feel. Check out some whisky drinker party inspiration and start a vision board to help you create the perfect party.

Food

You can’t host an event – especially one that involves indulging in a few The Glenlivet whisky cocktails, without some nibbles. Make it easy for yourself and prep the food beforehand so that all you have to worry about is topping up your fellow whisky drinkers’ drinks. Whisky pairs beautifully with cheese, smoked and roasted meats, so opt for a charcuterie board so that your guests can graze as they’re enjoying their cocktails. Simply arrange your variety of cheeses and meats on a board, adding nuts, olives, sundried tomatoes and whatever else you fancy. Don’t forget the carbs – add bread and crackers to serve with the board and of course no party is complete without crisps and dip. Finally, always make sure you have back-up food in case the party goes on for longer than expected.

Gather the Utensils

Make sure you have all the utensils you require to make the cocktails and have them set out ready for your guests to arrive.  The number of cocktail shakers you need is dependent on whether you are hosting a DIY cocktail evening or not.

Whisky Cocktail Checklist

  • Full cocktail shaker kit. This includes a stainless-steel tumbler, a glass tumbler, a jigger, spoon, and strainer.
  • Make sure you have enough glasses in a mixture of styles. From your classic Old Fashioned whisky glass to a coupe and martini glass, check which cocktails you are preparing so that you can choose your glasses accordingly.
  • Plan ahead and choose the cocktails you will serve in advance so that you have all of the correct ingredients.
  • Ice is so important for a party and when you think you have enough, buy a few more extra bags. Not only do you need ice to fill the glasses, but you also use it whilst mixing your cocktails, so make sure you are fully prepared and have plenty in the freezer.

Cocktail Ideas

Now for the fun part: cocktail making. Make cocktails that whisky drinkers and whisky newbies alike will enjoy. Also make sure to reserve a bottle of The Glenlivet for those who prefer to drink it neat.

When making cocktails, choose up to three that are sure to be crowd pleasers so that you don’t overstretch yourself. Classic cocktails are always a winner because they have been carefully concocted to complement the taste of whisky, so make sure to include at least one of those. Of course, you can always branch out and create more unique cocktail blends.

Check out our cocktail recommendations below.

Whisky Sour

A whisky classic, whisky drinkers and whisky novices alike will fall in love with this delicious cocktail.

COCKTAIL RECIPE
FOR
1
SERVE

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients Unit
The Glenlivet 12 Year Old
50 ml
Lemon Juice
25 ml
Simple Syrup
12 ml
Egg White or Aquafaba (Optional)
12 ml

METHOD

  1. Build in shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake again until well-chilled.
  3. Strain into glass.

You can always make this into a Berry Whisky Sour. Simply muddle a large handful of your chosen berries and add to your mixture. Alternatively, you could use another citrus fruit. Grapefruit works well with this recipe; all you have to do is swap out the lemon juice.

the glenlivet founders reserve grain and cane whisky cocktails

Grain & Cane

This summer cocktail uses white balsamic vinegar to add a touch of vinous acidity and complexity to a refreshingly fruity whisky cocktail.

The Scottish climate defines the character of The Glenlivet whisky. These same conditions also make Scottish raspberries the best in the world. The combination of whisky and raspberries is a historical favourite – which also happens to be key ingredients to Scotland's most famous dessert Cranachan!

COCKTAIL RECIPE
FOR
1
SERVE

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients Unit
The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve
50 ml
Fresh Raspberries
5
Lemon Juice
15 ml
White Balsamic Vinegar
5 ml
Simple Syrup
15 ml

METHOD

  1. Shake all ingredients with ice and strain over crushed ice in a highball glass.
  2. Garnish with fresh raspberries and a grind of black pepper.
whisky drinkers at a party

The Old Reserve

This classic cocktail with a twist is as simple as it gets. Less of a sweet mix, this cocktail really lets the whisky do the talking. Simple to make and a favourite amongst whisky drinkers, an The Old Reserve is an original twist on The Old Fashioned – it’s the perfect whisky cocktail to have on your menu.

COCKTAIL RECIPE
FOR
1
SERVE

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients Unit
The Glenlivet Captain’s Reserve
60 ml
Ginger Liqueur
15 ml
Bar Spoon of Honey
Orange Bitters
3 dashes

METHOD

  1. Stir ingredients together and strain into a rocks glass over ice.
  2. Garnish with an orange twist.
the glenlivet founders reserve carnivale whisky cocktail

Carnivale

A refreshing low-calorie summertime whisky cocktail. The soft natural flavors of coconut water provide the perfect accompaniment to the laid-back character of The Glenlivet Founder's Reserve, and makes for a party favourite whisky drink.

COCKTAIL RECIPE
FOR
1
SERVE

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients Unit
The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve
50 ml
Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
10 ml
Coconut Water
120 ml
Amargo Chuncho
1 dash(es)

METHOD

  1. Add The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, fresh lime and coconut water to a highball glass half full of crushed ice and stir.
  2. Fill the glass with crushed ice, taking care not to bring the level of the liquid up too high.
  3. Dash with the Amargo Chuncho bitters.

Check out some more easy cocktail ideas which will inspire you to become a whisky drinker.

The most important thing to remember when hosting a party is to have fun. If you’re having fun, then your guests will have fun. Set the ambience, get the food prepared and keep the drinks flowing and by the end of the evening you have just converted your friends to become whisky drinkers.

Tag us in your post-party pictures using @TheGlenlivet, #BreakTheStereotype.