HOW TO DRINK SCOTCH: The Perfect Ways for Beginners

How to drink scotch whisky and soda for beginners

You can consume scotch neat, but many people choose to mix it with other beverages. When first experimenting with scotch, try to drink it with ginger ale or club soda. You can experiment with other mixers, such as lemonade or cola, once you become used to the flavour. Whatever method you choose, remember to enjoy scotch responsibly. Read through to find out how to drink Scotch whisky and soda for beginners.

How Is Scotch Usually Served?

Traditionally, scotch is served with a side of spring water (tap water may interfere with the taste). Add water, if desired, little by little, to your taste. If you do prefer cold scotch, however, fill your glass with ice rather than adding one or two cubes.

How to Drink Scotch Whisky

Here are the four ways to drink Scotch whisky according to a Scottish bartender

#1. Served With Water

This is one of the ways to drink scotch whisky. Water dilutes the alcohol’s potency while revealing fresh whiskey flavours. In an article that was published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, the Society of Chemical Industry investigated this phenomenon. The researchers discovered that alcohol molecules and the odors derived from the wood barrels are chemically suppressed by water. The “effect of unpleasant, immature odours when wood-aged spirits are ingested” is specifically lessened by water.

Water enhances the flavour of the stronger and more barrel-influenced whiskies. If you’re drinking cask-strength Scotch, add a couple of drops of water to your dram. As Scotch ages in barrels, the alcohol content falls, so the liquid is normally added to the barrel at a level of 60 to 65 per cent alcohol by volume. However, depending on how the whisky was filtered, water can give a drink a hazy appearance. A whisky that is cloudy is perfectly acceptable and won’t affect the drinking experience. Just compare it to absinthe, where the hazy appearance of the water is actually expected and an important part of the ritual of drinking.

#2. Served Neat

Selecting a drinking cup is necessary when sipping Scotch neat. There are an almost infinite number of alternatives available, such as the Solo cup, rocks glass, and whisky snifter. However, Linstead advises sticking to the latter if you are drinking for taste. The bottom of whiskey snifters is wide and tapers to the top like a tulip. This should catch and concentrate all of the whisky’s scents in the glass. However, using a rocks glass is entirely acceptable when out on a casual night. Scotch that has been blended is, in Linstead’s words, “essentially mixology in itself.”

#3. Served With Ice

Priorities first if you wish to use ice, always make sure it is nice, clean ice. You can put it in your drink once it is resolved. The concept of cooling your Scotch and diluting it with melting ice may offend some whisky connoisseurs. But ice can be really helpful for those who are just getting into whisky.

Drinks that have been chilled have less pronounced alcohol smells and fragrances, making them easier to consume. Additionally, it will cover up some of the characteristics that give Scotch its distinctive flavour. Because of the low temperature, most of the taste opening that results from adding water is rendered moot. Use big ice blocks that take up most of a rock’s glass and slowly melt.

#4. Served in a Cocktails

This is another way to drink scotch whisky. Scotch is not just for stuffy old men with discolored teeth from smoking cigars. It’s always been for those who enjoy trying new things. While we sample one of Johnnie Walker’s newest blends, the Blenders’ Batch Triple Grain American Oak, the company’s global ambassador Ewan Gunn explains that blends at Johnnie Walker, one of the most well-known Scotch brands, are created “from the bar back.” Scotch is thus a fantastic complement to cocktails in addition to being great on its own and with a few drops of fresh water. Linstead asserts that this has actually always been the case.

While Scotch whiskey is fantastic on its own, it also makes fantastic additions to cocktails. According to Ewan Gunn, the brand’s international ambassador, mixes are created at Johnnie Walker “from the bar back.” One of the newest mixes from the company is called The Blenders’ Batch Triple Grain American Oak. The history of Scotch whiskey continues to be heavily influenced by cocktails and mixed beverages.

Do You Sip or Shoot Scotch?

Some people may do it, but that doesn’t make it right. For one thing, a lot of premium whiskeys are unfriendly to shoot – your palate will burn – and for another, you’re going to detect zero flavor notes. Sip neat, don’t shoot.

How to Drink Scotch for Beginners

For new beginners to the world of scotch, let’s give you some tips to drink your scotch.

#1. Start With a Scotch Without a Smoky Flavor.

This is one of the ways to drink scotch for beginners. The vast majority of distilleries heat their barley with coal during the malting process. Unpeated or moderately peated Scotch whiskies are recommended for beginners because peat’s aroma and flavor may be too strong when dipping a toe into the category. You might stop finding peated scotch as intense over time as you advance from a beginner to an expert. However, unpeated scotch is strongly advised for a newbie.

#2. Have a Good Sense of Smell When It Comes to Scotch

The smell of Scotch is one of its many beautiful qualities, but if you heavily inhale the scent, you’ll wind up with harsh liquor burns in your nostrils. Holding the glass a finger’s distance from your nose, gently inhale it as opposed to taking deep breaths. If you’re having trouble picking up any odors, simply place your hand over the full glass aperture to concentrate the aromas there before releasing it and taking a slow, gentle breath.

#3. Try Mixing Some Water Into Your Drink

Scotch is typically served with water and a few ice cubes in restaurants and bars. Don’t think of adding water to the glass as a bad thing; in fact, most Scottish bars only put it there to emphasize the scotch’s flavor. Every sip of the scotch leaves a lasting flavor and aroma on your taste buds thanks to the addition of water.

#4. Do Not Drink Scotch on the Rocks.

It is not advised for beginners to drink Scotch and soda straight up. If you don’t already know, drinking on the rocks is the same as drinking with ice. Ice cubes cool the beverage to the point where the flavors are muffled, even if adding water to the Scotch helps it open up. Scotch and soda with a squeeze of lemon is a lovely cocktail in Scotland, but it won’t help foreigners get used to the single malt’s complex flavor.

#5. Ensure That You Verify the Age of Your Scotch

Over time, Scotch whiskies refine and mellow. Older Scotch whiskies might therefore be more appealing to newcomers. The flavor of 25-year-old Glen Scotia whisky is perfect. However, because of the small number of single malt whiskies that are approved for ageing past the age of 18, the price of older Scotch increases significantly over time. Whisky between 12 and 15 years old is suitable for novices.

#6. Buy Your Scott From Original Stores

Make sure you purchase your scotch from a reliable source. The benefit is that you won’t have to wonder whether the scotch you purchased is right for you or not.

How to Drink Scotch and Soda

A “scotch and soda” is a mixed beverage made with soda water or another sparkling water and Scotch whiskey. You can actually drink scotch and soda. There is no set proportion between the ingredients; depending on taste, water amounts might range from a splash to many times that of whisky. You can serve the beverage in a variety of ways, including with or without ice and occasionally even with a minimal garnish like a citrus twist.

The glassware used can be of any tumbler style, although old-fashioned or highball glasses are most frequently used. The latter, which is bigger, is utilized particularly when adding ice and/or a significant amount of water. Although it can be regarded as a cocktail in the broadest sense, scotch and soda isn’t a cocktail by the strictest definition because it only contains two ingredients.

How Do Scots Drink Scotch?

Some people may do it, but that doesn’t make it right. For one thing, a lot of premium whiskeys are unfriendly to shoot – your palate will burn—and for another, you’re going to detect zero flavour notes. Sip neatly, don’t shoot.

Can You Mix Scotch With Coke?

Scotch and coke is a popular nightclub drink in many southern European countries, and it’s normally a J&B or Ballantine’s and coke, not just any old Scotch. Brand loyalty is strong, whether scotch is mixed or served straight.

Can Scotch Get You Drunk?

How much scotch whiskey you should drink to get mildly drunk mainly depends on the capacity of that person. Normally, people don’t get drunk until they have consumed 120 mL of alcohol, but for some, it may affect them. As for me, 240 ml of single-malt whiskey is enough to get mildly drunk, but for some, it’s too much.

What Is Scotch VS Whiskey?

Whiskey is a broad term for distilled grain that’s been aged in casks. “Scotch” is a term used outside of Scotland to refer to Scottish-made whisky. “Whiskey” is the spelling for American-made whiskey, while “whisky” is the spelling for Scottish-made versions.


Now that you know the basics for beginners on how to drink Scotch whisky and soda, it’s time to get out there and start enjoying this amazing beverage. Whether you’re enjoying a glass on your own or with friends, scotch is the perfect way to relax and unwind. So find your favourite bottle and enjoy!

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FAQs About How to Drink Scotch

Is scotch stronger than vodka?

A minute difference exists between whiskey and vodka regarding alcohol content. Vodka has around 40% ABV or at least 80 proof, while whiskey has about 40% to 50% ABV.

Is it better to drink scotch or beer?

Based on studies, whiskey is healthier than beer (or red wine) because it has fewer calories. Although this drink is stronger, it has fewer carbohydrates, less sodium, and almost zero sugar content.

What is the healthiest alcohol?

However, if you are going to drink, having red wine in moderation is a healthier choice than other alcoholic drinks. This is due to its high levels of antioxidants called polyphenols, which have been linked to better heart and gut health.