How to Host an Amazing Tennessee Whiskey Tasting

Whiskey is fast growing into one of the most-loved drinks here in Nashville, and whiskey tastings are increasingly cropping up at parties, socials, get-togethers, and cookouts! There are a wide variety of flavors and prices, and unlike fine bourbons, whiskeys are generally much easier on the pocket book. So we’ve decided to put together a great guide for you; how to decorate, what foods pair well with whiskeys, great whiskeys to serve, and even some amazing whiskey cocktails!

How to Decorate for a Whiskey Party

It’s whiskey; the drink of choice for cowboys and southern stars. So of course, go full rustic! Traditional southern hunting scenes, antlers, and leather are all choice– but avoid going over-masculine by brightening your wood-and-leather tones with pale dishes and serving ware, and pale centerpieces. Stately, pale floral arrangements can usually beautifully accent the warm tones of wood and horn quite gorgeously. If you want to go very eclectic, you might consider a moss table runner with river stones alongside those handsomely-shed antlers.

What Food Should You Serve?

Whiskey is known for its warm notes, which can range from chocolate or caramel to honey to oak to smoke. And if that doesn’t sound like a great Nashville barbecue, what does!? Short ribs, steaks, or pork chops can all be great options, and lean towards chocolate or caramel tastes for a dessert.

Best Whiskeys to Serve

Wondering what you could serve at a whiskey tasting? We’ve got some of the best Tennessee iterations already earmarked for you! A great rule of thumb is to taste whiskeys from lighter to darker, as the heavier flavors of darker whiskies are likely to linger longer. For palette cleansers between rounds, sniffing a small bowl of coffee beans or eating plain crackers and drinking water is a good way to go. A great way to turn a whiskey tasting into a game is to hide the labels, and have party guests rank the whiskeys they taste from best to worst!

  • Maker’s Mark Whiskey
  • Knob Creek Whiskey
  • Four Roses Whiskey
  • Woodford Reserve Whiskey
  • Blanton’s whiskey
  • Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select
  • Old Rip Van Winkle Whiskey

nashville cocktailGreat Whiskey Cocktails

So, what if you know several of your friends don’t? No matter what manner of cocktail they enjoy, rest assured that you can find a fantastic whiskey cocktail for their taste! We’ve given recipes for top-rated (but simple!) cocktails for every popular cocktail flavor profile: spicy, sweet, and sour.

  • The Seven and Seven – A sweet, light, easy bubbly cocktail, you’d never guess it’s so low brow! Add 4 ounces of 7UP or Sprite to a glass (or almost to the top), and then add one shot of whiskey. Two if you want it stiff and less sweet!
  • Whiskey Peach Cooler – Take 1 tablespoon of warmed-up peach jam and mix it thoroughly in a glass almost-full of club soda… before ice! Add a shot of whiskey. Add a sprig of thyme to garnish, and some ice to cool it down!
  • Dark and Stormy – Put a shot of whiskey into a glass, pour in most of a bottle of ginger beer, and squeeze in the juice from a wedge or lime, and dunk the wedge in.
  • Hot Blooded – Put in two shots of whiskey into a glass of orange juice, and roughly 2 tablespoons of agave syrup. Put in a few thin slices of jalapeno. Stir it well, because that agave won’t want to mix! When thoroughly stirred, remove and throw away the jalapenos.
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