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The Improved Whiskey Cocktail

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Wow, I've had a slow learning experience but it's been worthwhile!


Somewhere in the past when first trying whiskey cocktails (like 2011), I tried the Old Fashioned, Improved Whiskey Cocktail & the Sazerac. I discounted the Improved Whiskey Cocktail because the flavours of maraschino & absinthe clashed slightly for me.


I later discovered the Improved Vermouth Cocktail (basically vermouth with bitters, maraschino & curacao). I liked that so bottled some maraschino & curaçao together. At the time I didn't but much later I reached for this bottle of maraschino & curaçao to make an Improved Whiskey Cocktail to see if my tastes had changed (I forgot the absinthe was used in the original spec)... bingo, a new favourite drink.


I googled 'Improved Whiskey Cocktail' & read a bit about it - surprisingly I didn't find any other variations beyond the original. I retried the original maraschino & absinthe pairing (with Herbsaint) - not to my taste still, I wanted it slightly sweeter. I swapped out the maraschino for Benedictine - nice combo, I'll keep that one in rotation a bit too.


As they say, what was old is now new again. I have a 'new' favourite drink format to play with, the Improved Whiskey Cocktail:


2oz of whiskey
A barspoon of sugar syrup
2+ dashes of bitters
2+ dashes of liquor A
2+ dashes of liquor B
Stir & strain over fresh ice
Express a citrus peel over the drink & pop it in


I have found that I like:

- Rye, Bokers bitters, maraschino, curaçao, lemon peel
- Rye, Angostura bitters, Benedictine, Herbsaint, lemon peel


Aside from recommending trying these to you all, I wondered what combinations other people might recommend?

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