Alright, men. It’s time to step up and learn how to drink whiskey like a real man, the way the main maverick himself intended. Samuel Maverick didn’t wimp out. He fought for Texas independence and he didn’t brand his damn cattle.  Honor Sam Maverick, and all the other manly mavericks of Texas, by taking the following steps and drinking whiskey like a man.

Step 1: Choose A Manly Glass (Psst: It’s a Lowball Glass)

No one is going to look at a guy drinking out of a plastic cup and think he’s an expert on whatever’s inside. This isn’t a college party, gentleman. Choose a manly glass that gives you the flavor that the makers of your whiskey intended.

Stick to glass, specifically a tulip-shaped lowball glass. Any type of lowball glass allows the flavor of a smaller drink to come out when you give it a sniff. (You might know these glasses as “Old Fashioned” glasses. That name works too.) Conversely, highball glasses are better for cocktails with more liquid. But we’re not drinking a frilly cocktail. We’re drinking whiskey. The tulip shape directs the flavor to your nose while still letting it breathe. You can’t share the flavor notes and look like an intelligent whiskey connoisseur if you can’t smell them. Set yourself up for success (and look good doing it) with a nice lowball glass.

Step 2:  Drink It Neat (Or However You Damn Well Choose)

Once you’ve got your glass of whiskey ready, you have to choose how to drink it. Want it neat (without any water or ice?) This allows you to get the most out of the flavor, the way the makers intended. Whiskey experts recommend trying a whiskey neat on the first go.

Once you’ve gotten to know your whiskey, you can adjust your medium. Be a man. If you prefer your whiskey on the rocks (with ice,) go for it. Do what you damn well please. Whiskey experts do recommend choosing a larger or rounder ice cubes; they don’t melt as quickly as other ice cubes. These ice cubes keep the flavor of the whiskey, but also keep your drink cool. (Then again, if your man cave only has tiny square ice cubes, pop them in. Use what you have.)

Play around with your preferences. If you want to add a bit of water to numb the flavor of the whiskey, that is your damn right. Adding a teaspoon of water can reduce the alcohol content of a shot of whiskey by 40%. Keep your head on straight with a little extra H2O…if that’s what you want.

Step 3: Take a Big Sniff and Let the Whiskey Linger in Your Mouth

A real man knows how to appreciate a good whiskey. Get the most out of your first sip by putting your nose up to the glass and taking a big, long sniff. Take in the smells and appreciate the time that was put into your glass. Try to identify any notes that you can share with partygoers (and impress the woman across the room.) When you finally take a sip, don’t throw it back. Take a small sip and let it linger on your tongue. Taste the flavors and appreciate how they compare to the scent profile. Get to know your whiskey like you want to know the woman across the room. Take it slow, and appreciate each aspect of the drink.

And that my friends, is how you drink whiskey like a real man. So let’s raise our lowball glasses to our manly endeavours and take a slow, appreciative sip.