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Just like craft beer or a fine wine, there is a right and a wrong way to drink a good whiskey. When you’ve spent years making a bottle of whiskey, you don’t want to see it wasted in a shot taken by party-goers who don’t appreciate the flavor you’ve poured your heart and soul into. A good bottle of whiskey should be appreciated appropriately.

So before you pour your next glass (and we don’t mean shot glass), check out the following tips for how not to drink whiskey:

…in a shot glass.

Shots are fun for a quick fix, but taking a shot of a fine whiskey doesn’t allow you to properly enjoy all of the bold and subtle flavors distilled into the liquid gold.

If you want to enjoy whiskey, grab a larger glass, but make sure it’s actually glass as other cups (plastic, styrofoam, etc.) will ruin the flavor. The best glasses for drinking whiskey are “rocks” glasses. These glasses have a larger base and curve inward toward the top. This shape allows the vapors to concentrate in one spot. “Rocks” glasses (also known as lowball glasses or Old Fashioned glasses) can hold between 6-10 oz. of liquid.

The only exception we can think of to this general rule would be if you were really tiny  Like the size of a baby hedgehog.  If that’s you, then shot glass away, my friend.

…with a lot of mixers.

A Jack and Coke is a fine option for drinkers who want to sweeten up a bottom-shelf whiskey, but if you shelled out money for your drink, skip the soda. The geniuses behind your whiskey toiled over their work so you could enjoy it straight from the bottle with no added flavors required.

Some whiskey drinkers add a tiny splash of water to their drink to dilute the alcohol and make room for the flavor and that’s okay by us. Too much water or ice, however, can take away from the maker’s original intentions. Not sure how much is too much?  Slowly add water to your whiskey between sips and stop once you’ve reached a combination of your liking.  If you find yourself adding more than a dash or two, however, then consider trying a different whiskey (or, maybe, just stick to soda pop…)

…without a few hearty sniffs.

Fine wine is more than just taste; even moderately serious drinkers look for particular scented notes when they take a sniff.  A proper drink of whiskey has a similar process. Before you sip, take a few sniffs. Your first sniff will mainly pick up the alcohol, but will get your nose ready for what’s next. The second and third sniff will allow you to pick up different notes from the barrel and the whiskey itself.

Once you have your sip, leave the whiskey in your mouth and pick out different flavors and notes here as well. Taking the time to appreciate your drink is a better use of your money and a lot more fun for you and your guests.

…irresponsibly.

We’re not here to put a damper on the party, we’re here to make your hangover a little easier to handle tomorrow morning. In addition to having a little bit of tap water with neat whiskey to bring out the flavor, have a full glass of water nearby to drink after each alcoholic beverage. If you get too out of control while you’re drinking a fine whiskey, you will not be able to savor or appreciate the work that went into your bottle.

So there you have it, four simple tips to avoid to up your whiskey drinking game.  Now you know how to drink whiskey and how not to drink whiskey, you’re ready for a fine bottle that can be appreciated and savored with good friends. So next time, grab a bottle of Maverick Whiskey and enjoy!

Have your own whiskey drinking pet peeves?  Let us know in the comments below!