Water in your whiskey

Is there a standard for how much water to add to whiskey?

I expect to get a lot of “it’s to taste” responses, but is there a traditional ratio that drinkers try to achieve? Also, is room temperature water preferred?

I usually take my whisky neat, but if it’s cask strength I might add a teaspoon or so of room temperature water to a couple of ounces of whisky.

Even ordinary (not just cask strength) whisky benefits from a touch of water added just before you drink it. Hard to define, but in general it seems to open up the flavours and aromas (particularly the aromas). Not much water however. 5 - 10% tops. Just a little drop. And good water. Not crud out of the tap (not unless your tap water is really good.)

With no real justification it seems that it is the act of adding the water just before enjoying the whisky that matters. That seems to be why it works even with normal strength whisky. Cask strength isn’t really intended to be drunk undiluted, although some like the more raw power it has that way. The dilution required is not much however. So, as above, mostly just add a little drop to release the flavour.

I prefer room temperature for everything. Cold just reduces the flavour.

Note: Whisky is Scotch, Whiskey is Irish, and Bourbon is something to be avoided. Anything that has had to be filtered though charcoal is not fit for human consumption. :smiley:

*Mary Kate Danaher: Could you use a little water in your whiskey?
Michaleen Flynn: When I drink whiskey, I drink whiskey; and when I drink water, I drink water. *

And Francis? Bourbon isn’t filtered through anything but my kidneys. You are thinking of Tennessee whisky.

Bourbon is not filtered through charcoal. You are thinking of Tennessee Whiskey.

And to the OP: I’d say about a tablespoon in a glass.

Personally, I put a couple of ice cubes in my whisky and it gets more watery the longer I drink it. Usually, I drink it fast enough that it isn’t too watery at the end.

Scotch: No water and no ice. Just pure scotch. Why ruin a good thing?

For me, it is a visual thing - I add three drops of water and look to see if it is cloudy or not. Add one drop at a time until you can see the difference, then stop.

I find the water brings out the flavour more, though the right way to drink whisky is the way you prefer it, not the way someone else prefers it.

Whisky is already diluted, so the idea that you shouldn’t dilute it further makes no sense. I understand that in Scotland it has long been the usual practice to add a little water.

Moved from General Questions to Cafe Society.

General Questions Moderator

Bourbon is Tennessee Whiskey.:wink:

I don’t know whether I’m being whooshed (likely), or that you haven’t examined the Lincoln County process.

If it’s filtered, it isn’t bourbon.

The man who taught me to drink scotch explained that Scotsmen are notoriously lazy, so rather than carry water in the scotch, we distill it strong and add water when we get to our destination.

Oh, for criminey’s sake: put whatever amount of water you want in your whisk(e)y. There are as many different proofs of the stuff out there as there are opinions on what is whisk(e)y – and by the responses to this thread, there are a lot of those.

Personally, I don’t put water in my bourbon (which is whiskey), Canadian , Irish whisky, or Scotch unless its too strong to drink at first … drink. If you try it without water first (because you can’t take water out), and then, if it’s too strong, put a couple of drops (up to a teaspoon – again, you can’t take water out), and try it again. Adjust to your own preference.

There are too many kinds of whisk(e)y, and too many variants within each kind, to offer a final answer – what may be perfectly enjoyable to you might be way too potent for me, and vice versa.

The only kinds of whisk(e)y (and I’m putting the parenthetical references in there for you, and you know who you are) that I put water in are Booker’s bourbon and Stranahan’s Colorado whiskey (which is distilled right here in Denver). Both, in my view (not necessarily yours), benefit from a drop or two of water.

Put whatever amount of water you want in any kind of whisk(e)y you want – and don’t let anyone tell you that you’re wrong to do so. It’s your whisk(e)y, after all.

Booker Noe puts a drop of water in his bourbon.

Booker’s knowledge of whisk(e)y was unparalleled, and I know that you know your whisk(e)y, silenus.

You’re absolutely right about Booker’s preference, and Booker (1929-2004) didn’t seem to me to be the type to tell another person how much, if any, or what kind of, water to put in his or anyone else’s whiskey.

Fred, whose hand I have shaken several times, doesn’t either, for that matter.

Is the wink supposed to mean you’re joking? If so, I don’t get it.

Bourbon is not Tennessee whiskey. Take a look at silenus’ link.

Rocks kills the aroma and flavor, IMO. But a little good water can be a transformation. When it is really hot outside, I’ll drop a quarter-cube of ice in my bourbon, just to get the temperature of the liquid down to normal. But I drink Old Weller Antique straight, so I’m used to high-test bourbon.

Macallan cask strength really demands a touch of water, though.

Single malt, Talisker anyone?

One of my go-to malts. It isn’t Highland Park 18, but it will do. :smiley: