How to Create Your Own House Cocktail

Who says signature drinks have to be reserved for bar menus and weddings? Create your own ‘house cocktail’ to serve when friends drop by for a special, personal touch. Like the dish you’re known for and everyone brings to your holiday dinner, your personal cocktail should be a crowd-pleaser, made with love… or, in this case, a decent amount of alcohol. What you put in your eponymous drink is entirely up to you, but we’ve teamed up with Johnnie Walker to give you some pointers on how to make sure it’s well balanced, easy to drink and served in the right glass.

First select your spirit and a flavor profile

    What types of cocktails do you usually gravitate towards? Fruity? Sweet and sour tiki drinks? Something smoky and spirited? Start by considering what you often order to go out, and then put your own stamp on the drink.

    Johnnie Walker High Rye

    If you prefer bitter drinks like a Negroni, give the Negroni a unique twist by substituting the gin for Johnnie Walker High Rye for a subtly bitter, but still slightly sweet twist on the classic cocktail.

    If you’re an apple fanatic, upgrade the sweet appletini by using fresh apple cider, light lemon juice, apple brandy, and Johnnie Walker High Rye until shaken until ice cold and served (ie, chilled, without ice) in a martini glass. Scotch whiskey’s vanilla notes, resulting from its aging in bourbon casks, bring sophistication to this favorite drink.

    For an unexpected twist in a Dark ‘n’ Stormy, use whiskey instead of rum. Mix together freshly squeezed lime juice, two ounces of Johnnie Walker High Rye—which adds extra flavor to the refreshing drink—and about five ounces of ginger beer. Serve over ice in a highball and garnish with a lime.

    know the circumstances

      Cocktail proportions are relatively standard. A typical martini is about three to four parts gin or vodka and one part dry vermouth. A margarita is three parts tequila, two parts orange liqueur, one part lime juice, or a homemade sour mix. If you’re looking to reinvent a basic drink, look at the ratio so you can keep the balance while getting creative.

      choose the glass

        While glassware selection is partly a matter of personal preference, there are some basic rules. For example, you probably don’t want to serve a proper cocktail in a tall highball because it would look like you underpoured. Here’s a quick guide to what glasses fit standard cocktails and how much volume they hold.

        highball glass


        The highball is a tall glass that holds 8 to 16 ounces and is used for mixed drinks, which are often prepared directly in the glass. Drinks in long drink glasses are always served on the rocks.

        Collins glass

        Collins glass

        Similar to the highball, this tall, thin glass also holds 8 to 16 ounces — but it’s tapered at the top. Traditionally used for mixed drinks (think whiskey sodas and of course the Tom Collins), cocktails in a Collins glass are always on ice, too.

        rock glass

        rock glass

        Also known as the old-fashioned glass, this short 6- to 8-ounce tumbler is used for cocktails that don’t use a lot of mixers, such as cocktails. B. an old-fashioned glass. You can also serve decent drinks in a Rocks glass.

        martini glass

        martini glass

        Known for its telltale shape, a martini glass is designed to hold three to six ounces of spirit. Martini glasses almost always come with a stem, so you can hold the glass without accidentally warming the cocktail with the warmth of your hand.

        coupe glass

        coupe glass

        The coupe is an all-purpose stemmed cocktail glass that typically holds four ounces of everything from sours to Negronis to Manhattans (and even champagne). Cocktails poured in a coupe are often presented.

        Name your drink

          Once you’ve chosen your flavors and glasses, it’s time to name your drink. This process can be as simple as plugging your own name into a cocktail. Alliteration is always a nice touch. Think: The Jess and Ginger. Or get playful. For example, if it’s a spicy version of apple cider served with Johnnie Walker High Rye, call it the Forbidden Apple (if your name happens to start with an F, even better). You could also make a play on words, like the Whiskey Business or the Whiskey Me Away.

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