Whisky cocktails

5 Easy Cocktails You Can Make With Johnnie Walker Black Label

Peer through the half-drunk bottles and questionable elixirs in your mates’ liquor cabinets and you’ll no doubt stumble across a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label. A Scotch that has managed to traverse the generational gap, the blended icon has become such a staple in the modern whisky arsenal that it’s damn near impossible to escape its rich, velvety clutches. Truly, in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label.

What begins with flavours of sweet toffee and spicy fruit develops a smoky character as it progresses over the palate. Whilst you can always sip this whisky neat or on the rocks—as so many people do around the world—it’s no less rewarding as the base in a well-made cocktail. To prove as much, we’ve compiled five unique recipes that are sure to impress you and your friends. We’ll kick things off with three traditional classics before presenting two crafty seasonal creations. Let’s get into it!

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Whisky Sour | Image: Johnnie Walker

The Creamy Tangy Whisky Sour

With its expert balance between sweetness and sourness, a premium Whisky Sour never fails to light up the taste buds. Originally designed as a medicinal treatment as far as the late 1790s when Vice Admiral Edward Vernon of England used a gin-based liquid to stave off scurvy and malnutrition, the Whisky Sour has undergone a few transformations over the years. Americans will favour bourbon as the base spirit, but for a real twist on the classic, only a tried and tested blended Scotch will do. Use Johnnie Walker Black Label to layer in all the more nuance. Oh, and don’t forget the seared marshmallow for a decadent garnish!

Recipe

  • 50ml Johnnie Walker Black Label
  • 20ml Lemon Juice
  • 15ml Egg White (or vegan alternative)
  • 15ml Almond Syrup (10ml Orgeat, 5ml Sugar Syrup)

Method

  • Measure Johnnie Walker into a shaking tin.
  • Measure all other ingredients into a shaking tin.
  • Add cubed ice to the tin.
  • Shake & strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.
  • Sear a skewered marshmallow and place it on top of the drink.

Ice

  • Cubed

Garnish

  • Toasted Marshmallow

Preferred Glassware

  • Luigi Bormioli Top Class – 365ml
  • Classic rocks glass shape
  • Non-tapered
  • Thin base
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Old Fashioned | Image: Johnnie Walker

The Smooth & Floral Old Fashioned

Described by many as the King of Cocktails, the Old Fashioned is as refined as they come. First appearing way back in 1862, when Jerry Thomas published his infamous Bartenders Guide: How To Mix Drinks, the cocktail is rich with bitter flavours and a subtle hint of citrus, however, it wasn’t until 1880 that the Old Fashioned really cut its teeth. In Louisville Kentucky, James E. Pepper of The Pendennis Club crafted the first bourbon-based Old Fashioned recipe, which he then introduced to the famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City. For 2022, why not put a little old world-twist on a classic? This spirit-forward Old Fashioned cocktail enlivens the natural character of Johnnie Walker Black Label by way of a few choice ingredients.

Recipe

  • 50ml Johnnie Walker Black Label
  • 10ml Elderflower Cordial
  • 2 Dash Orange Bitters

Method

  • Place rough-cut block of ice into glass.
  • Measure Johnnie Walker into glass.
  • Measure Elderflower cordial into glass.
  • Dash orange bitters into glass.
  • Stir liquid and ice in the glass.
  • Spritz a lemon zest over the top.
  • Place elderflower in the glass.

Ice

  • Rough-cut block

Garnish

  • Lemon zest Elderflower sprig (optional)

Preferred Glassware

  • Rona, Cumberland Whisky Glass – 370ml
  • Classic rocks glass shape
  • Can be lightly etched
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Pina Colada | Image: Johnnie Walker

The Salted Toffee Pina Colada

If you thought light rum was the only way to make a lip-smacking Pina Colada, you thought wrong. The national drink of Puerto Rico, this classic cocktail can be elevated to suit the Scotch-lover’s tastes, with a little help from Johnnie Walker. Master the following recipe and you may never look at this tropical drink the same way again.

Recipe

  • 40ml Johnnie Walker Black Label
  • 60ml Pineapple Juice
  • 30ml Coco Lopez (coconut Syrup)
  • 10ml Lime Juice
  • Pinch Salt
  • Float of Johnnie Walker Double Black (optional)

Method

  • Measure Johnnie Walker into a shaking tin.
  • Measure pineapple juice and lime juice into the tin.
  • Squeeze Coco Lopez and add a pinch of salt into the tin.
  • Add cubed ice to the tin, then shake and strain into an ice-filled glass.
  • Float Double Black on top of the drink.
  • Add pineapple wedge and leaf.

Ice

  • Cubed

Garnish

  • Pineapple Wedge
  • Pineapple Leaf

Preferred Glassware

  • Nude Mirage Highball 16oz
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Ho-Ho-Ho Highball | Image: Johnnie Walker

Ho-Ho-Ho-Highball

Our first festive cocktail was created by Johnnie Walker brand ambassador Fernando Costa, who lives in Chile. He explained, “Johnnie Walker Black Label is a fantastic spirit for festive cocktails given its warm, sweet and spicy flavour profile which complements the tastes of the season. It holds its own in any serve, which is why I chose bold flavours such as sweet, rich raisin syrup and zesty lime in my recipe for a Ho-Ho-Ho Highball.”

To make the raisin syrup, soak raisins in double the amount of water overnight, and then run them through a food processor until it creates a thick syrup.

Recipe

  • 50ml Johnnie Walker Black Label
  • 25ml Raisin syrup
  • 10ml Lime Juice
  • 120ml Sparkling Water
  • Maraschino Cherries

Method

  • Add the Johnnie Walker Black Label, raisin syrup, and lime juice to a highball glass.
  • Stir to mix.
  • Add ice and top with sparkling water.
  • Garnish with cherries.

Ice

  • Cubed

Garnish

  • Maraschino Cherries

Preferred Glassware

  • Highball glass
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Winter Applause | Image: Johnnie Walker

Winter Applause

Our next festive cocktail was created by Johnnie Walker Brand Ambassador Chrysanthi Biziou, from Greece. She said, ‘The precision and balance of the Johnnie Walker Black Label blend makes it the perfect base for creative drinks. With my Winter Applause cocktail, I’ve used pomegranate juice and honey syrup to set off the whisky’s smoke and spice, whilst the orange bitters and lemon juice make the liquid’s sweet and fruity flavours shine.”

To make the honey syrup, simply mix two parts honey with one part water (not boiled).

Recipe

  • 45ml Johnnie Walker Black Label
  • 30ml Pomegranate Juice
  • 15ml/20ml Honey Syrup (dependent on sweetness of pomegranate juice)
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters
  • 10ml Lemon Juice
  • Fresh mint
  • Pomegranate seeds

Method

  • Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker.
  • Shake with ice.
  • Pour into a Julep glass containing crushed ice and 4-5 mint leaves.
  • Garnish with fresh mint and pomegranate seeds.

Ice

  • Crushed

Garnish

  • Fresh mint and pomegranate seeds

Preferred Glassware

  • Julep glass

And there you have it folks: five signature cocktail recipes that use Johnnie Walker Black Label as a base and taste all the more delicious as a result. Keep it simple with a classic Old Fashioned or go the distance by custom-making syrup and then whipping up a Ho-Ho-Ho Highball or refreshing Winter Applause. And that’s how you put the “happy” in your happy holidays!

Note: Man of Many travelled to Scotland as a guest of Diageo and Johnnie Walker. 

STAFF WRITER

Jacob Osborn

Jacob Osborn is an accomplished author and journalist with over 10 years of experience in the media industry. He holds a Bachelor's degree in English and Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin--Madison and co-authored a Young Adult novel through Simon & Schuster. Now based in Portland, Oregon, Jacob specialises in entertainment, technology and alcohol reporting. You might find him crate-digging at the nearest record store or sampling whisky at the nearest bar. He daydreams of travelling around the world, but for now, the world will have to come to him by way of lifestyle products, gear, gadgetry, and entertainment. Let's call it a happy compromise while he saves up for the next big trip.