The number one way Tasting Table readers enjoy whiskey is on the rocks. 38% of you like some ice in your glass when you’re sipping whiskey. Why do some whiskey lovers add ice? Vine Pair explains that most liquors are bottled at 80 proof (40% ABV) because it’s the legal minimum for the category in the U.S. While 40% alcohol is a pretty stiff drink, many whiskeys are bottled at a higher proof, according to Moonshine University, some even as high as 135 proof. Diluting these high-proof spirits with ice cubes makes their aromas and flavors more accessible. A small percentage of readers — about 8% — drink their whiskey with water, another means of reducing the alcohol content just enough to allow aromas and flavors to bloom.
20% of whiskey lovers are purists, preferring their whiskey neat or straight. Lovers of unadulterated spirits prefer to drink whiskey just the way it’s bottled. It’s worth noting, as Eight Oaks Distillery points out, that while “neat” always means straight from the bottle, “straight” can either mean the same thing, or it can mean the whiskey is shaken with ice, then strained into a glass. It’s best to ask your bartender for clarification. And speaking of bartenders, 33% of you love your whiskey in a cocktail. As the prominent spirit in an old fashioned, whiskey sour, or Manhattan, whiskey plays well with a variety of mixers.