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best spirits to drink on the rocks

The Best Spirits To Serve On The Rocks

We definitely know the best spirits to serve on the rocks. For many, this is a highly preferred way of enjoying their favorite spirits. But are all spirits better on the rocks, or do some offer a more amplified experience? Knowing which spirits work best with ice will increase your repertoire among your peers as a spirits enthusiast.


Pros of Using Ice

Firstly, let’s understand how ice enhances the sipping experience. If you prefer your spirits chilled, then this is a great approach because for some spirits, like whiskey, it can expose some of the spirit’s aromas and flavors. Some like to add a few drops of water, however, that won’t chill your spirit. Large ice cubes are ideal because they won’t melt quickly, and that’s a good thing if you’re hoping to not water down your spirit a little too much.

Just as importantly, the quality of ice matters. The cleanest water (distilled or spring water) possible should be used when making ice cubes. Additionally, don’t freeze your ice next to some old halibut or you risk picking up some of those flavors in the ice.


Scotch on the Rocks

Scotch whisky could very well be the most popular spirit to enjoy on the rocks, and the best scotches to ice are single-malt that have been aged for three or more years. Many enthusiasts enjoy it because once the ice begins to melt, its flavors blossom. Although there are people who don’t like to add ice and dilute their scotch, there are others who prefer it. For example, Anthony Bourdain preferred his scotch on the rocks. “I’m sure many people don’t like when I say it, but unless it’s something really, you know, rare and high-end like this, I’ll put a rock or two in,” he said. “It seems to open it up a little in a way I like.” 


Gin on the Rocks

Gin is one of the most versatile spirits in terms of its botanicals ingredients. You can see how diverse it can get here. Gin also has a long range of quality so it’s important to research some SIP Award-winning brands to maximize your drinking experience. Gin on the rocks is great with a splash of lime. We recommend trying high-quality gins neat or on the rocks to fully experience the wide range of subtle flavors.


Tequila on the Rocks

Tequila is a delight on the rocks but just like gin, a high-quality tequila is highly encouraged. Your tastebuds will be treated to the sweet, smooth and robust flavors of tequila. Anejo on the rocks is a great first choice to try out because they are typically aged for about two years or more, unlike Blancos which are not aged. Reposados are aged for about three to 12 months. The more tequila is aged, the more likely you are to taste the complexities of the agave.


There you have it: the best spirits to serve on the rocks. Make sure to look up the best gins, tequilas, and scotches from our 2019 winners list and support your local distilleries!


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