How to Order Scotch
How to Order (Scotch) Whiskey at a Bar
Scotch, also known as whiskey in the U.S, has it’s own set of terminology. Whether you like the stuff or not, it’s good to know how to order scotch at a bar. It just makes for a more socially well-rounded individual. The reason you need to know how to order scotch is because of the terms that are used, depending on how you like to drink your scotch whiskey.
First let’s get into the whisky vs whiskey debate. Whisky, without the ‘e’ is how they spell it in Scotland. While whiskey with the ‘e’ is how the Irish spell it and who also brought their spelling with them as immigrants to the U.S in the 1700s. In Canada, scotch is scotch and whisky refers to rye whisky not scotch (unless you specifically order a scotch whisky).
Here are some scotch terms that you can learn before you head out to your next fancy event.
Scotch – scotch simply implies that the whisky was produced in Scotland. Other countries that produce whiskies are Ireland, Canada, America and Japan.
Peat – a moss common in Scotland. It is dried and used to fuel the fire to dry the malt. The peat fire gives the scotch a strong smokey aroma and taste. Some scotches are known for being peaty.
Blended Scotch – a bottle containing two different scotch whiskies. Blended scotch tends to be of lower quality.
Single Malt – a single malt scotch is like a purebred. Aged in one barrel and not blended with any other distillery’s whiskies. Although most distilleries do mix different batches of different ages together.
Malt – Malt indicates that barley grains were used during the germination and fermenting process.
Vatted Malt – a blend of single malts. This is done to control and produce specifics and desired flavors.
Age – Indicates the age of maturation of the youngest component in the scotch whisky.
Cask – Scotches are aged in various types of casks or barrels. Consult how to taste scotch for a full explanation.
Scotch, Neat – served in a rocks glass at room temperature with no ice.
Scotch on the Rocks – serve with ice cubes. Some scotch connoisseurs may specify how many rocks they’d like.
Scotch with a Water Side or Water Back – served neat with a small glass of water on the side so water can be added to desired taste.
Scotch with a Splash of Water – served neat with a splash of water already poured in. A splash would be approximately half an ounce of liquid.
So now you know if you hear a guy order “Scotch. Neat.” he’s not commenting on how cool it is that the bar carries scotch. Another common way to order scotch is to mention how many ice cubes you’d like in the drink. Since the more ice in the glass, the more dilution you’d get, some people prefer to have theirs with only 1 or 2 ice cubes.
And that’s how to order scotch at a bar
Don’t forget to check out our other Scotch Resources:
Scotch Terms – terminology to describe the taste
Hosting a Scotch Tasting Party
Delicious Scotch Cocktails