10 ways to drink Japanese whisky: #6, Hot Whisky

As Japanese whisky makers enjoy their time in the worldwide spotlight, more and more people are waking up to the reality that Japanese consumers may also know a thing or two about the ways to drink Japanese whisky. Of course there’s the izakaya staple whisky highball, but if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll discover there are plenty more interesting ways that Japan drinks their country’s whisky.

A common theme you’ll find about all these choices: one way or another, you add water to the whisky! Japan generally has no hang-ups about putting water in whisky. If you want to drink Japanese whisky like a local, I suggest you give these a try.

In this 10-part series, we dive into each different serving style.

While ordinarily considered a winter drink, #6 is an easy way to discover the more relaxing, laid-back notes in your whisky. It’s time for a Hot Whisky.

Hot Whisky

If you’ve ever had a Hot Toddy, you may have an idea of what this serving style is like. But calling a hot whisky the “Japanese version” of the Hot Toddy would be pretty inaccurate!

For starters, a Japanese hot whisky is usually just whisky and hot water. A hot toddy, on the other hand, often adds spices, tea, honey, lemon, citrus, all kinds of different choices. Japan also has its own version of the warm, alcohol-laden cold/flu remedy: the tamagozake uses sake, egg, and sugar. So I don’t really consider the Hot Toddy a good parallel to the Japanese hot whisky.

While a hot whisky is more simplistic than a hot toddy, it can also be a great way to revisit some of the more soothing and relaxing aromas in your favorite whisky. A good way to put you to sleep too, if you’re having trouble.

This probably goes without saying, but high abv beverages and open flames don’t mix. Definitely heat up your water first, then add it to your whisky. Whisky can ignite even in a microwave.

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