This May, the annual Whisky Week is the perfect opportunity to up-skill your life by mastering the art of a signature cocktail.

Johnnie Walker, whisky

There’s plenty of hard skills that mark us as an adult – driving, regular visits to the dentist, investing in quality bed linen – but the soft skills are what differentiates us as a person of culture. Skills that shine in social settings, be it intimate or in group, like cooking a flawlessly seared steak.

Or, maybe more importantly, mastering at least one cocktail to present whenever you find yourself with company.

Being able to whip up something quickly that’s also deliciously well-balanced is an often overlooked skill that can come in handy more often than you think and Johnnie Walker’s Blue Label whisky remains one of the most premium and versatile tools in your arsenal. Friends dropping by for a surprise afternoon? What could be better than a few Old Fashioneds ready on arrival. Perhaps it’s a mid-week, post-work pre-dinner pit stop that requires a stepping stone in the form of a classic Whisky Sour.

Whatever the reason, whatever your choice of flavour, the point is this: there is a suave sense of assuredness that comes from being able to hand a guest a drink within moments of arriving.

Johnnie Walker, Whisky

Of course, palates are subjective so feel free to seek out your own signature drink but to set you on the path of becoming the ultimate host, here are three essential whisky cocktails that every person should know how to make.

The Old Fashioned (approx. two standard drinks)

A classic and the simplest to create in a flash.

  • Sugar cube
  • 3-4 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • 50ml Johnnie Walker Blue Label
  • Orange to garnish

Method: Muddle your sugar cube in the glass with your Angostura Bitters. Add your Johnnie Walker Blue Label and stir. Add orange for garnish. Some use a slice, personally I prefer just the rind to retain the that bitter tang.

Whisky Sour (approx. two standard drinks)

Dating back to 1870, the whisky sour is ideal as a palate refresher.

  • 1/2 an egg white
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 50ml Johnnie Walker Blue Label
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • ice cubes

Method: mix all the ingredients into a shaker and shake like hell for around 20 seconds. Pour through a strainer into glass and for a flourish feel free to add an orange slice or cherry on the top.

Manhattan (approx. two standard drinks)

A little more time consuming but unbeatable once you get the knack.

  • 30mls sweet Vermouth
  • 60mls Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve
  • 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • Ice

Method: add all your ingredients into a glass and stir until chilled. Do not shake this one – the mood is cool, calm and collected. Pour into martini glasses and garnish with a cocktail cherry or twist of lemon.