We'll be straight with you: Flavored whiskey is not exactly our favorite trend. Whiskey already has a flavor; it's called whiskey and we like it very much.
That said, there are exceptions to every rule. Jack Daniel's has done a pretty solid job with its first flavored whiskey: Tennessee Honey. Unlike some variations of flavored spirits we will leave unnamed, whiskey and honey are actually a good natural pairing. And while drinking the Jack Honey straight is a definitely a bit sweet for our taste, it does works nicely in cocktails, including these three below.
Easy: Tennessee Toddy
Whiskey and honey are the basis for a hot toddy—so here, we're using Tennessee Honey as our base, with a little Jack Daniel's classic Black Label to stiffen it up and some real honey to amp up the flavor. As with all toddies, the garnish—here, a cinnamon stick and clove-studded lemon—is key.
Instructions: In a heat-safe glass, combine an ounce of Tennessee Honey, an ounce and a half of Jack Daniel's, and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters. Add a quarter-ounce of honey. Top with 2 ounces of almost-boiling water and stir until the honey is dissolved. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a lemon wedge studded with cloves; squeeze it into the glass and serve.
Intermediate: Tennessee Bubbles
Our new favorite brunch drink starts with the unlikely-sounding pairing of gin and Tennessee Honey—with plenty of bubbles, of course. Here, we're using Langley's Gin, a nicely balanced London gin with a bit of weight and body, which is just what we want for this cocktail.
Instructions: In a champagne flute, combine 3/4 ounce gin and 3/4 ounce Tennessee Honey. Dash in some orange bitters. Top with 4 ounces Prosecco and garnish with a lemon twist.
Advanced: Tennessee Julep
A mint julep is all about the whiskey—usually bourbon, but here we're using its cousin Tennessee whiskey—with just a little bit of sugar. Again, we're using both Jack Daniel's and the Tennessee Honey so its sweetness doesn't take over. The little bit of simple syrup is just to assist in muddling.
NOTE: To make crushed ice, feel free to use a blender or ice crusher, or try our preferred method: Take a bunch of ice; wrap in a clean dishtowel; and whack the hell out of it.
Instructions: Add 10 mint leaves and 1/2 ounce of simple syrup to a rocks glass. Gently press the leaves with the base of a muddler or wooden spoon; don't crush them up, just massage them a little. Add an ounce of Tennessee Honey and an ounce and a half of Jack Daniel's. Fill with crusted ice, then stick a straw in there, along with 3-5 more mint sprigs for garnish.