Regardless of what spelling you use (whisky vs. whiskey), generally, whisky is a spirit made from fermented grain mash. The specific grain used, such as rye, wheat, barley or corn, depends on the final variety. Each type completely differs from the next because every country's regulations shape the production process. Scotch must be aged for a minimum of three years in oak barrels, while U.S. bourbon is required to contain at least 51 percent corn and is aged in charred, new oak barrels. With all the rules, varieties and classifications, navigating the vast, complex world of whisky (and whiskey) can be difficult. Food & Wine's guide helps you discover more about what you're drinking with easy-to-understand information and delicious recipes.

Most Recent

The Smallest Whisky Bar on Earth Is as Magical as It Sounds

Nestled in an Alpine village, the tiny space has five stools and hundreds of the world's best whiskies.
Read More

People Sleep in Tents for a Chance to Buy This Rare Whiskey

The annual release of Snowflake whiskey from Denver distillery Stranahan’s draws hundreds of loyal fans.
Read More

Big-Batch Rye Sours

Hibiscus flowers, curaçao, and lemon juice bring bright and refreshing floral notes to this rye-based cocktail.
Read More

5 Unexpected Cheese and Whiskey Pairings

Wine and cheese pairings get all the love—it’s time to switch it up.
Read More

The Best Juleps for Your Derby Party

More than 127,000 juleps are served at the Kentucky Derby each year. You can make at least one. 
Read More

More Whisky

5 Ways Modern Whiskey Makers Are Bending the Rules

Steeped in tradition, the rules surrounding whiskey are strict. Yet today's makers are taking some new (and delicious) liberties
Read More

5 Rye Whiskey Cocktails That Will Put A Smile On Your Face

Funneled into the U.S. from Canada, rye whiskey is known for carrying devoted drinkers through the drought of Prohibition. But sometimes rye doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Sure, it’s harder now to find the quality rye that existed during the Great Experiment. Many are unfortunately sweet. But there are also many that are spicy and straightforward, making up for what some other kinds lack in flavor and versatility.A lot of drinks truly pop when made with rye. Manhattans, now often made with bourbon, originally used rye, probably for its ability to stand up to sweet vermouth and bitters. The same goes for Old Fashioneds and a bevy of classic New Orleans drinks. The true beauty of rye lies in its ability to mix with just one or multiple other ingredients and still maintain its sense of self. These foolproof drinks would be good pretty much any day of the year.This piece originally appeared on Liquor.com.