(Must be 21 and please drink responsibly.)

According to its Gaelic origins, whiskey is the water of life, and while we don’t have makers of pure Irish whiskey (because we’re in San Diego), we do have more than a handful of local makers inspired by one of the oldest distilled beverages in all the world. 

1. From rice whiskey to rye whiskey, check out San Diego Distillery.
Image: San Diego Distillery.
2. Liberty Call has an impressive menu to complement their Constitution Bourbon.
3. Henebery whiskey, but make it chai.  
Henebery Chai Rye Whiskey. Image: Henebery
Cutwater Spirits small batch American, American rye, or canned whiskey mule cocktails will get you to where you need to go. 
Canned Whiskey Mules are true cocktails in a can. Image: Cutwater Spirits.
Straight bourbon and rye whiskey are a nice contrast to the amazing rum Malahat is known for. 
Seven Caves grain to glass approach to distilling spirits should make their single malt or 2-year straight whiskey easy to sip on. 
Head to Ramona for that San Diego Sunshine. They’re known for their 90 proof single barrel. 
Image: San Diego Sunshine.
Who knew peanut butter could wet your whistle, but Skrewball’s uniquely satisfying finish leaves you thirsting for more.

How to Best Enjoy Whiskey

Now that you’ve selected a fine local whiskey, how do you take it? Neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail? You may already have your preference, but if you’re a novice or want to refine your experience, whiskey aficionados say to start by serving it neat and taking small sips. Sensory expert Gwen Conley, director of quality assurance and innovation at Cutwater Spirits, even curates tasting experiences with various salty and sweet snacks that open up different flavors. 

Sipping on neat whiskey can be a strong introduction, in which case, have no shame trying it on the rocks—and skip the straw. If that’s still too much for your nose hairs, try it in a cocktail.  

Image: Skrewball Whiskey.

Three Ways to Make a Whiskey Sour

The Balboa made with Henebery whiskey from Ryan Andrews of R&D Bitters is SD’s answer to a Whiskey Sour.

Get real fancy with this passionate whiskey sour. Make your own sour with this recipe made from passionfruit and hints of vanilla, lavender, and citrus.

And why we don’t have more tamarind in everything we’ll never know but this tamarind whiskey sour is weekend goals.

There’s Also…

A tropical cold buster tonic from Cool Hand Co. that is what we should have been drinking for the last couple of years. 

Skrewball has a cocktail to help boost the shamrock spirit. 

If you’re thirsty for more ideas, check here

Hero image: Liberty Call.

About the Contributor
Maria Hesse
Maria Hesse is the executive editor and designer of Edible San Diego. Her interest in functional arts led to a degree in interior design, which inspires her passion to be an advocate for sustainable living through food. She enjoys balcony gardening and designing crochet patterns in her downtime. Find her @mariafromediblesd and @waysidestudiowest on Instagram.