Consumers spark sales as they find more ways to enjoy a favorite drink.

With whiskey sales on the rise, more people are discovering there are plenty of ways to drink the distilled spirit than just straight on the rocks. Drink mixologists enjoy finding more and more ways to complement the whiskey flavor with a plethora of other ingredients, whether syrups, fruit juices, vermouth or even tea.

A growing willingness to experiment with whiskey and bourbon as the primary ingredient in a variety of cocktails is just one of several ways consumer habits have been changing, says Steven Earles, CEO of Portland-based Eastside Distilling, which experiments with a variety of flavors in its drinks, such as Cherry Bomb Whiskey and Oregon Marionberry Whiskey. “People are drinking less wine and more whiskey, and women have become more inclined to give whiskey a try.”

The trend of finding more ways to include whiskey in cocktails may be just one of several factors adding to the bump in whiskey sales. As of November 2014, U.S. whiskey sales were near $4 billion, up from $3.5 billion in 2013, according to Nielsen research. For distilleries, those numbers may warrant a toast. For consumers, that toast may involve a mix of flavors made just to their liking—but definitely still on the rocks.

Mix It Up Yourself!
Perhaps the classic whiskey cocktail is the Old-Fashioned, around since the late 19th century. But for those looking to add even more variety to their whiskey and bourbon selections, Eastside Distilling offers these cocktail recipes…

Earl’s Demise
25 oz. Cherry Bomb Whiskey
12½ oz. Burnside Bourbon
75 oz. Earl Grey tea, chilled
25 oz. orange juice
25 oz. simple syrup
12½ oz. sweet vermouth
5 tablespoons Peychaud’s Bitters
Mix all the ingredients in a large punch bowl, then add ice or ice ring. Serve in small punch glasses. The mixture serves 10 to 12 people.

The Sideburn
1½ oz. Burnside Whiskey
¾ oz. Aperol
½ oz. Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
½ oz. lavender simple syrup
Fill a rocks glass with ice, add all the other ingredients and stir.

Eastside Civil War
1½ oz. Burnside Bourbon
½ oz. Cocchi Torino sweet vermouth
½ oz. Cynar liqueur
2 dashes Fee Brothers Old Fashion Bitters
Amarena cherry
Add all the ingredients (except the cherry) to a 16-ounce mixing glass (pint glass). Fill to within one inch of the top with ice. Stir until chilled and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an Amarena cherry.

Marionberry Beret
1.5 oz. Marionberry Whiskey
½ oz. Dry Curacao
2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
Fill glass with ice; add Burnside Bourbon and recipe ingredients. a&s