If you like celebrating the holidays with good drinks and eats, you certainly would have enjoyed our recent invite to a Jimmy Kimmel taping in L.A.

The post-show festivities included a tasting of great Diageo whiskey, plus barbecue from renowned chef Adam Perry Lang.

But even better, we got the opportunity to garner some great insight for whiskey lovers along with a few recipes you won’t read about every day…

whiskey cocktail 1What makes a good whiskey?
“Starting off with good ingredients—be that barley if you’re making an Irish whiskey or a Scotch whiskey or be it corn, rye or barley if you’re making an American whiskey. Then it’s all about the distillery and giving the whiskey time to mature. Now, while it matures you have to keep an eye on it. In essence, pick a fruit when it’s ripe. For me it’s not about age. For me it’s about picking that whiskey when it’s ready to be drunk.”
—Gerry Graham, Diageo Master of Whiskey

1 oz Bulleit bourbon
3/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz sweet vermouth 
Orange peel

Place first three ingredients in a double old-fashioned glass. Add ice. Stir. Garnish with orange peel and serve with a smile.

whiskey cocktail 2How should one prepare to taste a whiskey?
“I always love to bring it up to my nose, open my mouth slightly, kind of get that air circulating through and really let that aroma come to me. Then when it comes to tasting, I like to take a little sip, hold it in the center of my mouth, tilt my head side to side, let the whiskey move cheek to cheek and bring the whiskey forward in my mouth. When I swallow the whiskey, I like to breathe in air across my tongue and close my mouth and breathe out of my nose. That engages everything inside and gets the senses working together.”
Stephen Wilson, Diageo Master of Whiskey

Canadian Rye Buck
1.5 oz Crown Royal Rye
3/4 oz ginger syrup
1/2 oz lime juice
Soda to fill

Whip first three ingredients with a big square ice cube. Dump contents in a Collins glass. Add soda to fill. Stir. Garnish with a lime wheel and serve with a straw.

whiskey cocktail 3What’s the biggest ‘don’t’ when it comes to whiskey?
“Don’t let anybody tell you how to taste it. It you want to taste it neat, taste it neat. If you prefer your whiskey on the rocks, put it on the rocks. If you want a whiskey in coke… not my favorite, but if that’s what you enjoy. do it. Whiskey is to be enjoyed. So however you enjoy it is how it should be enjoyed.”
—Ed ‘Dirt’ Adams, Diageo Master of Whiskey

Eastern Sour
1.5 oz Dickel Rye
3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz orgeat syrup
1/4 oz orange juice

Whip first three ingredients and pour into a double old-fashioned glass. Add crushed ice, garnish with an orange twist and serve with a straw.