my favorite spirit.....what's good to mix with? I usually do a maker's and coke or a maker's and ginger ale...simple enough...
Try a Manhattan Cocktail, an all time classic. You can very the proportions to suite your taste, but here's the basic idea:
3 parts whiskey
1 part sweet vermouth
Dash of bitters
Shake in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and pour into a martini glass. Top with a maraschino cherry. You can also serve it on the rock, of course. Also, vermouth is cheap -- so get a good quality one to go with your good whiskey. I like Noilly Prat and Cinzano.
We like "Perfect Manhattans" too and only use Noilly Pratt vermouths. If you can find the Tipsy Cherries from Sable and Rosenfeld, they are soaked in bourbon they are a nice addition.
Many years ago when I was doing my waitress stint, the restaurant only had a service bar and we had to make out customer's drinks. I remember hearing a customer order a Perfect Manhattan and the newbie replied "I'll do the best I can."
I see your Rye Manhattan, and I raise you an Old Fashioned. By all rights, they oughta be rye, but ya just can't seem to keep the kids from plopping bourbon in there.
My current bourbon fave is a tarted-up Bourbon Sour.
2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. triple sec
2 generous dashes orange bitters
Shake with ice, pour into an ice-filled Collins glass, top with Schweppes Bitter Lemon, and drop in two sour and/or brandy-soaked cherries. Yum.
And have I mentioned Bourbon Slush? I grew up in KY, and this appeared at EVERY party.
12 oz. lemonade frozen concentrate
6 oz. orange juice frozen concentrate
2 c. sugar
2 c. hot strong tea
2-3 c. bourbon (hey - it's your funeral)
7 c. water
Freeze in a plastic container. When fairly solid, scoop into tumblers, and top with ginger ale or lemon-lime soda.
Pure, slushy, yummity joy.
I see your Old Fashioned and your Manhattan (made with rye as is appropriate) and raise you a Sazerac, the true New Orleans cocktail.
Into a cocktail shaker 1/2 filled with cubed ice add:
1.5 oz Rye Whiskey
2 drops Angosturra Bitters
5 drops Peychoud Bitters
1 teaspoon sugar
shake, shake, shake
Swirl a tablespoon of Herbsaint, Pernod, Ricard or any Absinthe of your choosing into a lowball or cocktail glass - coating the sides
(some people then toss the remains out, i do not) and pour the shaker contents into the glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist.
I agree with the Rye Manhattan. It was first made with Rye when created but of course, tastes vary. Some recipes for Maker's Mark though:
Whiskey Smash - 2oz. MM, 2-3 lemon 'half moons', 6-8 pieces of mint (if small use half amount or to taste) 1.5 tsp of superfine sugar or .5oz simple syrup (this can be to taste as well) Put lemons, mint & sugar in the bottom of highball glass, muddle, add MM, ice then top with soda or flat water.
S.F. Fog - 2oz. MM, 3 dashes Orange flower water, 1/4 oz of Orgeat (almond syrup), 1 egg white, SHAKE the hell out of it, strain into chilled cocktail glass, sprinkle with grated orange peel
Gold Rush - 2oz. MM, 3/4oz fresh Lemon juice, 3/4oz runny Honey (dilute 1cup Honey with .25cup of HOT water) Shake & Strain into chilled cocktail glass, lemon twist