The 3 Things You Need For An Expert-Approved Whiskey Tasting

display of whiskey glasses
display of whiskey glasses - barmalini/Shutterstock

Organizing a whiskey tasting is an ideal hostessing activity to bring your friends together in a casual and fun setting. A bit of planning can help you create the best possible experience of whiskey tasting so you, too, can relax and enjoy a poured dram or two (or three). We spoke to Anna Axster and Wendelin von Schroder, co-founders of Lodestar Whiskey, to get tips on the best way to organize an unforgettable tasting at home.

Though booze will be the obvious focus of your evening, Axster and von Schroder advise whiskey-tasting hosts to stock up on salty snacks to provide to guests. "We love salted potato chips and peanuts," the duo encouraged. "Plain crackers are also a great palate cleanser in between tasting different whiskies." Not only can sustenance help keep the party going, but giving palates a bit of savory variation in between sampling blends can awaken and refresh appetites.

Stocking up on droppers can also be helpful, so you can set out water for guests to add drops to the whiskeys served. The Lodestar Whiskey experts suggest that after a dram is tasted straight, adding "a few drops of water" can reveal new aspects of the label's tasting profile. "Adding water will open the whiskey up and let you taste the sweeter notes in the whiskey," they said. "We also like to keep rocks on hand, as adding ice will also unlock different flavors and aromas in our opinion."

Read more: The 27 Best Bourbon Brands, Ranked

Organize A Tasting That Won't Easily Be Forgotten

displayed whiskey bottles
displayed whiskey bottles - Noctiluxx/Getty Images

While you will want to have enough Glencairns glasses for your friends to sip and sample whiskey, having water glasses at the ready for guests to drink water in between sampling different labels can also help refresh palates and keep whiskey tasters in the game. The goal is to give attendees the opportunity to compare and contrast whiskey blends without needing to stagger away from the party too early.

That being said, instead of stressing out and stocking up on dozens of whiskey bottles, choose which bottles you'll display. Instead of overwhelming tasting attendees with many choices of labels and brands, focus on providing a handful of quality whiskies for guests to taste. Axster and von Schroder estimate that three to four whiskies are plenty for a tasting, especially when drops of water are gradually added to drams and guests are encouraged to compare notes.

Furthermore, the two reiterated that partygoers should "drink some water in between each tasting and [not] be afraid to reach for a snack." Keeping these easy hostessing tactics in mind as you set about calling friends over for a night of fun can help ensure everyone has a good time.

Read the original article on Tasting Table