Who says signature drinks need to be reserved for bar menus and weddings? Create your own “house cocktail” to serve whenever friends come over for a special, personalized touch. Like the dish you're known for that everyone relies on you to bring to holiday dinners, your custom cocktail should be a crowd pleaser that's made with love...or in this case, a decent amount of booze. What you choose to put in your namesake tipple is entirely up to you, but we partnered with Johnnie Walker to offer some guidance on how to ensure that it's well-balanced, easily sippable, and served in the right glass.

First, pick your spirit and a flavor profile

    What types of cocktails do you typically gravitate towards? Fruity? Sweet yet sour tiki drinks? Something smokey and spirit-forward? Start by considering what you frequently order when you go out, and then put your own stamp on the drink.

    Johnnie Walker High Rye

    Johnnie Walker High Rye

    Johnnie Walker High Rye

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    If you prefer bitter beverages like a negroni, add a unique spin to the negroni by replacing the gin with Johnnie Walker High Rye, for a subtly bitter but still slightly sweet take on the classic cocktail.

    If you’re an apple fanatic, upgrade the cloying appletini by using fresh apple cider, bright lemon juice, apple brandy, and Johnnie Walker High Rye, shaken until ice cold and served up (meaning chilled, with no ice) in a martini glass. The Scotch whisky’s hint of vanilla, which comes from its treatment in bourbon barrels, add sophistication to this favorite tipple.

    For an unexpected twist on a dark ’n’ stormy, use whisky in place of rum. Mix fresh squeezed lime juice, two ounces of Johnnie Walker High Rye—which adds additional spice to the refreshing drink—and about five ounces of ginger beer. Serve it over ice in a highball, and garnish it with a lime.

    Know the ratios

      Cocktail ratios are relatively standard. A typical martini is approximately three to four parts gin or vodka to one part dry vermouth. A margarita is three parts tequila, two parts orange liqueur, one part lime juice or homemade sour mix. If you’re looking to reinvent a staple drink, look up the ratio so you maintain its balance while getting creative.

      Choose the glass

        While choosing glassware is partly a matter of personal preference, there are some ground rules. For example, you probably wouldn’t want to serve a neat cocktail in a tall highball because it would look like you under poured. Here’s a quick primer on which glasses go with standard cocktails and how much volume they hold.

        highball glass

        A tall glass that holds between eight and 16 ounces, the highball is used for mixed drinks often made directly within the glass. Drinks in a highball glass are always served on the rocks.

        collins glass
        Collins glass

        Similar to the highball, this tall, skinny glass also holds eight to 16 ounces—but it’s tapered at the top. Traditionally used for mixed drinks (think: whisky sodas and, of course the Tom Collins), cocktails in a Collins glass are also always on the rocks.

        rocks glass
        Rocks glass

        Also known as an old-fashioned glass, this short tumbler that holds six to eight ounces is used for cocktails that don’t contain a lot of mixer, such as an old fashioned. You can also serve neat drinks in a rocks glass.

        martini glass
        Martini glass

        Known for its telltale shape, a martini glass is designed to hold three to six ounces of liquor served up. Martini glasses are nearly always stemmed, so you can hold the glass without accidentally warming the cocktail with the heat of your hand.

        coupe glass
        Coupe glass

        The coupe is an all-purpose stemmed cocktail glass that typically holds four ounces of everything from sours to negronis to manhattans (and even champagne). Cocktails poured in a coupe are often presented up.

        Name your drink

          Once you have your flavors and glassware picked out, it’s time to name your tipple. This process can be as simple as plugging your own name into a cocktail. Alliteration is always a nice touch. Think: The Jess and Ginger. Or, get playful. For instance, if it’s a spicy take on apple cider, served up, with Johnnie Walker High Rye, call it the Forbidden Apple (if your name happens to start with an F, even better). You could also go for a pun, like the Whisky Business or the Whisky Me Away.

          Headshot of Hannah Selinger
          Hannah Selinger
          Hannah Selinger is a lifestyle writer, sommelier, and mother of two based in East Hampton, NY. Her IACP Award-nominated work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wine Enthusiast, CNN Travel, Eater, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Curbed, Slate, The Cut, and elsewhere.