This week at my cocktail tasting, I introduced my favorite Tennessee whiskey: Lonehand Whiskey! Tennessee whiskey is a special American whiskey made only in Tennessee. (You may think the production location is obvious, but just FYI, “Canadian whiskey” doesn’t have to be made in Canada, and “Kentucky bourbon” doesn’t have to be made in Kentucky…) The Tennessee state legislature has actually created laws governing the exact process by which Tennessee whiskey must abide in order to call itself “Tennessee Whiskey.” Both Tennessee whiskey and Kentucky bourbon are made with at least 51% corn (giving them sweetness) and aged in charred new-oak barrels for characteristic smoky and vanilla notes. But the most important distinction between Tennessee whiskey and Kentucky bourbon is that Tennessee whiskey goes through a maple-charcoal filtering process before aging that makes it smoother and more mellow than other American whiskies. This filtering makes Tennessee whiskey an amazing choice for any whiskey cocktail, because the smooth and mellow flavor will blend well with the other ingredients. Here’s more about my favorite Tennessee whiskey and two great cocktails to make with it!

Most people think that Tennessee Whiskey begins and ends with Jack Daniels. But there are other great distilleries in Tennessee that are worth knowing. My personal favorite is Lonehand Whiskey, just one of the great recommendations from our local experts at Total Wine. Lonehand’s rich style of whiskey provides nuanced layers of bold malt and wood-aged characteristics. The predominant flavors are vanilla, oak, and, particularly, caramel. And the complex, lush, and balanced finish makes this whiskey an enjoyable sipper as well as a fabulous cocktail foundation! Don’t just take it from me: In 2019, Lonehand Whiskey won a gold medal at the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition! (And let’s not forget the great price point as well…)

Here are my recipes for the Stiletto and the Jack Knife, two great cocktails that showcase the beauty of Tennessee Whiskey! Both of these cocktails were big hits at the tasting table!


The Stiletto


1.5 oz Tennessee whiskey

½ oz amaretto (I really love the Knight Gabriella Amaretto Di Tosca amaretto—all-natural almond flavors and colors along with 27 proprietary herbs by a family who were literally knighted by the Italian government due to the strength of their Italian liqueurs!)

½ oz fresh lemon juice (¼ oz bottled)

½ t Luxardo Maraschino syrup



Shake with ice, strain, and serve over ice in a rocks glass with a Luxardo maraschino cherry as garnish!


The Jack Knife


1 oz Tennessee whiskey

1 oz Irish cream (I highly recommend Kavanagh Irish Cream, located in the heart of Ireland’s Golden Vale, known for their dairy production—the family-owned distillery gets fresh cream weekly from the next-door dairy farms!)



Shake with ice, strain, and serve! (Can either serve “up,” in a coupe or dessert glass, or over a large ice cube in an old-fashioned glass for a sipper.)