I firmly believe, if you buy a bottle, you can drink it any way you want.  Ice, water, neat, scotch rocks, freaking ginger ale.  Its your money, do what you want.

However, this will lead to some flack from old boys at the bar and connoisseurs at tastings.  Here’s some predictable comments and some thought out retorts:

1) Water in your scotch? Do you water down your juice too?

Yes, actually.  Almost all juice is watered down.  And scotch, as it comes out of the bottle, is watered down.  Scotch at cask strength is anywhere from 45-65% alcohol by volume.  The distiller then adds water to lower the proof to the more common 40-45%abv.  They do this to taste.  You adding more water simply refines it to your taste, and, as covered above, it is your bottle.

2) Scotch rocks?  Cold kills the taste.

Think about it for a second – do you order any other drink at room temperature?  Maybe water.  Otherwise, drinks are served hot or cold.  Why?  Because generally speaking, hot tea and cold lemonade taste better and are a better mouth experience than lukewarm versions of either.  So if you enjoy your scotch chilled, then enjoy it.

3) Ice? That’s two crimes in one!

See above.

4) Eating with scotch confuses your tongue and you’ll have no idea what it actually tastes like.

You’ll get this at scotch tastings.  You tell me how much of the subtleties of the fifth glass you can pick out on an empty stomach.

The fact of the matter is, “sod off” is a perfectly reasonable response to anyone critiquing how you enjoy your liquor.  Anything beyond that is a courtesy – it might shut them up or it might get you in an argument.  But whatever happens, don’t spill your scotch.

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