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Peanut Butter Whiskey & Cocktails

What Is Peanut Butter Whiskey?

When they’re not running a mile a minute mixing cocktails and filling orders for a packed house, bartenders often experiment with unexpected ingredients in hopes of creating something new, unusual, and most of all, delicious. We could run through several examples, but what’s the point when we can jump right in with the innovative and irresistible peanut butter whiskey?

Peanut butter whiskey is a peanut butter flavored whiskey that’s made one hell of a stir in the world of adult beverages. The OG peanut butter whiskey brand, Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, is the brainchild of husband and wife team Steven and Brittany Yeng. After Steven and his family made their way to the U.S. as refugees from Cambodia, he tasted peanut butter for the first time and became instantly hooked.

Fast forward to adulthood, where Steven, now a restaurant owner in Ocean Beach, San Diego, created a peanut butter whiskey cocktail that quickly became a best seller. It just so happened that Brittany was a chemist, so they set out to develop a peanut butter flavored whiskey that tastes amazing neat, as a shot, on the rocks, and in cocktails.

Today there are numerous peanut butter whiskey brands. We’ll take a deeper look at Skrewball and four others in a sec. For now, let’s explore this unconventional yet oh-so-satisfying approach to whiskey.

How It’s Made

While different brands take various approaches to making their peanut butter whiskey, let’s see how Skrewball does it. This 70 proof whiskey utilizes sugar cane, whiskey, natural flavors, caramel coloring, and real peanuts to deliver a peanut butter flavor that’ll keep you coming back for more (and more).

What Does It Taste Like?

Depending on the brand, when enjoying a peanut butter whiskey, expect some combo of the sweet, savory, and creamy. You’ll experience flavor notes like fresh roasted peanuts, honey, bread, vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, and even Butterfinger candy bar. That said, the taste varies a touch from brand to brand, which we’ll explore in just a bit.

What Do You Do With It?

Peanut Butter Whiskey

Peanut butter whiskey tastes great on its own—but there are also seemingly endless innovative peanut butter whiskey cocktails like Peanut Butter Espresso Martinis, Spiked Peanut Butter Ciders, pumpkin spice inspired peanut butter whiskey drinks, Peanut Butter Whiskey Milkshakes made with real ice cream, and so much more.

Then there’s the peanut butter whiskey take on classic cocktails like Peanut Butter Screwdrivers, Peanut Butter Whiskey Tonics, Peanut Butter Highballs, and of course the Peanut Butter Whiskey and Coke.


Best Brands

Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey  

Even though the peanut butter whiskey cocktail Steven Yeng created was such a hit in Ocean Beach, with people coming from miles around to savor the experience, once Steven and Brittany began approaching people about producing a peanut butter flavored whiskey, they met naysayers at every turn.

Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey

Once they had a bottled Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey product ready to sell, they decided to self-distribute, entered the market, and the awards began to pour in and pile up.

Screwball rocks an attractive, golden color. Its aromas are buttered popcorn, caramel, and honey. You’ll find peanuts, Butterfinger candy bar, honey, toasted vanilla, and peanut butter among the major tasting notes. It’s rich, sweet, smooth, and warm and comes in at a decent price for such a popular brand. 

Pros:

  • Popular, widely-known brand
  • Tastes great
  • Easy to find
  • Good price

Cons: 

  • Sugar content may make it too sweet for certain people
  • Some whiskey purists will frown on the flavor

Ole Smoky Peanut Butter Whiskey

In 2009 the State of Tennessee changed a law to allow moonshine production after over a century of prohibition. This led to the Ole Smoky brand creating and manufacturing twenty-seven flavored moonshines and a boatload of whiskeys. These boys are Appalachian through and through and make their whiskeys using traditional methods.

OLE SMOKY PEANUT BUTTER WHISKEY


One of their gems is the highly celebrated Ole Smoky Peanut Butter Whiskey. Ole Smokey employs a 100% corn whiskey base that barrel-aged for two years and mixes real peanut oil and other natural flavors before a 60 proof bottling. The aroma is pure creamy peanut butter, honey, and bread. Get this stellar whiskey into a glass, start sipping, and you’ll meet notes of oak, creamy peanut butter, vanilla, and honey. 

This one is smooth whether on the rocks, neat, or in a cocktail. According to the Ole Smoky website, they were “hard pressed to find a treat as tasty as a peanut butter cookie. But we came close when we took the sweet, creamy flavor of peanut butter and blended it perfectly with our smooth whiskey.”
And they aren’t wrong. This whiskey is one hell of a treat, no matter how you serve it.

Pros:

  • Crazy smooth
  • Complex yet well balanced
  • Cool and solid brand
  • Fair price for an innovative, quality product

Cons: 

  • Some whiskey purists will miss out simply because it’s peanut butter flavored

Sheep Dog Peanut Butter Whiskey

A product from the award-winning Sazerac brand Sheep Dog Peanut Butter Whiskey achieves its color and flavor with caramel. Open a bottle, and you’ll uncover caramel popcorn, Butterfinger, and butterscotch aromas. Once you pour her into a glass and start sippin’, you’ll experience a plethora of notes including peanut butter, popcorn, sweet vanilla, nuts, maple syrup, cappuccino, oak, and more.

sheapdog peanut butter whiskey

All of this may be too sweet for some, but for the rest of us, it’s a magical trip back to a time when the candy was abundant, and the worries were few. It’s a bold and complex drink that is sure to delight any whiskey fan with an open mind and desire to sample an outside-of-the-box drink.

Pros:

  • Complex yet well balanced
  • Popular, widely-known brand
  • Great price

Cons: 

  • There’s a whole lotta sweetness going down, which may be too much for some

Sqrrl Peanut Butter Whiskey

With the popularity of peanut butter flavored whiskey seeming to have no ceiling, the third largest distilled beverage producer Beam Suntory made the right move releasing Sqrrl Peanut Butter Whiskey.

Sqrrl Peanut Butter Whiskey

Amber with hues of gold, Sqrrl Peanut Butter Whiskey offers aromas of roasted peanuts, caramel, and chocolate. Take a sip, and you’ll experience butterscotch, understated peanut butter, chocolate, peanut butter cookie, and more. This one is a winner big time. Tasty enough to drink on its own, take it one step further and incorporate Sqrrl into your favorite mixed drink, and that favorite cocktail may just elevate to legendary status.  

Pros:

  • Complex while remaining well balanced
  • Low price
  • Made by a company with a track record of success
  • If you’re a Jim Beam fan, this one’s for you

Cons: 

  • Those that dislike Jim Beam may have a negative view of this one long before giving it a shot 
  • As mentioned with other peanut butter whiskeys, most purists won’t give it the time of day

Skatterbrain Peanut Butter Whiskey

Skatterbrain Peanut Butter Whiskey

Skatterbrain, produced by Universal Products, a United States Distilled Products subsidiary, delivers rich aromas of peanut, vanilla, and butterscotch. It has a Canadian whiskey base and utilizes caramel coloring to realize its inviting amber-brown color. While the peanut butter taste here is more understated than some other peanut butter whiskey brands, Skatterbrain is super smooth and goes down easy. 

Once you pour one, you’ll taste butterscotch, sweet vanilla, whiskey flavor, and a bit of peanut butter. If it’s too sweet for your palate, try adding some soda water to settle it down.

Pros:

  • Complex and well balanced
  • Smooth
  • Fair price

Cons: 

  • Might be too sweet for some
  • Peanut butter flavor could be dialed up a notch or two


Peanut Butter Whiskey Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is one of those manly drinks that’s stood the test of time. Named in the 1880s, it’s somehow always on-trend and timeless at once, no matter how you serve it. We see heroes and antiheroes order them in shows and movies, and if we’re honest with ourselves, we feel a wave of badassness come over us when we order them too.

peanut butter old fashioned with cigar

But just because the drink is named the Old Fashioned doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a new spin on this classic.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:
1.5 ounces peanut butter whiskey
0.5 ounces rye whiskey
4 dashes aromatic bitters
2 maraschino cherries
1 orange peel

Directions:
Combine whiskeys and bitters into a mixing glass. Pour into a glass with ice. Garnish with two cherries and orange peel.

Peanut Butter and Jelly 

The Peanut Butter and Jelly is a fun, cool way to revisit a favorite from your childhood. Plus, it’s always exciting and a bit strange (in a good way) to order a sandwich-inspired drink. Follow the directions below to whip one up with your weekend lunch—no brown paper lunch bag required!

Ingredients:
1.5 ounces peanut butter whiskey
0.5 ounces cranberry juice
Fresh raspberries
Club soda (optional)

Directions:
Pour your whiskey and cranberry juice into a glass filled with ice, stir, and garnish with fresh raspberries. Add club soda as needed.

Peanut Butter Whiskey and Coke

The Peanut Butter Whiskey and Coke is the perfect example of taking a classic and tweaking it ever so slightly to create something new and delicious. Sure, it’s hard to beat a classic, but if you’re a fan of peanut butter, this one probably does just that.

Peanut Butter Whiskey and Coke

Ingredients:
2 ounces peanut butter whiskey
5 ounces Coca-Cola
Lime or lemon garnish

Directions:
Pour peanut butter whiskey into a glass with ice. Next, add coke and stir. Garnish with lime or lemon.

Peanut Butter Screwdriver 

Another tweak on a classic, the Peanut Butter Screwdriver gives you a chance to skip the peanut butter toast and head straight for the cocktail. If this one isn’t a brunch classic yet, someone should start a petition.

Ingredients:
1.5 ounces peanut butter whiskey
4 ounces orange juice
1 lemon wheel

Directions:
Pour peanut butter whiskey into an ice-filled glass. Add orange juice and stir. Garnish with a lemon wheel and drink that puppy down. 

Peanut Butter Irish Whiskey

Here we have another classic morning cocktail with a peanut butter twist. An Irish Whiskey may not be for everyone, but perhaps the addition of some tasty peanut butter flavor will change a few minds and bring them to the Irish side of the morning.

Ingredients:
1.5 ounces peanut butter whiskey
5 to 6 ounces hot coffee
Whipped cream
Sugar (as needed)

Directions:
Pour your peanut butter whiskey into an Irish Coffee mug followed by your favorite hot coffee. Stir together, leaving about ½ inch on top for some delicious whipped cream. Add sugar as needed, though it may be unnecessary due to the sweetness of peanut butter whiskey.

Peanut Butter Highball

The Highball came to be in Manhattan in the late 1800s. The best things in life are often the least complicated. Highballs are a great example. But what if we added peanut butter whiskey to the mix?

Ingredients:
2 ounces peanut butter whiskey
4 to 5 ounces club soda

Directions:
Pour peanut butter whiskey into a glass with ice. Add club soda to your liking, stir, down the hatch, done.

Peanut Butter Whiskey Tonic

Some argue that the only way to beat a Gin & Tonic is to ditch the gin for whiskey. Well, what would happen if we ditched the whiskey for peanut butter flavored whiskey?

Ingredients:
2 ounces peanut butter whiskey
4 to 5 ounces tonic water
Lime or lemon garnish

Directions:
Fill a glass with ice and add peanut butter whiskey. Next, add tonic water to taste, stir, and garnish with a lime or lemon wheel.

Conclusion

As you can see, Steven and Brittany Yeng started quite the peanut butter flavored whiskey craze, and now whiskey and peanut butter fans far and wide are praising their names. All the brands we’ve explored today taste incredible whether neat, on the rocks, as a shot, or in classic or innovative cocktails.

As you know, whiskey is one of the most widely known spirits globally, and many whiskey enthusiasts frown upon anyone adding new flavors to their classic drink. While this is certainly understandable, we think they’d enjoy peanut butter whiskey if they took a chance and sampled it with an open mind. We sure do.