Jackhammer Cocktail Recipe

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Jackhammer Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Jackhammer cocktail is a simple yet potent mix that has been enjoyed in dive bars and casual gatherings. It's a favorite among those who appreciate the bold flavors of whiskey and the sweet notes of amaretto.

  • Origins
    • The exact origins of the Jackhammer are not well-documented, but it likely emerged from the trend of combining liquors to create straightforward, strong drinks.
  • Popularity
    • It gained popularity for its simplicity and the ease of mixing, making it a go-to for bartenders and party-goers alike.
  • Audience
    • This drink is particularly favored by whiskey enthusiasts who are looking for a sweet twist to their usual dram.

How Jackhammer Tastes?

The Jackhammer is a robust cocktail with a smooth, sweet profile. The whiskey provides a warm, oaky backbone, while the amaretto imparts a rich almond sweetness that complements the whiskey's bite. It's a balanced blend of strength and sweetness.

Interesting facts about Jackhammer

  • The name 'Jackhammer' suggests a strong and impactful drink, much like the power tool it's named after.
  • Despite its strength, the Jackhammer is known for its approachability, thanks to the amaretto's sweetness.
  • It's a versatile cocktail that can be enjoyed on the rocks or mixed into a larger beverage for a more diluted, sessionable option.


Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey

Jack Daniel's adds a distinctive oak and vanilla flavor, with subtle notes of caramel and spice—a true Southern charm in the glass. Using less will subtract from the cocktail's backbone, while using more can overpower the sweetness of the amaretto. Imagine a cab without a horse - it's just not goin' anywhere fast without its whiskey.

Alex Green

Amaretto Almond Liqueur

Amaretto brings a sweet, rich almond flavor that balances the kick from the whiskey. Without it, the cocktail would be a lone cowboy – strong, but missing the smooth ride. More amaretto would make it too sweet; less and you wouldn’t taste its nutty melody. Alternatives? Try Frangelico for a hazelnut twist, but remember you'll be in a different nutty ballpark.

Emma Rose


Ice doesn't just chill; it dilutes the drink as it melts, softening the alcohol's sharpness and allowing the flavors to blend smoothly. No ice? You've got yourself a throat-warming shot rather than a refreshing sipper. Ice shapes can vary—a big cube for slower melting or crushed ice for a quick chill.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Jackhammer Drink

  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice.
  2. Pour 1 oz of Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey over the ice.
  3. Add 1 oz of amaretto almond liqueur.
  4. Stir gently to mix the ingredients.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy responsibly.

Pro Tips

  • For a smoother drink, use a premium amaretto liqueur.
  • If you prefer a less sweet cocktail, reduce the amaretto to 3/4 oz.
  • Always use fresh ice to avoid diluting the drink with melted water from old ice.

Perfect Pairings


  • Spicy Nuts: The smooth sweetness of amaretto can complement the heat from spiced nuts.
  • Barbecue Pulled Pork Sliders: The richness of the pork pairs well with the oaky notes from the whiskey.

Main Dishes

  • Grilled Steak: The robust flavor of whiskey stands up to the savory charred flavor of steak.
  • Smoked Duck Breast: The smoke from the duck will harmonize with the smoky undertones of the Tennessee whiskey.


  • Chocolate Brownie: The sweet almond notes from amaretto are a delightful match with rich chocolate flavors.
  • Dark Chocolate Truffles**: The intense flavors of dark chocolate are balanced by the sweetness of the liqueur.

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What you could change in Jackhammer

  • Whiskey: If Jack Daniel's isn't available, any good quality bourbon or Tennessee whiskey can be used as a substitute.
  • Amaretto: In the absence of amaretto, a different nut-flavored liqueur could be used, though the taste will vary.

Explore all drinks starting with J here

And of course - twists🍹

Jackhammer on the Beach

Swap out Tennessee whiskey for a coconut-flavored rum to get a tropical twist. The almond and coconut flavors will make you feel you've been hammered on a sunny beach.

The Velvet Hammer

Include a dash of creme de cacao to the mix. This decadent addition brings a chocolatey touch to the nutty and woody notes—an elegant and dessert-like indulgence.

The Jackrabbit

Add a splash of cherry liqueur or grenadine to introduce a fruity edge. This twist will have a playful balance between the tartness of the cherry and the sweetness of amaretto, almost like a boozy cherry cola.

In case you forgot basics how to make Jackhammer

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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Frequently Asked Questions on Jackhammer

What type of whiskey works best for a Jackhammer cocktail if I don't have Jack Daniel's?

While the classic Jackhammer calls for Jack Daniel's, you can use any smooth and flavorful bourbon or Tennessee whiskey as a replacement. The key is to choose a whiskey that complements the sweetness of the amaretto.

Can I use crushed ice instead of ice cubes for the Jackhammer cocktail?

You can use crushed ice, but it will dilute the drink faster than larger ice cubes. If you prefer a colder and more diluted cocktail, crushed ice works well.

Is the Jackhammer cocktail suitable for batch preparation for parties?

Yes, the Jackhammer can be made in large quantities for parties. Just maintain the 1:1 ratio of whiskey to amaretto and serve over ice.

What are some common garnishes for a Jackhammer cocktail?

While garnishes are typically minimal for a Jackhammer, you might add a lemon twist or a maraschino cherry for a touch of elegance or a hint of extra flavor.

How do I prevent my Jackhammer cocktail from becoming too sweet?

To mitigate sweetness, you can decrease the amount of amaretto or add a dash of bitters to bring some complexity and balance to the drink.

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