Despite sounding like an infamous gunslinger from the West, Yukon Jack is actually a Canadian liqueur. It's got itself a harsh reputation, find out why it's earned this name throughout this artcle...

What is Yukon Jack? 

Yukon Jack is a Canadian whisky and honey-based liqueur produced by the Sazerac company. It’s a 100 proof liqueur with an ABV of 50%. 

A rebel from the outset, it’s earned the title of the ‘Black Sheep of Canadian Liquors’. As a black sheep with 100 proof, it proved to be quite a talking point for people, as they wanted to try this mysterious drink. The 1970s saw a peak in sales due to its branding by the Sazerac company. Yukon Jack’s image is rounded off with their tagline, ‘only the strong survive’, truly cementing itself as a ‘hard’ liqueur.

What does Yukon Jack taste like?

Yukon Jack is a real ‘hit-or-miss’ type of drink. Some liken it to drinking gasoline, a very potent and fiery taste. Those who enjoy the drink describe it as a strong but sweet drink with fruity undertones. The use of honey as its key ingredient means the liqueur has a natural sweetener. Whether you like it or not, you’ll taste its strength for sure.

Yukon Jack has been naturally compared to Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey whiskey, being labelled as ‘the other Jack’. However, due to Yukon Jack’s proof, its better to say that Jack Daniel’s is just a more palatable version. At 35% proof, it’s a fraction of Yukon Jack’s strength.

History of Yukon Jack 

Unfortunately, the history of Yukon Jack is one of great mystery. Little is known about its true origins but, nevertheless, it does have a story to tell. 

The first record of Yukon Jack being introduced is from the 1970s in North America. This Canadian whisky and honey-based liqueur gets its name after the 19th century gold-rush pioneer, Jack McQuesten. Its strength and potent flavour were worthy of such a name, according to the creators. 

There are some records of Yukon Jack dating back to the 1940s in advertising, however the 1970s are seen as the official date. 

How to drink Yukon Jack

For a drink as distinctive and unusual as Yukon Jack, it should be reserved for special occasions. It’s a fitting aperitif for closing a business deal or graduation. 

Most commonly, Yukon Jack is taken as a cold shot or served on the rocks, like whiskey. However, the whisky liqueur has been adapted into various cocktails over the years.

Cocktails 

If you’re curious about trying Yukon Jack but can’t handle its potency, a Yukon Jack cocktail is for you. These ‘Yuktails’ offer a gentle kick to those interested…

Want to learn more about cocktails? Check out the 'what is a cocktail' page for more.

Snakebite

This Yukon Jack Snakebite shot is the most popular Yucktail and the simplest. Those drinking the Snakebite receive an electric buzz down their throat to warm the soul. Expect your tastebuds to pop!

Ingredients

  • Yukon Jack 60ml
  • Lime cordial 15ml 

Method

  1. Add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.
     
  2. Shake well and pour into a shot glass. 

The Crystal Virgin

Probably as virginal as this classic drink gets, this is a shot with variety. Adding almond liqueur and cranberry juice means the aggressive flavours are tamed, allowing for a pleasant shot. 

Ingredients

  • Yukon Jack 30ml
  • Amaretto 20ml
  • Cranberry juice 70ml

Method

  1. Add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.
     
  2. Shake well and pour into a shot glass. 

Texas Rattlesnake

Our last suggestion, is great for those who love tangy tasting cocktails. Love cocktails that make you screw up your face but leave you wanting more? Try out this recipe for that exact experience…

Ingredients

Method

  1. Add 1 part Yukon Jack, ½ part cherry brandy, 1 part peach liqueur and a dash of the sweet and sour mix into a cocktail shaker with ice.
     
  2. Shake well.
     
  3. Pour into a glass with ice and serve. 


Looking for more whiskey-based cocktails? Take a look at these whiskey cocktail recipes here.

Different styles of Yukon Jack 

Over the years Yukon Jack has expanded its range beyond the classic original. A Fire, Apple, Honey and even a shot of Snakebite Yukon Jack can be bought now. By expanding their range they’re appealing to those who like Yukon Jack even spicey or those who like to double-down on the honey.

Want to make cocktails professionally behind the bar? Take a look at our EBS Bartender Courses here.