Ah, whiskey, bourbon and scotch. There's a reason the original name for whiskey comes from the Gaelic uisge beatha, meaning "water of life." You can mix these brown liquors into cocktails if you like, but part of their appeal is a unique and subtle flavor. These liquors are more likely to be consumed on their own or with just a splash of soda or water. The quality of your whiskey, bourbon and scotch should determine whether you mix anything with it.
While a fully stocked home bar always has at least one bourbon, one whiskey and a blended scotch for everyday uses, letting a bottle of single malt scotch mellow and gather dust on a high shelf is the mark of a classy bartender. It's best to keep a bottle of the good stuff in reserve for special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries and lottery wins.