November 15, 2023 by Anna-Bet Stemmet
Looking for whiskey mixers that will effortlessly elevate your cocktails this season? Right this way, bestie. The Mixer team has been hard at work sussing out the very best partner ingredients for whiskey, and this is our definitive list of all the mixers that really make this spirit shine.
Vermouth‘s herbaceous notes and subtle sweetness blend seamlessly with whiskey in cocktails like Boulevardier, Blood & Sand, and Manhattan. Its balanced flavours elevate the spirit’s profile, creating a harmonious mix of depth and complexity. The versatility of both sweet vermouth and dry vermouth as mixers enhances the overall drinking experience, making it an essential ingredient for those seeking a well-rounded, classic cocktail.
2. Ginger ale or ginger beer
Ginger ale and ginger beer offer a spicy kick to whiskey cocktails. Ginger ale’s milder, sweeter taste complements bourbon or blended whiskeys, adding a touch of effervescence and warmth. On the other hand, ginger beer’s stronger, spicier flavour pairs well with rye whiskey, intensifying the drink’s zest. Whether you prefer a subtle or robust ginger note, both mixers enhance whiskey’s character, making them ideal choices for whiskey cocktails like the Highball and Kentucky Mule.
Learn more: The Fascinating History of the Highball Cocktail
3. Tonic water or soda water
Tonic water and soda water provide a crisp and refreshing backdrop for whiskey cocktails, like the Bourbon Rickey. Tonic’s subtle bitterness and quinine notes pair harmoniously with the caramel tones of bourbon, while soda water’s plain fizz accentuates the whiskey’s profile without overpowering it. These mixers maintain a balanced, straightforward appeal, letting the whiskey’s character shine through in a fuss-free and enjoyable way.
Amaro adds astonishing depth to whiskey cocktails like the Black Manhattan—a perfect example of what is good to mix with whiskey if you love something a little more complex. Its herbal bitterness complements the spirit, sketching a rich and well-rounded taste profile, while the sweet and savoury notes of amaro harmonise with the whiskey’s warmth. This results in a balanced and intriguing combination that’s perfect for those seeking a more sophisticated twist on classic whiskey clinkers.
Sometimes good whiskey mixers are an obvious choice. Cola and whiskey make a winning pair based on their uncomplicated appeal. The sweetness of cola balances the boldness of whiskey, offering a simple yet satisfying drink. This classic combo is a popular choice known for its ease and familiarity, making it a timeless favourite among whiskey aficionados and casual drinkers alike.
Coffee and whiskey are a unique and invigorating combo for those who enjoy a spirited pick-me-up. The robust, earthy notes of coffee counterbalance the whiskey’s warmth, yielding a stimulating mix. The caffeine kick also adds an extra layer of complexity, making it a perfect choice for folks who appreciate bold flavours in whiskey drinks like Irish Coffee.
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A dash of bitters can elevate whiskey-based cocktails like the Old Fashioned and give them a distinctive flavour. A few drops of this highly concentrated aromatic liquid impart depth and complexity, enhancing the spirit’s profile. The botanical notes add a subtle twist, creating a balanced and nuanced drink. Many home mixologists would agree that bitters are the secret ingredient that turns a simple pour of whiskey into a refined and timeless classic, making it a must-have on any bar cart.
Citrus adds a gorgeous, zesty note to whiskey sippers, as beautifully illustrated in true classics like the Whiskey Sour and Hot Toddy. The tangy freshness of lemon and lime uplifts a whiskey’s richness, making for a vibrant and revitalising blend. Citrus effortlessly cuts through a whiskey’s warmth, introducing a balanced and invigorating contrast. It’s no wonder that this lively and timeless combination has stood the test of time.
9. Apple Cider
Apple cider combines seamlessly with whiskey in cocktails like the Bourbon Apple Cider, blending the spirit’s warmth with fruity, autumnal notes. The natural sweetness and apple essence emphasises the whiskey’s depth, setting the stage for comforting and well-balanced drinks. This pairing also evokes the cosiness of autumn, making it a popular choice for cocktail lovers who enjoy a comforting take on time-honoured whiskey cocktails.
Arguably one of the best mixers for whiskey on a sweltering summer’s day, lemonade makes for a cool drink that goes down a treat when the mercury’s high. Its sweetly tart flavour offers a refreshing counterpoint to the whiskey’s warmth, resulting in a thirst-quenching combination. This uncomplicated duo is a go-to choice for a laid-back summer sipper, perfect for those looking to beat the heat with a satisfying whiskey drink.
11. Orange juice
Orange juice brings a bright and fruity note to whiskey cocktails, resulting in a refreshing and balanced combination. The citrusy tang of the juice complements the whiskey’s deeper notes, making for a delightful, and easy mixer. This duo is perfect for those who appreciate a sweet and zesty whiskey cocktail.
12. Cranberry juice
Cranberry juice adds a tangy and slightly tart dimension to whiskey drinks, setting the scene for a refreshing and balanced fusion of flavours. Its fruity notes enhance the whiskey’s often moody character, acting as a lively mixer. This combination is ideal for those seeking a mildly sweet, cranberry-kissed twist in cocktails like the classic Cranberry Orange Whiskey Sour.
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13. Olive juice
Olive juice, known for its salty tang, lends an unexpected and intriguing flair to whiskey drinks. The brininess of the juice enhances the whiskey’s distinguished profile, making a distinctive combo. Ideal for those who enjoy a savoury note in their whiskey cocktails, this pairing offers a unique and memorable flavour experience for sure.
14. Pickle juice
Pickle juice, although a surprising contender, serves as an unconventional yet refreshing mixer for whiskey, notably in the Pickle Juice Whiskey Sour. Its unique brininess complements the whiskey’s robust character, paving the way for an unexpectedly harmonious blend. This combination typically appeals to folks who appreciate a tangy and bold note in their whiskey cocktails, offering a distinct and memorable flavour experience.
15. Coconut Water
If you’re wondering what to mix with bourbon besides Coke, and like to keep things light and refreshing, might we suggest coconut water? Its mild sweetness and natural hydration properties provide a unique addition to whiskey drinks. Coconut water’s tropical touch will balance bourbon’s warmth, offering a simple yet revitalising combination. This choice is perfect for those seeking a milder yet still exotic drink, ideal for those warm, sunny days.
Go island-style: 17 Easy Coconut Cocktails to Make at Home
16. Pineapple Juice
Pineapple juice brings some bright tropical flair to whiskey mixes, making for a refreshing and enjoyable blend. Its natural sweetness and tangy notes complement the whiskey’s complexity, acting as a vibrant mixer. This combination makes it a great option for a relaxed and sunny sip.
Tea is a versatile and soothing mixer for whiskey. Black tea provides a robust backdrop for the spirit, enhancing its depth, while green tea can add a light and herbal dimension. Herbal teas like chamomile or Earl Grey, on the other hand, can infuse their own unique flavours. In short, whiskey and tea combinations cater to a wide range of preferences, offering both comforting and dynamic options, making them a versatile choice for cocktail experimentation.
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There you have it—17 amazing whiskey mixers to take your at-home drink game to a tasty new level. To get more insider info like this shared straight to your inbox, remember to sign up for our newsletter today.