While Coca-Cola is a great option to mix with some Jack Daniel’s, there are plenty of other great whiskey mixers out there. Yes, a Jack and Coke is one of the quintessential bar orders. A must have for people who haven’t found their ideal drink, easy to make for bartenders at any event. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only whiskey cocktail option.
Most of these blenders are fridge staples that most people should have on hand. While most whiskeys should probably be poured into a glass and sipped neat or over ice, a nice, simple cocktail with a handy mixer can be just as tasty. So grab some whiskey, your favorite highball glass (a whiskey or whiskey glass) and the closest to our favorite mixers that isn’t a Coke.
When it comes to classic whiskey cocktails, it doesn’t get any easier than a whiskey highball. A highball is simple: Ice, whiskey, club soda and a twist of lemon. And they are really delicious. Lime, grapefruit and orange, and maybe even a pinch of bitters, can change things up and wake up a simple whiskey soda.
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Right up there with a Jack and Coke is ginger whiskey. Also for a very good reason, it’s downright tasty. Real Whiskey Ginger can fool a drinker into thinking they’re sipping cream soda. Mixed well, there’s very little alcohol or ginger to shine through, just the pure goodness of vanilla lurking in both drinks.
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Ginger beer differs from ginger ale in being a bit more aggressive with ginger and carbonation. It also has a nice spicy kick. Ginger beer is a key ingredient in mule cocktails, such as a Moscow Mule, normally made with vodka. But a Kentucky Mule is a cocktail made with bourbon, ginger beer and lime, all served over crushed ice. Of course, if the lime isn’t there, a spicy, fizzy whiskey cocktail would be wonderful on its own.
Well, vermouth might cheat a bit. Technically, we’re talking about sweet vermouth, but really dry vermouth will work just as well in most cases. But adding sweet vermouth to a whiskey is a quick way to nearly finish a cocktail.
Add a cherry and some bitters and, boom, a Manhattan. Although it might sound like cheating, if you want to mix something in a whiskey, it might as well be to make one of the best cocktails ever created.
Read more: Guide to vermouth: everything you need to know about the spirit
Apple cider and whiskey are a great fall drink, hot or cold. The drink blends fall flavors perfectly, but to amp it up even more, add vanilla, caramel or a cinnamon stick. Ginger beer and sparkling water could also be added for a nice bubbly effect.
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A bourbon lemonade is a great way to toast a hard day’s work in the garden. The tart, yet sweet, goodness of a properly made glass of lemonade is an ideal mixer for a bourbon. Served over ice, a bourbon lemonade lets all the good tastes of both drinks shine through.
The lemonade helps temper the alcohol in the whiskey, while the woody burn tempers the sweetness of the lemonade. For a little more strength, try a whiskey with a high rye content or a pure rye whiskey, which will cut through the lemonade a little more.