Best Whiskey Mixers for Quick Cocktails

There’s nothing wrong with the classic whiskey and Coke, but sometimes you’re in the mood for something a little different.

There are some great whiskey cocktails out there, like the Manhattan or the Old Fashioned. But when you want to keep things simple with just one or two additions, here are some mixers for whiskey that you should try.

You may even have some of these in the fridge already …

Coffee or Tea

Warming whiskey is a perfect partner to a hot drink. You can just add an ounce to your mug and then prepare your coffee or tea as normal. A true “Irish coffee” is just Irish whiskey and coffee, but some people like to add a little Kahlúa or Bailey’s for sweetness, and maybe a dollop of whipped cream on top. No judgment here — you drink what you like.

Hot Water and Lemon

Another tasty hot whiskey drink is the Hot Toddy. It’s both a delicious sipper and is rumored to stave off an oncoming cold. No reports on whether that’s true, but we can say from experience — it can sure make you feel better. This may be veering away from “mixers” and into full-blown cocktail territory, but it’s so easy to make that we think it’s worth a mention.

Plus, we care about your health.

Hot Toddy Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz water
  • 1 1/2 oz whiskey (or sub brandy or rum)
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Heat water on the stovetop until it reaches a simmer. Pour into a mug.
  2. Add whiskey, honey, and lemon juice to the mug, and stir until the honey dissolves.
  3. Garnish with a lemon wedge if desired.
  4. Sip and banish your cold back to where it came from.

Lemonade or Grapefruit Juice

A bit of something sweet and tart, like lemonade or freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, provides a lovely light balance to a shot of whiskey. These mixers are great for making a warming liquor into a refreshing quaff on a hot day. Fill your glass with ice and sip on the veranda.

A little drink umbrella is optional but encouraged.

Ginger Beer

Ginger beer is usually non-alcoholic, and it is carbonated. So does it count as a soda? Maybe, but we’re including it here anyway.

Ginger beer is best known for its inclusion in cocktails like the vodka-based Moscow Mule and the rum-based Dark and Stormy. But it’s also a great addition to your whiskey glass. Ginger beer is lighter on the sugar than ginger ale, and it has a spicier flavor profile. So it’s a ginger bev for the more discerning palate.

Apple Cider

Fall apple cider pairs beautifully with the toffee and caramel notes in a glass of whiskey. You can pour this over ice when it’s hot out, or heat up your cider and sip a mug full of autumn.

Maple Syrup

To add a touch of sweetness but not a lot of liquid, pour a few drops of maple syrup into your bourbon or whiskey. You can also add a squeeze of lemon to brighten it up a bit, and sip on the rocks.

There are plenty of options out there beyond sugary soda when it comes to enjoying your whiskey. So pour a couple of ounces into your rocks glass, add a splash of something sweet, and drink up.

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Brooklyn native, accent-having, travel lover, wordsmith and bud enthusiast. Versed from the streets of NYC, mixed with some world influence, writer/editor and medical user extraordinaire, JJ is here to tell you like it is and guide you to the finest. Brooklyn's favorite feminine stoner, your neighborhood contributor, wrapping leaves like a bandage and bringing you along for the ride.

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