What Are the Best Sodas to Mix With Whiskey?

  • By: Max S.
  • Date: November 12, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Whiskey with soda might have sounded like an unusual combination once upon a time. But today, different whiskeys are mixed with sodas to create delicious cocktails. One of the most common drinks is Whiskey and Coke (or Jack and Coke).

There are many options, both soda, and non-soda, for cocktails and other alcoholic drinks. But with so many kinds of whiskeys and other beverages, it’s hard to know what combination would work.

Well, this article is meant to help you with that. So, continue reading to find out different combinations of whiskeys and drinks and whether or not any of these sound like something you’d be into. 

What can you mix with whiskey other than Coke?

There are a lot of drinks, both sodas and others, that can be paired well with whiskey, like Sprite, 7UP, ginger ale, lemonade, etc. 

Coke and Whiskey or Coke and Rum are a great combo. Still, many other sodas and drinks mixed with the proper whiskey can bring out distinct flavors that are just as enjoyable, if not more. So whether you like sweet, tangy flavors or spicy, sour ones, there is the right combination for everyone out there. You only need to experiment until you find it.

If you’re a beginner, something you can start with is citrus. When mixed with the right proportions, citrus sodas like 7UP and Sprite bring a sweet carbonation to this whiskey which helps it go down, mainly if you aren’t used to the bitter flavor yet. You can also add fresh citrus fruits like lemon and grapefruit to the drinks to bring a similar taste.

On the other hand, if you want something spicier with a kick, you should go for ginger ale or ginger beer. Of course, you would have to find the right combo for this because some ginger drinks can be too sweet while some heavier on ginger. But when mixed right, it’s genuinely an excellent pairing that freshens you up. 

whiskey cocktail in a tumbler

Top 5 best drinks to mix with whiskey

Some of the best combinations with whiskeys are those already discussed above, including Sprite, 7UP, lemonade, ginger ale, and ginger beer. But in addition, the list below contains drinks suited for all palates. The top choices are club soda, vermouth, apple cider, coffee, and root beer.

  1. Club Soda

Also called a Whiskey Highball, this mix is a classic whiskey drink. Club soda has a neutral taste, which is a good option if you want to enhance the flavor of your favorite whiskey. With its light carbonation, this drink doesn’t interfere with the whiskey’s taste, be it strong, spicy, or sweet. You can even add a lemon slice if you want a little kick to your drink.

  1. Vermouth

Vermouth is an aromatized wine from Italy. Sweet vermouth offers a sweet, vanilla-like taste, whereas dry vermouth has a more herbal flavor. Pairing off this vine with the proper whiskey can bring out a phenomenal taste. 

One of the most popular drinks using vermouth is a Manhattan. Usually, Rye is mixed with vermouth to make this concoction because of its spicy taste. However, if you want something sweeter, you can use Bourbon instead. Then, add two parts of the whiskey to one part of the sweet vermouth for the perfect drink! 

  1. Apple Cider

This particular cocktail is the perfect drink for the fall season. You could even consider it the pumpkin spice of the whiskey world. The zesty flavor from the apple beautifully complements the whiskey of your choice. A great addition to this drink can be a hint of vanilla and cinnamon. You can have this drink hot or cold depending on the season, whatever your preference.

  1. Coffee

Adding coffee to whiskey is one of the best combinations, often a breakfast favorite for some. Also called Irish Coffee, this mix can be bitter, so it’s usually served with chocolate and whipped cream. One of the best recipes is adding two parts of Bourbon and adding equal amounts of hot chocolate and coffee. Then, top it off with whipped cream for the perfect drink, hot or cold!

  1. Root Beer

Whiskey and root beer is a good combination if you’re a root beer fan; otherwise, you should try other options in this list. Root beer adds a sweet flavor when mixed with the smoky notes of whiskey. The two together make for a very spicy and robust cocktail that you’ll enjoy if you love drinks with a kick.

jameson and coffee in glass mug

Is there the best whiskey to use as a mixer?

There are lots of different kinds of whiskeys with unique tastes and tones. Some have more oaky, earthy tones; some are sweet, spicy, and bitter. So there isn’t just one best whiskey, but a few with distinct tastes that are pretty popular, Bourbon, Rye, Tennessee, Irish, etc.

Bourbon is an American whiskey made primarily of corn. It has a sweet taste with hints of vanilla and caramel. Its sweet nature allows it to be used as a mixer in cocktails with fruits like lemon, berries, peach, apple, etc. Simultaneously, its sweetness complements other whiskeys with spicy or bitter notes to add flavor and contrast.

Rye, on the other hand, is more spicy than sweet. It has a pepper-like tone which is why it is often added to drinks to give them a substantial hit. One of the most famous drinks made with rye is a Manhattan, where the spiciness complements the sweetness of the vermouth. In addition, it’s often paired with citrus drinks to create a robust and zesty drink.

Whiskey is said to have originated in Ireland, so Irish Whiskey is a trendy drink. It is smooth in taste but less sweet than Bourbon and has more earthy flavors. It is widely popular during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the U.S. It is also used to make Irish Coffee and other drinks with ginger ale, bitters, and fruit flavors.

Are there healthy soda mixers for whiskey?

Unfortunately, soda drinks contain a lot of sugar and aren’t considered healthy. However, if you’re health-conscious, you can opt for diet sodas or add non-soda mixers to your whiskey.

The added sugars in regular sodas are a massive reason for health problems among consumers. Therefore, using diet sodas instead, like Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Pepsi, etc., is one way to make your drinks a bit healthier. Therefore, you can add diet sodas to sweet whiskeys such as Bourbon as it would make up for the lack of sugar in the soda.

On the other hand, sodas aren’t the healthiest of options. To make your whiskeys less harmful to your body, try mixing them with citrus fruits, tea like chamomile, or coffee. For extra flavor, you can add spices such as cinnamon, honey, maple syrup, etc. You can easily make healthier cocktails that suit your taste buds with the right proportions.

bourbon whiskey and coke

Who invented Whiskey and Coke?

The details of when Whiskey and Coke were invented and by whom are murky. However, one of the earliest mentions was in a report in 1907 by a United States Bureau of Chemistry and Soils worker.

Whiskey and Coke is a cocktail made of large parts of Coca-cola and small portions of whiskey, usually a Bourbon or a Tennessee Whiskey. In 1907, the United States Bureau of Chemistry and Soils sent Dr. Lyman Kebler, the head of their drugstore lab, to the South to collect data on Coca-cola. 

Among these findings, Kebler mentioned that a soda fountain near a military base led to the discovery that the soldiers there were especially fond of a concoction made with coke and whiskey. They appreciated the drink for its caramel-like sweetness and fizz.

Today, this drink is also well-known as a Jack and Coke. That’s because the whiskey used is named Jack Daniels, a Tennessee whiskey that pairs perfectly with coke. It’s also famous amongst young adults since it’s mostly coke and partly whiskey, making it easy to go down the throat.

Conclusion

Once, Whiskey and Coke might have been the most popular soda and whiskey combination. But today, there are many different options for sodas and non-carbonated beverages as mixers for your whiskey.

Whether you’re into sweet, sour, bitter, or zesty drinks, there are multiple combos for you to try. Some cocktails in this article and otherwise might sound unusual. But do give them a try! Who knows? You may end up loving them and make them a regular part of your life.