Food & Drink

4 Soda-Flavored Cocktail Ingredients You Need to Try

Courtesy of Art in the Age

It’s no secret that soda isn’t great for you. But there’s something about cracking open an old-fashioned root beer or cream soda that makes you feel like a kid again. These days, when we do indulge in that cola craving, we prefer it to be boozy—and we’re not just talking about Jack & Cokes. Some smart companies have harnessed the nostalgic flavor of soda in liqueurs and syrups for adult boozy treats.

One of the original brands to attempt to distill soda flavors into a boozy substance is RedCliff, whose eponymous liqueur is made with 15 ingredients that together create the flavor of classic American cola. Though RedCliff is difficult to find these days, a handful of brands followed suit by creating their own line of soda-inspired cocktail ingredients. If you’re looking for a splash of nostalgia at your next happy hour, these spirits and syrups deserve a place on your bar cart.

Dr. McGillicuddy’s Root Beer Liqueur ($17)

This not-too-sweet root beer liqueur is the perfect balance of boozy and soda pop-y, which makes it very easy to sip straight and mix in cocktails. It finishes with a bite reminiscent of those barrel-shaped root beer candies.

Art in the Age Root Organic Liqueur ($36)

Art in the Age looked to early Native American medicinal concoctions made with herbs and spices for inspiration when creating this root beer liqueur. Expect notes of cinnamon, clove, orange and sugarcane for a flavor that’s sweeter than some digestifs but drier than most. We suggest adding it to this spiked root beer float for an extra boozy take on the soda fountain treat.

More Good Syrups and Mixers ($13)

More Good uses locally-sourced, organic ingredients to batch their line of soda syrups and cocktails mixers. Plus, they care about creating a positive global impact through local success—we can drink to that! The line includes soda-flavored syrups inspired by childhood favorites like Ginger Ale, Root Beer, Classic Cola and Orange Pop.

3/4 oz. Tonic Maison Cola and Ginger Ale Syrups ($19)

This Canadian company makes all of their small-batch syrups by hand in Montreal with natural ingredients, so you can get your soda fix without the guilt. Both their Ginger Ale and Cola syrups are made with things like citrus and organic essential oils to create a balanced, natural flavor. Use them along with a splash of soda water in place of pop in classic cocktails like the Horse’s Neck and Cuba Libre for a healthier alternative.