The phrase “Scotch and Soda” rolls off the tongue. It's an easy name for an easy drink and tells you everything you need to know about it while saying, “You're safe here.” But after drinking thousands of Scotches and Sodas in your life, you might be ready for something new, something more adventurous. Here are six equally simple and tasty beverages to mix with scotch.
Another two-ingredient classic like the Scotch and Soda, the Presbyterian combines scotch with ginger ale. Unlike other gingery Highballs that opt for spicy, peppery ginger beer, the Presbyterian calls for mellower, sweeter ginger ale, which enhances the honeyed sweetness, floral notes and creamy texture of sweeter whiskies, and it can even round out the punch of a smoky Islay.
It may seem counterintuitive to mix scotch from the damp, rugged lands of Scotland with coconut water from the sun-dappled Caribbean, but it’s a sensational duo. The natural sweetness of a blended scotch builds perfectly with the silky texture of coconut water for a mellow sipper you can enjoy on either side of the Atlantic.
If it’s good enough for Marlon Brando, it’s good enough for you. The two-ingredient Godfather, made with scotch and amaretto, is sweet, smoky and nutty with touches of green fruit and coffee. Legend has it, Brando put his seal of approval on the sultry mix of flavors while shooting the eponymous movie.
Plenty of complex scotch cocktails incorporate some sort of apple mixer along with other ingredients, but all you need to drink well on a lazy day is apple cider. Whether it’s sparkling or flat, cider is a wonderful match for scotch, like dipping apples in boozy honey. Whiskies with flavors of baking spice, creamy marzipan or warm butter will mix best with a crisp topper of cider.
If you’re worried about diluting your precious scotch by mixing it with anything at all, just stir it with Drambuie, a scotch-based liqueur packed with herbs and honey. It makes the perfect complement to scotch in a Rusty Nail and is perfect if you feel like sipping scotch on scotch with a touch of sweetness.
You like Palomas, right? Well grapefruit soda’s sweet, round flavor not only tames tequila’s vegetal bite, but also suits scotch quite well. To balance the intense flavors of the whisky, you’ll need an equally flavorful soda like Jarritos, Ting or Squirt (none of that New Age, lightly flavored grapefruit fizzy water, thanks very much). Lighter, fruitier scotches from the Highlands really shine when paired with the right grapefruit mixer.