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The 5 Best Chasers for Scotch

There’s nothing more classic and fancy feeling than a glass of scotch. At least, it feels that way. But there’s just something about this whiskey that takes it beyond the cheap, basic stuff and elevates it to its golden status of acquired tastes.

Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s made entirely in Scotland from malted barley rather than corn, which makes it fancy just on the grounds of needing to be imported to almost every country but where it started. However, this is a burning, strong spirit, so keep reading for some of the best chasers to help take out the bite while complementing that unique flavor.

Scotch whiskey glass on an old wooden barrel

1. Juice

The mixologists at Nose Dive in Greenville, South Carolina, often suggest juices as mixers or chasers with their spirits. It’s an excellent way to cleanse the palate and draw out more subtle flavors. Scotch is no different. The folks there will ask for personal preferences and help find a juice that will perfectly pull out those flavors while also helping to mask the classic burn.

Here are a few juices to consider trying:

  • Orange
  • Apple
  • Lemonade
  • Cranberry
  • Grapefruit
  • Pineapple

For the most part, it’s probably best to stick with something like apple, known to accent flavors and disappear on its own. That’s why it’s such a common filler ingredient. However, orange juice is an extremely popular whiskey chaser, so it’s worth a shot.

2. Cola

A glass of rum and coke with a can of coca cola next to it

Dark sodas like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper are kings of spirit chasers, especially whiskeys. Which means they’re also excellent for chasing scotch. They’re so thick and sweet that it helps draw out the natural caramel flavors and boost the barley. Plus, the carbonation of a cola helps cleanse the palate enough that something else can be tasted beyond just the scotch.

Just be sure only to sip the cola if you are trying to keep some of those good flavors around. Otherwise, it gets a bit over-enthusiastic about palate cleansing.

3. Pickle Brine

Have you ever heard of a Pickleback? It’s a pickle juice (the brine) taken immediately after a shot of whiskey. While that’s usually reserved for corn-based whiskeys, it can also be a way to chase a shot of scotch. In addition, it tends to be an excellent way to help new drinkers get used to the spirit in the first place.

Chances are, the lingering sharpness of the brine will be more noticeable than the scotch burn. Not to mention, it’s enough of a silly, fun time with friends that it helps associate scotch with something fun, making it easier to acclimate to it.

4. Iced Tea

Iced cranberry tea or cocktail with an orange slice in a mason jar

Southerners love their sweet tea. They love it so much that they will find just about any reason to pair it up with something. Chasing down whiskeys—including scotch—with sweet iced tea was initially popularized in the deepest parts of the southern United States, and then it spread from there. Of course, that means it is an easy chaser to find and comes highly recommended.

Like with cola, the sweetness of the drink helps draw out the scotch’s natural flavors. But, just like juice, it helps to be an excellent, cooling palate cleanser. No wonder it’s so popular!

5. Water

Water is an excellent chaser for scotch. It’s a good idea to be sipping on it anyway. It helps to dilute the heavy alcohol content and hydrates the body. It will subtly cleanse the palate without taking away much of the scotch. The burn will still be there but lessened just a little.

The flavors are going to be there still, unaffected. There’s a reason why scotch is often served on the rocks rather than just chilled, and it’s partially to do with the fact that water is just a perfect companion.

Final Sip

The most important part of picking a chaser for Scotch is to let the spirit do its thing. Don’t try to chase it with something with a robust taste. Instead, look for things that cool, cleanse the palate, and help mask the alcohol without removing the rich flavors of the malted barley.

Always drink responsibly, as scotch tends to have a higher alcohol content than standard booze. It can be easy to get carried away with this imported spirit. Just remember that it is best enjoyed as a sipping drink with a good, hydrating chaser that can help complement it to its fullest.

For more, check out Top 6 Chasers For Alcoholic Beverages.