From behind the bar, I’ve watched the warm amber hue of scotch mesmerize many. As patrons swirl their glasses, savoring the aroma, I often recall my trip to Scotland, where I first learned the complexities of this celebrated spirit. Over the years, I’ve experimented with countless combinations, discovering mixers that genuinely do justice to this drink of the ages.
Explore Scotch’s depth with these top mixers: 1) Apple cider 2) Club Soda 3) Coconut Water 4) Coffeet 5) Cranberry Juice 6) Ginger Ale 7) Green Tea 8) Honey and Lemon 9) Pineapple Juice 10) Water. Enhance the nuanced flavors of Scotch for an enriched sipping journey, from classic to contemporary pairings.
Here are the details about my top ten mixers for scotch, laced with tales from the tavern.
1. Apple Cider
An autumn special, the combination of apple cider’s sweetness, spiciness, and the smokiness of scotch is like a cozy blanket for the soul. Whenever someone asks for a taste of fall, this is my go-to.
2. Club Soda
Many scotch enthusiasts swear by ‘Scotch and Soda.’ On a busy Friday night, a gentleman asked for this classic. The fizz of club soda and scotch lightens the drink, making it the perfect accompaniment to lively chats and laughter.
3. Coconut Water
On a summer afternoon, inspired by tropical vibes, I introduced a regular patron to scotch mixed with coconut water. The subtle nutty sweetness complements the robustness of scotch, creating a refreshing and unique concoction. Since then, it’s been our summertime secret.
Inspired by my morning ritual, I blended cold brew coffee with scotch for a patron looking for a pick-me-up. The rich, deep flavors of coffee mingled seamlessly with the caramel undertones of the scotch. Now, it’s a favorite for our late-night crowd.
5. Cranberry Juice
It was during a Christmas event that I first combined the tartness of cranberry juice with the smoky undertones of scotch. The blend was magical. Now, every holiday season, the ‘Cranberry Scotch Sour’ makes a special appearance on our menu.
Pour 2 ounces of Scotch and 4 ounces of cranberry juice into a cocktail shaker over ice. Add 3/4 ounce of fresh lemon juice and 3/4 ounce of simple syrup and shake to combine. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and garnish with an orange slice. You’ll be glad you tried this one.
6. Ginger Ale
The sweet and spicy notes of ginger ale are a favorite among the younger crowd. An adventurous couple once dared each other to try scotch mixers, and ginger ale was their favorite. The resulting cocktail is warm, zesty, and just the right amount of sweetness.
7. Green Tea
An Asian-inspired fusion evening was the birthplace of this mix. Green tea’s earthy, slightly bitter notes enhance the woody scotch flavors. Every sip is a journey from the Scottish highlands to the tea gardens of Asia.
8. Honey and Lemon
During flu season, a regular with a scratchy throat sought comfort. Drawing from grandma’s remedies, I combined honey, lemon, and scotch. The result? It is a soothing, warm blend perfect for chilly evenings or when you need some TLC.
9. Pineapple Juice
A bachelorette party once challenged me to make a scotch drink that even non-scotch lovers would adore. The tropical sweetness of pineapple juice, with its tangy undertones, did the trick. They toasted, laughed, and danced, all with their scotch cocktails in hand.
Starting with the most traditional, a few drops of water can unlock the intricacies of scotch. I once met an old Scotsman who, with a twinkle in his eye, said water was the “key to the spirit’s soul.” Since then, I’ve always recommended a splash of water for those tasting scotch for the first time.
Scotch, in its many avatars, has graced our bar for generations. While its purists might prefer it neat or with a dash of water, an ocean of flavors is waiting to be explored. My adventures as a bartender have taught me that there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to drinks.
So, the next time you find yourself with a bottle of scotch, venture beyond the conventional. You might stumble upon your new favorite. Sláinte!
For more, check out Top 20 Mixers For Alcoholic Beverages.
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.