Best Mixers To Pair With Scotch Whiskey, From Cola To Ginger Ale

Scotch whiskey is celebrated for its complex flavours, and time-honoured traditional modes of production, which lend a richness to its taste. Scotch whiskey is a distilled spirit that undergoes a meticulous ageing process in oak barrels, often for a minimum of three years. The final product boasts a diverse range of flavours, including smoky, peaty, fruity, and malty notes and each Scotch has a unique profile, influenced by factors like region, distillation methods, and the type of cask used.

Many Scotch enthusiasts savour the drink neat and prefer not diluting it, some people prefer approachable and repeatable Scotch whiskey concoctions, blended with various mixers to create unique concoctions. While purists may cringe at the thought of diluting their beloved Scotch, mixing it with the right mixers can enhance the overall experience without compromising its essence. 

Soda water for instance is versatile and tends to work well with a variety of Scotch whiskies. Whether you have a peaty Islay Scotch or a lighter Highland malt, soda water can complement their flavour profiles without overwhelming the whisky's characteristics. Here are the best mixers to pair your Scotch with:


While not technically a mixer, water is the most classic and functional companion to Scotch whisky. Adding a few drops of water to your dram can open up its flavours, releasing aromatic compounds and softening the alcohol burn. This is actually quite essential when you’re savouring cask-strength whiskies, which can be overpowering because they are bottled from the barrel, completely unadulterated and are not diluted with water in any way; they are usually between 60 to 65 per cent ABV. You can experiment with different types of water, such as spring, herbal waters or mineral water, which can soften a whiskey’s taste and also subtly influence its overall profile.

Ginger Ale

Ginger ale is a popular mixer for Scotch and adds a sense of effervescence to whiskey. The spicy kick of ginger complements the whisky's robust flavours. Scotch whiskey often features a complex profile with notes of malt, peat, smoke, and sometimes fruit or spice. Ginger ale, with its sweet and spicy taste, brings in a contrasting flavour that complements the whisky. The sweetness of the ginger ale can balance out the smokiness or bitterness of the Scotch. The bubbles help lift the flavours of the Scotch, making it more invigorating and bracing. 

Soda Water

For those who prefer a lighter touch, soda water is an excellent choice. Soda water, with its bubbly and effervescent quality, adds a refreshing aspect to the Scotch. The bubbles can lift the flavours of the whisky and the addition of soda water subtly dilutes its alcohol content. This potentially softens any intense or overpowering flavours and makes the drink more approachable, particularly for those who are just experimenting with Scotch and are looking for a milder-tasting experience. 

Consider serving this mix over ice with a twist of citrus for a simple and enjoyable highball. The light, refreshing quality of soda water can also help mellow out the intensity of peaty or smoky Scotches.


The timeless pairing of Scotch and cola, often referred to as Scotch and Coke, has been a bar favourite for decades. The sweetness and caramel notes in cola complement the maltiness of Scotch, creating a harmonious blend. While some tend to believe that the sweetness in the soft drink can change the whiskey’s quintessential malty notes, it can actually enhance them if used in the right moderation.


Vermouth is a fortified wine flavoured with botanicals and is a key ingredient in classic cocktails like the Manhattan and the Martini. When paired with Scotch, it creates a unique and sophisticated drink. The herbal and spiced notes in vermouth can enhance the complexity of the whisky, resulting in a well-balanced and aromatic cocktail. Experiment with different vermouth styles, such as sweet or dry, to find the perfect match for your Scotch.

Fruit Juices

Certain fruit juices can be great mixers for Scotch whiskey, especially if they are sourced from berries or citrus fruits and if you’re using a light fruit-forward whiskey. Orange juice, in particular, pairs well with many Scotch whiskies, adding a citrusy zing. Apple Juice’s crisp and naturally sweet flavour pairs well with lighter and fruitier Scotch whiskies, whereas pineapple juice adds a tropical and tangy element to Scotch and cranberry juice can complement the rich and robust flavours of certain Scotch whiskies