Do you ever use any other mixers than plain Indian tonic water?
While we have been paying attention to all the new gins, rums or other craft spirits, something else has happened in the world of top-quality drinks… An explosion of craft mixers!
Indian tonic water is the most commonly used mixer and is often associated only with gin, but you should be exploring further than that. You must try vodka, angostura bitters and tonic for starters (or Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic Water if you can’t get angostura), but with all these new flavoured mixers, the choices are endless.
With so many premium brands available, you can say goodbye to brands with artificial flavourings and sweeteners, such as Britvic or even Schweppes (see more about sweeteners here). If you are investing in top-notch spirits you will want to make sure you also get premium mixers, especially when ¾ of the drink is the mixer!
You might be familiar with some flavoured tonic waters, such as Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic, Elderflower or Bitter Lemon. But it doesn’t stop at tonics, as there are also other exciting mixers on the market! How would you like a non-alcoholic Paloma made with only natural ingredients? Just add tequila and a slice to turn it into a delicious boozy drink. Or how about dry ginger beer to accompany your favourite bourbon? These flavoured soda waters and ginger beers make a great pairing with vodka, dark rum, bourbon or tequila.
You can forget about shaking cocktails and making a mess. These mixers will change how you serve a drink at home, as now you can make easy no-fuss, yet super-tasty, drinks at home by just adding your chosen spirit, ice and some garnish.
It might be the “safe” choice, but their mixers are just that good. Use Mediterranean Tonic Water to bring out herbal flavours, such as rosemary and thyme. The recommended serve is with vodka, but try it with Bombay Sapphire or Portobello Road Gin to balance of their peppery finish. Garnish with a citrus slice.
Liberate your senses and explore with Peter Spanton Drinks. They have a Mint Chocolate Superior Tonic Water, which makes a great serve with dark spirits. I also loved it with X-Gin, which has notes of cocoa nibs and vanilla. They also have a Lemongrass Superior Tonic and Cardamom Superior Tonic, which I found were subtle and didn’t take away from the gin itself.
I tried their Salted Paloma Grapefruit Soda with tequila, but it didn’t do it for me. I recommend you mix it with Campari instead, that was really refreshing and the flavours were in perfect balance.
I love most of the soft drinks from the Luscombe range. Their Cranberry Crush is a perfect thirst quencher on its own, ideally served with ice and a lime wedge. For a winter warmer, mix their Hot (and fiery) Ginger Beer with rum or whisky.
They also have several other exciting naturally flavoured soft drinks you will absolutely love. Madagascan Vanilla Soda, Wild Elderflower Bubbly and Passionfruit Ginger Beer, just to name a few…
I have previously also written about Double Dutch and their fun premium soft drinks. Their Cranberry & Ginger works magic in a wintery take on Moscow Mule or to mix with dark spirits. Or make a proper cocktail by combining Campari and sweet vermouth with Double Dutch Pomegranate & Basil, garnished with some orange zest.
One of my all-time favourites is Fentimans Rose Lemonade mixed with gin (or vodka) and prosecco. You’re welcome! It also comes as a premixed version, definitely better than your usual calorie bomb alcopops!
As you can see, there are several ways to play with these mixers. Enjoy them as a refreshing soft drink, make a long drink with any spirit, or create your own cocktails by mixing with different liqueurs, bitters and spirits. Use a garnish for a little extra.
Do you ever use flavoured tonic waters with spirits? Please share your favourite combinations with us by commenting below!
You suggested many options that employ a lot of additives and artificial flavorings. Take a look at a superlative and all natural option of highly crafted simple syrups, like those fashioned by Pink House Alchemy (www.pinkhousealchemy.com).
And, don’t worry about having a gun flavor pairing chart, but rather own a copy of The Flavor Bible, something every well groomed bartender/mixologist has as a readily available reference, for over a decade now! I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who loves creative mixology.
Hi Mark, thank you for taking the time to comment. To my knowledge none of these suggestions have artificial flavourings or sweeteners. Peter Spanton plain tonic water has one type of sweetener in it, but it is not mentioned on the article.
Thanks for the book tip, I will look into it!