So, you don’t like to drink your whiskey on its own and you like to add some ice and sour mix. Maybe you can’t stomach the taste of tequila by itself and you like to add it to margarita mix and put it into a glass with salt on the rim. Perhaps you are like my Spanish friend Nacho and you want to mix your rum with cola and call it “Happy Coke”. Any way you spin, you like mixing your alcohol with another substance to make it more palatable.
Don’t worry, I’m not judging you. I like to drink my Jameson on the rocks, but I also like a good Jack and Coke every now and then. Nobody drinks Everclear on its own. It tastes horrible. That’s why it’s always mixed with Kool-Aid. Let’s face it, not all alcohol is hand-crafted, triple distilled, liquid magic. Some is cheap, harsh and not very tasty on its own. That’s where our good friend “the mixer” comes in.
“The mixer” is not to be confused with the character of “The Cooler” that William H. Macy played in the movie of the same name. This is not a person who sits down at blackjack tables and immediately gives everyone bad luck. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Say you bought a ten dollar handle of vodka. There’s no way you’re going to drink that on its own. You have to mix it with something. Maybe you like it with tonic water, your favorite energy drink or cranberry juice. A mixer is anything that you add to your alcohol to make it taste better or to add to the overall flavor. I’m not talking about a fancy mixed drink with tons of ingredients. I’m speaking of alcohol on the simplest scale. One kind of alcohol and one mixer, nothing else.
The usual suspects:
Sour Mix: This sometimes cloying sugary, sour liquid is usually added to whiskey to make it more palatable and jazzy. Feel free to add a cherry to this so you have a tasty treat saturated with alcohol to enjoy after your finished your drink.
Tom Collins: This is pretty much like lemonade mix. People usually mix it with gin to make an alcoholic lemonadey treat. I actually just tried to find out who this Tom Collins was. From what I gather, the drink was invented in the 1870’s and it seems that there never was a Tom Collins. Who knows? Whoever he was, he sure made a delightful, summery drink.
Bloody Mary: The only drink that screams “lets drink with breakfast!” more than the mimosa is the bloody Mary. Bloody Mary mix is kind of a cop out. All you need for a decent bloody Mary is tomato juice, hot sauce and vodka. The mix saves you the immense energy of having to mix one more ingredient (although I’d add hot sauce because I like it spicy).
Mojito: I get why people would buy pre made mojito mix. The real thing takes a ton of work. Who has the extra minutes to make simple syrup and muddle fresh mint? Not me, I’m busy with my pop and lock classes and staring into the sun. A little mojito mix and some rum and you have instant summer in a glass. Use bourbon instead and you have a mint julep. Drink that while you watch the ponies.
Margarita: Nothing says “happy day thatMexico beatFrance in the battle ofPuebla (Cinco de Mayo)” like a good, old fashion margarita. Mix this with your favorite (or cheapest) tequila and put on your giant, comically stereotypical sombrero. You may not know anything about one of the most famous battles in Mexican history, but at least you’re buzzed now.
Energy drink: I’m not going to mention the most famous energy drink. It rhymes with Med Wool. Any energy drink will do. Mix with your favorite vodka, gin, Southern Comfort, pool water, whatever you want.
Soda/juice: If you’re like Nacho, you’ll mix cola with rum. But you can really mix any soda or juice with any complimentary liquor. I asked my facebook friends to give me their favorite mixed drinks. Brandon Sheffer from the band Mochester said that he likes, “Captain with root beer. Everyone must try this!” Others said tonic with absolute and Sailor Jerry with Dr Pepper. It’s all up to you what you try. Maybe you’ll randomly come across your favorite new drink this weekend by mistake.
*This article originally appeared on drinkingmadeeasy.com. Chris writes a new article there every other week.