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Which Brown Liquor Goes with Club Soda?

I've been drinking Maker's Mark and soda for some time, and recently someone pointed out that it's probably a bit of a waste for me to water down such nice bourbon.

So now (alas) I feel guilted into finding a new cocktail. What brown liquor generally mixes well with club soda? Rye, whiskey, scotch? Specific brand suggestions appreciated. Thank you!

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  1. scotch and soda is a classic - I like Teachers for a great and very reasonable (14 bucks) scotch. I enjoy it neat too!

    1. scotch and soda is a perfectly good drink. Use the blended stuff though (Dewars, JB). Like the Maker's, it'd be a waste to use a single malt, IMHO.
      Although a decent blended scotch will cost about the same(or more) as a better Bourbon.

      1. If you like bourbon, why not Jim Beam? Good flavor, and the raw edges disappear in a cocktail (or, more correctly, a highball). As for scotch, Teacher's and The Famous Grouse are blends that are good enough to drink straight. If you're just mixing with soda, Grant's and TJ's house blend are serviceable and cheap.

        4 Replies
        1. re: alanbarnes

          Jim Beam for me. raw edges? You must be thinking of jack. Jim is as smooth as any one could want.

          1. re: FrankJBN

            I'm not disparaging Beam--it's my drink of choice lately--just saying that it's a little young. For sipping neat, I prefer something with more age on it. Knob Creek, for example.

            As for JD, raw edges are the least of its problems. What amazes me is not just that people drink the stuff, but that they pay a premium for it. Go figure.

            1. re: FrankJBN

              I've enjoyed bourbon for years. And to me none of them are ever "smooth". They all have a certain alcohol bite (to me anyway). I've noticed though that as one goes up in price to the more expensive bourbons (e.g. Bookers) there is the same bite but there is also a pronounced richness of maple and other syrupy things.

              1. re: Chinon00

                try some Van Winke Family Reserve 21 year old. There's virtually no "bite" just smooth and caramely deliciousness.

          2. There will be those (me included) that will tell you adding soda to any whiskey is a waste.

            Drink what you like as you like it.

            Club soda is a neutral mixer. You can mix it with anything generally.

            1. pppffffttt...

              Don't let someone tell you that its wrong to drink your bourbon with club soda! There's no need to find a new cocktail - yours is just dandy.

              And so is mine: Van Winkle 12 year old with club soda.


              1. I like to use a better nbleded Scots whiskey like Ballantine's, Pinch or Walker Black. I also like to drink Rye with soda sometimes. Turkey and Beam both make decent Ryes to drink with soda.

                1. Drink what you like. Don't let others comments decide what you should drink. I often water down great spirits because the water brings out more flavors than drinking them at high proof.

                  1. Maker's and San Pelligrino (fizzy mineral water) is one of my faves. I also like to use Wild Turkey 101 for this. The higher proof stands up to mixing. I see no "waste" here. If you like Maker's and soda, drink it, I say!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: vickib

                      Wow, I thought I was the only one who liked scotch with san pelligrino. Adding a splash of water/perrier/san pel can bring out and balance the flavors in whiskies. Many people, including myself, prefer to have it with a splash of water (or san pell/perrier) than just plain neat. I found this thread when searching about it out of curiosity, sorry for the old bump but I'd be interested in other people's current opinions.

                      And whatever, maybe to purists "its a waste" to use it on a single malt but I'm enjoying a Glenlivet 12year old with a splash of Perrier right now and have no regrets about it. delicious.

                      1. re: duckdown

                        A splash is fine, especially with a low-mid tier like Glenlivet 12.

                    2. I hit upon the same dilemma some time ago and kept trying to switch.

                      The simpple truth after 3 months of discontent was I like Makers best.

                      So I switched to getting Makers neat with a soda back.
                      I've been a happy gal since.

                      1. I agree strongly with the "drink what you like" sentiment. I might mentally wince at your mixing an expensive Scotch with Coca-Cola (yes, I saw Risky Business), but I will adamantly defend your right to drink it.

                        Folks are welcome to the opinion that diluting a fine whiskey is a waste, as long as they don't ask me to drink inferior whiskey, even if I occasionally like mine with water or soda. I drink my favorite whisk(e)ys neat, on the rocks, sometimes with a splash, and in highballs, shaker cocktails, and even eggnog, depending on my whim, the weather, the social situation, the season, my assessment of the bartender's skills, etc. Life is too short to drink crap whiskey in any form.

                        One thing I'd suggest: be wary of club soda and many mineral waters for their high salt content. I have an old-school CO2-powered soda siphon on my bar, and use plain bottled soda water (seltzer) when I'm not at home. I don't care for added saltiness of club soda and many mineral waters in my whiskey and soda. Fortunately, what's coming out of the "soda" button on the bartender's gun is plain carbonated water.

                        I once found myself forced to make Mojitos with bottled mineral water -- apparently, plain bottled seltzer is rare in parts of Canada -- and upon reading many labels, concluded that Perrier had the least mineral salts of the dozen-plus brands for sale, less even than club soda, so that's what I used. (The drinks weren't terrible.)