In the world of alcoholic beverages, taste and creativity go hand in hand. Beer, wine, and spirits are all products of ancient traditions that continue to evolve and expand with each generation.
Cocktails are the newest innovation in adult drinking traditions, mixing beer, wine, spirits, or a combination of them with tonics, sodas, fruit juices, and garnishes.
Like brewmasters, winemakers, and master distillers, mixologists and bartenders make cocktails into a venerable art form. Mixing a cocktail is as much a skill as executing a perfectly cooked steak.
There’s a reason that we relegate cocktail mixing to the professionals. Still, cocktails make an impressive and crowd-pleasing addition to dinner parties and backyard cookouts.
Mixologists and distillers alike have capitalized on their skills by creating cocktail mixers that streamline the cocktail-making task without sacrificing flavor.
I have compiled a list of the best cocktail mixers below, each one offering a perfectly mixed cocktail that only requires you to add your favorite spirit and stir.
Jack Rudy Classic Tonic Syrup
Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. is a family-owned and operated cocktail mixer company that puts novel twists on classic cocktails.
They make their mixes in small batches using the purest and most high-quality ingredients to harken back to the traditional cocktails of generations past.
The Jack Rudy Classic Tonic Syrup is a veritable quinine concentrate made with pure quinine, botanicals, and real cane sugar.
Quinine is the key ingredient in tonic water. Therefore, the tonic syrup has you create the perfect tonic water to pair with gin or vodka.
Gin and tonic is a simple two-ingredient cocktail whose quality depends on the quality of its ingredients.
I love the botanicals in this tonic syrup, which complements and emphasizes the earthy and herbaceous flavor of the gin.
Founded by recent college grad Alex Abbott Boyd who spent his college years researching every aspect of beverage making with passionate fervor, Cocktail Crate is a small batch cocktail mixer company that brought his hard work to fruition.
Cocktail Crate has various cocktail mixers for classic cocktails, from Margaritas to Moscow Mules.
I especially like how the mixers come in bottles that look like glass whiskey flasks.
All the ingredients used in Cocktail Crate mixers come from independent, family-owned, small-scale purveyors.
Cocktail Crate mixers feature tasty new takes on classic cocktails including:
- Spiced Old Fashioned
- Maple Whiskey Sour
- Ginger Bee
- Ginger Mule
- Sriracha Margarita
Owl’s Brew is first and foremost a boozy tea company from female owners Jennie and Maria, who use a portion of their profits to help other female-owned companies.
Their signature brews feature a variety of organic teas, natural fruit juices, and alcohol.
They’ve recently come out with a few all-natural, organic, vegan, and non-GMO mixers that are themselves tea and juice blends. To date, they offer two tea-based margarita mixers:
- Watermelon Margarita with white tea, watermelon, and raspberry juice
- Wicked Margarita with green tea, lime, and habanero.
I love the Wicked Margarita cocktail mixer, to which I add soda water, and mezcal for a smokey, spicy, and tangy Mexican cocktail.
Woodford Reserve Old Fashioned Cocktail Mixer
Woodford Reserve is an iconic bourbon distillery in Kentucky that has been producing the finest bourbon since 1812.
The distillery itself is on the National Register of Historic Landmarks. With over a century in the distillery business, they are a trusted and award-winning small batch producer.
My favorite bourbon cocktail is an Old Fashioned, and Woodford Reserve Old Fashioned Cocktail Mixer is the best product to couple with Woodford Reserve’s delicious bourbon.
It is a cocktail syrup with cane sugar, bitters, orange extract, and cherry flavor.
The instructions for mixing the cocktail replete with proportions of syrup to alcohol are written on the label.
Tres Agaves Margarita Mix
Tres Agaves is the brainchild of the famed distiller and restauranteur Barry Augus who headed a major tequila distillery before opening Tres Agaves Mexican food restaurant in San Francisco.
Tres Agaves restaurant earned citywide acclaim for its incredible margarita menu.
Augus soon created Tres Agaves tequila and cocktail mixers to supply customers with the high-quality ingredients they need to make their own margaritas.
You can use Tres Agaves as a one-stop shop for all your tequila cocktail needs, purchasing small batch tequila and mixers from one single purveyor.
The margarita cocktail mixers are organic and sweetened with pure agave nectar.
There are four margarita flavors, but my favorite is the mango chili margarita mix with chili flakes, lime juice, agave nectar, and mango puree.
Bittermilk Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour
Winner of the SoFi Award for Outstanding Cold beverage and featured in famous publications like the Washington Post, Imbibe Magazine, and Southern Living, Bittermilk Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour takes amplifies a classic cocktail.
This delicious cocktail mixer contains honey that has been smoked over bourbon barrels, adding an even more intense smokiness to that inherent in the Whiskey you’ll add to it.
Along with smoked honey, the mix contains fresh lemon juice, cane sugar, orange peel, and water.
I could drink this insanely delicious cocktail mixer by itself as a gourmet lemonade. If you don’t have whiskey on hand, you could easily use mezcal instead.
Fever Tree Premium Ginger Beer
Fever Tree Premium Ginger Beer is the ultimate aromatic beverage to use as a mixer in cocktails.
It contains three different ginger varieties sourced from India, Nigeria, and the Ivory Coast.
According to the founders, each ginger variety adds a distinct flavor that collectively combines to create a complex yet refreshing beverage.
The three ginger root varieties combine with carbonated water, sugar, and acid.
I love how the spice and acidity balance each other perfectly. I love making Moscow Mules with the Fever Tree Ginger Beer for adult guests and pouring the leftovers into a glass of ice for the kids.
Zing Zang Piña Colada Mix
The best beach or poolside cocktail, a pina colada is the best way to get into a tropical state of mind.
Zing Zang is an award-winning cocktail mixer and canned cocktail company that delivers the tastiest pina colada mix on the market. It has won Double Gold Sip Awards and Proof Awards multiple times.
The Zing Zang Pina Colada Mix contains pineapple juice, pineapple concentrate, cane sugar, water, coconut flavor, and citric acid.
I like to make a frappe with pina colada mix, ice, and a few shots of premium rum with a maraschino cherry and a slice of pineapple for garnish.
Check out other popular pina colada mixes.
McClure’s Bloody Mary Mixer
Bloody Marys have inspired quite the competition amongst bartenders around the world.
Some of them are veritable meals in a glass, with garnishes like boiled shrimp and strips of bacon. Likewise, the bar on Bloody Mary mixers is very high.
My favorite is undoubtedly McClure’s Bloody Mary Mixer from McClure’s artisanal pickle makers.
They use the brine from their delicious pickles to add a spicy, garlicky tang that sets them above the competition.
Along with brine, the mixer contains tomato paste, water, vinegar, cucumber juice, chopped peppers, garlic, dill, and black pepper.
You need only add vodka or tequila to create a Bloody Mary on par with the finest brunch bistros.