6 Best Mixers for Bourbon

Bourbon is a versatile drink you can enjoy with family and friends or just by yourself after a long day.

Barman pouring fresh alcoholic drink into the glasses with ice cubes

The alcohol is much smoother than other types of hard liquor, and it offers your taste buds hints of a caramel-like flavor and fresh vanilla.

These flavors are great on their own over some ice. However, bourbon combines well with other mixers if you’re looking for something more complex. 

The following list contains some of the best bourbon mixers to try out the next time you’re looking for something different, and don’t forget to check out our favorite bourbons as well!

Soda Water

Soda water is perfect for slightly diluting bourbon and adding a pleasing zip of carbonation, and it also helps the bourbon become a little smoother and easier to drink if you aren’t fond of drinking it on its own. 

I like that soda water doesn’t alter the taste of the bourbon, as it’s typically flavorless.

So, you can still taste the caramel and vanilla notes but with less harshness.


Ginger is a healthy and tasty root that can help with nausea, inflammation, and gas.

It also brings a delicious spiciness that pairs especially well with the flavor notes of bourbon.

It’s best served by slicing it and letting it sit in your bourbon as you drink it, but you can also enjoy ginger ale or ginger beer with your bourbon.

Bourbon and ginger both have warming effects, making them a perfect combination. 


Combining water and bourbon provides the same taste as the soda water and bourbon combination, but without carbonation.

The water dilutes the harshness and burning feeling of the bourbon while still allowing you to taste the subtle sweet notes that the alcohol provides.

Water as a bourbon mixer also helps to bring out the vanilla and caramel essence. 

Apple Cider

Adding apple cider to your bourbon can make a tasty fall-themed drink or a simple fruity cocktail to enjoy at any time.

A single apple has 19 grams of natural sugar, making apple cider one of the better sweetener choices.

It brings a strong fruity sweetness to the bourbon, essentially mellowing it out. 

Apple cider pairs well with the caramel-like notes from the bourbon, almost giving the drink a caramel apple flavor.

I like to add a bit of cinnamon and sliced apples to mine for extra flavor. Check out other delicious apple cider cocktails!


Coca-Cola by itself has a vanilla taste to it. So, naturally, it meshes well with bourbon since it has similar flavor notes.

The two beverages combine to create a refreshingly sweet and carbonated drink that most people will enjoy.

I recommend adding some lime wedges for citrus notes to help cut the sweetness slightly.


Coffee and bourbon is a great after-dinner drink that I like to enjoy with my dessert.

Vanilla and caramel mesh well with coffee, so it’s only right that bourbon does as well.

This bourbon mixer combines flavors of smooth bitterness and caramel-like sweetness to create an overall delicious drink.

I recommend using hot coffee, but you can use iced if you’d like. Check out other coffee cocktail ideas!

What’s Your Favorite Bourbon Drink?

Make a two ingredient bourbon cocktail with these mixers, or tell us your favorite way to drink bourbon in the comments!

Check out other mixers and cocktail ideas, like what to mix with Hennessy cognac or the best cinnamon spirits!

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin is an editor and food writer who loves traveling and trying new foods and fun cocktails. Erin has been writing and editing professionally for 5 years since graduating from Temple University, and has been on the Restaurant Clicks team for 3 years. She has a long background working in the restaurant industry, and is an avid home chef and baker. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.