Mixers: It’s Not Just About the Alcohol

Seasoned mixologists and cocktail connoisseurs know there’s more than one component of a remarkable beverage. While there’s no denying the significance of a high-quality alcohol, we can’t forget about the ever-important cocktail mixers! Mixers provide unique flavor, color, and volume to our most-beloved drinks. It’s the glue that holds the cocktail together. So, if a phenomenal cocktail is what you’re after, don’t skimp on the following bar essentials.

Essential Mixers

mixers feature

Grenadine– Commonly found behind almost every bar, Grenadine syrup adds a touch of tart and sweetness. It’s primarily made from sugar and pomegranate juice and adds a deep red color to your Martini and Tequila Sunrise.

Sour Mix– While often used for tropical cocktails, sour mix is the perfect DIY ingredient for Whiskey Sours or Margaritas.

Simple Syrup– Consisting of just sugar and water, simple syrup is the best way to lightly sweeten cocktails.

Bitters– Sometimes a touch of bitter is all it takes. For use in Old Fashioned’s and Manhattans, you’ll find that aromatic and orange bitters are ubiquitous.

Basic Liqueurs

Amaretto– The sweet almond-flavored liqueur can be drunk by itself alone or used as an ingredient in fancy and casual cocktails. You can find it in a Godfather (Cognac) cocktail or a French Connection (Scotch).

Dry and Sweet Vermouth– This aromatized, fortified wine gives cocktails an herbal taste, and accentuates the flavors in the base liquor. Use dry or sweet vermouth for a Gin Martini, Rob Roy, or Negroni.

Orange Liqueur– Used in countless cocktails, orange liqueur is a bar necessity. And, you’ve likely heard of some common variations like Triple Sec and Grand Marnier. We recommend adding it to your Mai Tais and Margaritas.

Creme de Cacao This dessert addition is not too sweet and features a hint of vanilla. Plus, it comes in a variety of flavors, like dark and white chocolate. Prepare Chocolate Martinis, Mochatinis, or an Alexander with creme de cacao.


mixers 2

Orange– From breakfast to the beach, orange juice is a versatile and essential element to any well-stocked bar. And, the only way it could taste any better is to squeeze the juice yourself. Then, make a round of Mimosas or Screwdrivers!

Cranberry– This bar staple is also a great source of Vitamin C!  Make everything from Vodka Cranberries to Cosmopolitans and Sea Breezes (with Grapefruit and Cranberry juice).

Tomato– Bloody Mary’s, anyone?


mixers moscow muleClub Soda– It’s the original mixer for fizzy drinks with no added sugar. Prepare a cocktail as simple as a Vodka Soda or as fancy as a Tom Collins or Mojito. And, as far as healthy cocktails go, club soda is an ideal choice.

Tonic Water– Add a touch of bittersweet bubbles to either gin or vodka with this staple.

Ginger Ale & Ginger Beer– Both flavorful mixers pair well with bourbon, vodka, and blended whiskey. If you like it sweet, use ginger ale, but if you enjoy the spice use ginger beer. Like you would in a Moscow Mule.

Coca Cola– Don’t forget about this classic mixer that goes equally well with rum as it does with whiskey. One Jack and Coke, please!

Now that you know the basics, you too can become an at-home mixologist. And, for everything you need to make the perfect cocktail, stop into Festival Wine & Spirits. We also have exclusive coupons and wine tastings every month. Sign up for our Email Club to stay in the know.