We are not used to mixing things up, we like the mundane routine of life, waking up at 5 a.m, going to work till 5 p.m, going home, relax, sleep and repeat the same routine for the next five days of the week. On the weekends, we get to indulge ourselves a little; engage in a hobby, visit friends, have a beer, a whisky on the rocks/neat, gin and tonic, or a glass of wine. When we are asked/required to live outside our routine, we find it quite challenging and most of us give up fairly quickly.
What if I told you the only way to grow, to experience, and live a colorful life is to live outside our normal routine, too hard, Yes? Let us forget about that for a moment. What if I told you that; you can enjoy your drinks better by just adding one extra ingredient to your drink, that is simple enough, ain’t it? Yes, it is… Here is where mixers come in.
What is a mixer(s)? Mixers are the non-alcoholic ingredients in alcoholic drinks and cocktails. Mixers dilute the drink, lowering the alcohol by volume in the drink. They change, enhance, or add new flavors to a drink. They may make the drink sweeter, sourer, or more savory. Some mixers change the texture or consistency of the drink, making it thicker, like blended pineapple juice, or more watery. Mixers may also be used just for decorative purposes by changing the color or appearance of the drink. They also simply increase the volume of a drink, to make it last longer😉.
If you are looking for the best water to pair with your spirit, the idlest choice would be to go with the water from which the spirit is made, this especially applies to whiskies and bourbons. However, we do not want to be snotty, so a few drops of tap or bottled water would still do. Adding ice cubes to your drink is however the best way to add water to your drink. Big ice cubes will dilute your whiskey at a healthy pace as opposed to waterlogging it immediately with water.
Sparkling water, or popularly known as soda water is plain water with carbonation added to it. It doesn’t contain any acids or added sweeteners to it. Club soda is carbonated water with something added to it that gives it a slightly salty taste. These could be actual table salt, potassium, sodium bicarbonate, or bicarbonate.
You can use sparkling water to make fizzy/bubbly drinks. Use the carbonated water in place of say lemon-lime soda, juice, or lemonade.
Tonic water is a carbonated soft drink in which quinine (extracted from cinchona bark) is dissolved. Mostly known for its distinctive bitter flavor, it is often enhanced by citrus flavours, while some tonics are sweetened.
Increased demand has led to variations on the tonic i.e. flavoured tonics and diet tonics.
Tonic is vastly known to mix well with gin. Gin and tonic have been around for ages and it has become a common language to mix your gin with tonic. The bitterness in tonic compliments the notes in gin, amplifying its flavours.
Tonic is also known to mix well with vodka. Commonly known as vodka tonic, the common recipe is one part vodka and one part tonic, some ice, and a wedge of lemon.
Soda has been known as a good mixer for most if not all spirits.
Cola, popularly known to us as coca-cola is widely used as a whiskey mixer, especially when it comes to Jack Daniels. This drink is a culmination of sugary coke and bitter whisky, a perfect mixer after a hectic day.
Most of us use sprite for nausea. But, did you know it makes for a really good mixer too? Its lemon-lime flavor and bubbly texture allows it to complement literally any drink without overpowering the other flavors in your mixer.
Soda water is basically water charged with carbon dioxide. In appearance, this may appear to be just regular, unflavoured water with added bubbles, but when used as a mixer, it lends more complexity and depth to certain mixed drinks. The effervescence of soda water allows spirits with brighter notes to really pop. Generally, soda water is used as a mixer with clearer spirits but also performs well when paired with dark spirits, like whisky i.e. a Scotch & soda. It however pairs really well with Tequila.
Turning juice into any alcoholic beverage is quite easy. The most popular fruits used are orange, grapefruit, cranberry, coconut cream, lime juice, and lemon juice, and pineapple. Pineapple is generally the thickest of all fruit juices and the best option for masking the taste of alcohol mixed with it (mostly vodka).
Grapefruit Juice pairs better with gin than vodka. It also works well with rum and tequila
Cranberry juice pairs well with vodka, and liqueurs
Orange juice pairs well with gin, vodka, and rum, freshly-squeezed adds a layer of texture and flavor.
Lime juice can be freshly squeezed or bottled as lemonade ( made using lemon juice, water and sugar to make it tasty). It works well with gin, because of its sour taste, rum, tequila and vodka.
The key ingredient in syrup is sugar, this sweetens any drink into which it is mixed. Sometimes, other flavors are added to sugar syrup.
Simple syrup consists primarily of a solution of sugar in water, containing a large amount of dissolved sugars. Its consistency is similar to that of molasses. A simple way for making syrups is by dissolving sugar in water.
Sour mix is a mixer that is yellow-green in color and is used in mixers and cocktails. It is made from approximately equal parts lemon juice and simple syrup and shaken vigorously with ice. The product is a pearly-white liquid with a pronounced flavor.
Sometimes, egg whites are added to make the liquid slightly foamy.
Sour mix can be mixed with to make a sour drink; the most common are vodka sour and whiskey sour.
Grenadine is a deep red non-alcoholic bar syrup, characterized by a flavor that is both sour and sweet. It is popular as an ingredient in cocktails, both for its flavor and to give a reddish or pink tint to mixed drinks, and is traditionally made from pomegranate.
A mixer here, a cocktail there makes life colourful, memorable, more exciting. There really is not just one way to take your drink; neat, on the rocks, as a mixer, or cocktail. Experiment. Mix this and mix that until you find your signature drink. I am yet to do this, so you and I have a journey to embark on.
We at Jays Wines are here to make your world neat, on the rocks, or colourful. Shop with us for any needed drinks, and they shall be delivered to you at your doorstep by our diligent riders.
Jays Wines is the No. 1 place to buy drinks online in Nairobi. We have fast delivery within Nairobi CBD and its environment. Get free delivery for orders above KSh 3,000/-.
By Roseline Maina: Digital Marketer