A good mixer can add a level of depth and complexity to any drink, be it alcoholic or non alcoholic. There are a large variety of mixers and the growth of the non alcoholic category has in turn increased the popularity of more innovative mixers.

While typical mixers such as Coca Cola, Lemonade and Tonic Water are excellent options, they are not the most exciting (just by themselves), and you might be missing out of enhancing your non alcoholic drinks with new flavours and sensations.

From our reviews of Spirit and Aperitif drinks, it is clear that to help strengthen the flavour and depth – a great mixer is paramount. Many of these drinks rely heavy on the carbonation and slight bitterness found in tonic waters or sweetness from a sparkling wine.

We take a look at the different type of mixers, and what you should consider stocking in your drinks cabinet or home mini-bar.

Seltzers, Sparkling, Tonics & Sodas:

To get the more common mixers out of the way, soda, seltzer, sparkling and tonic water are different types of soft drinks.

Club soda is artificially infused with carbon and mineral salts. Similarly, seltzer is artificially carbonated but generally does not contain any added minerals. Sparkling mineral water, on the other hand, is naturally carbonated from a spring or well. Tonic water is also carbonated, but it contains quinine and added sugar, which means it contains calories.

Bitters:

Bitters are made by infusing a neutral spirit with any number of aromatics, these can include spices, tree bark, roots, seeds and fruits.

Due to the massive variety of spirits, and the growing number of people wanting to recreate exotic holiday experiences, innovative new flavor profiles for bitter mixers are being developed. Which is how you can get everything from more traditional grapefruit bitters to things like Cumin Bitters, Mexican Mole Bitters and Memphis Barbecue Bitters.

Fresh Fruit:

A fresh piece of fruit can be a multifunctional mixer and is always going to be a better option than anything from a carton or a can. For example, a lemon, cut a slice to serve as a garnish, use the peel to infuse some flavor or add the squeezed juices to impart a new level of bitter complexity to your cocktail.

Syrups:

Simple syrup is a common term used by bartenders and mixologists, it allows you to sweeten a cocktail to balance sourness or bitterness.

Simple Syrup, also known as “sugar syrup,” is a syrup made from dissolving white granulated sugar into an equal amount of water. Very simple.

Simple Syrup is by far the most common sweetener used by bartenders for cocktails and mocktails. Reason being when drinks are cold, it takes longer for sugar to dissolve into them. Creating a sugar syrup in advance means there’s no risk of sugar granules left in your drink when served.

Mixed Results

All in all, there are no limits to what you can add to your drink, it comes down to personal taste. However, there is a skill to getting the balance of mixers just right and there will most likely be some trial and error in getting there if you are looking to create your own unique mixes.