There are so many different kinds of whiskey available throughout the world. Finding the right bottle for mixing or drinking straight can be a challenge when you don’t know too much about whiskey. But when it comes to choosing the right whiskey for coke—a classic combination—there are a few brands that truly stand apart from the rest.
If you’re looking for the best whiskey for coke, keep on reading! We’ve got recommendations for any budget.
How to Make a Whiskey with Coke
With just two ingredients, you can make an alcoholic beverage that is smooth and requires little to no embellishment. You can always personalize this recipe to suit your preferences:
- Fill a Collins or highball glass with ice.
- Pour in 1 part whiskey (or bourbon).
- Top with 5 parts soda.
- Gently stir with a swizzle stick.
- Optional: Garnish the glass with a lime or lemon wedge, slice, or twist.
Now, you can always use whiskey, scotch, or bourbon for this mixture. And you don’t have to strictly aim for 1 part liquor and 5 parts mixer. If you want it stronger, adjust the measurements. Also, while Coca-Cola is the standard “coke” used in a whiskey and coke, you can use Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, or any flavored Cola or Pepsi variation.
Best Whiskey To Mix With Coke
When you’re looking for the perfect whiskey and coke, you don’t want to purchase the most premium, top-shelf stuff. A lot of the characteristics that come alive when you drink whiskey on the rocks will be smothered by the sweetness of the soda. That well-aged whiskey you love is best kept for drinking alone.
That said, you don’t want to get cheap house whiskey either. Young, cheap whiskey is going to be either too hot or too boozy, and it won’t be pleasant. Yes, the coke will neutralize some of the less appetizing qualities, but you want to actually enjoy what you’re drinking, right?
So with that said, here are some mid-grade whiskeys with enough character to round out the cola and create the ideal whiskey and coke:
1. Maker’s Mark
Ah, yes, Maker’s Mark. A treat if there ever was one. Maker’s Mark is a Kentucky-style bourbon that is distilled at a lower proof, giving it a rich flavor without the alcoholic fire. Since this whiskey is so smooth and delectable, it’s a fantastic partner for Coca-Cola. You get notes of oak, hazelnut, rye, and barely malt melding with the sugary goodness of the soda. What more can you ask for?
2. Jack Daniels
Another classic combination. Jack Daniels whiskey and coke is always a winner, since the two liquids have something in common: vanilla. Jack Daniels also brings to the table some smoke that jazzes up the cola. The end result is a silky smooth cocktail that is fizzy yet undeniably whiskey. Another plus? Jack Daniels blends well with lemonade or can be used in Manhattans or Old-Fashioned. Talk about being a jack-of-all-trades (pun intended).
3. Crown Royal
Who knew Canadian whiskey mixed so well with coke? Well, it does. You get smoke and oak notes as well as the quintessential maple syrup flavor on your tongue. When the flavors of coke come together with the sweetness of Crown Royal—and we’re talking any flavor of Crown Royal—you get a heavenly combination that is both a dessert and a main course.
4. Jim Beam
If you want one of the best whiskeys for coke, you’ve found it. Jim Beam is repeatedly lauded for having a budget-friendly price but a high-end flavor. The sweet and sour notes of Jim Beam come from the corn mash, fermentation in oak barrels, and a touch of vanilla. Next time you’re out, ask for a Jim Bean and coke. You’re going to love it.
5. Wild Turkey
Caramel, cinnamon, and wood round out the flavor of Wild Turkey Kentucky bourbon. Partnered with coke, the delicious aroma and flavor is doubled, and you get a drink that is enhanced rather than toned down. This is a great mix to have while you’re out with friends or when you want something a little stronger after a long day at work.
6. Johnnie Walker Red Label
Available worldwide and well-known for its indulgent flavors, Johnnie Walker whiskeys have always been a favorite. The Red Label is designed for mixing, which means you can add it to nearly anything that pairs well with whiskey, including coke. The best part about Johnnie Walker Red Label is the reasonable price! But that doesn’t mean you won’t love the flavor, either.
Here we have a Scottish single malt whiskey that is slightly more expensive that the others on this list. However, there is something amazing about this whiskey that makes it an incredible pairing with coke. Laphroaig is smokey and strong, and it brings forth new layers to a traditional alcoholic pairing.
8. Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey
Bulleit is a kick in the teeth with its peppery rye flavors, cinnamon aftertaste, and overall ruggedness. It’s the kind of whiskey cowboys would drink from a hip flask, but it’s also idea for cocktails. You’ll find that spices of this whiskey truly play nice with the vanilla subtleties of coke. And with 5% ABV, it’s boozy enough to remind you what you’re drinking. Bulleit Bourbon is available in both the US and UK.
Ready to whip up some awesome whiskey and coke drinks for yourself and friends? Now that you know which whiskeys are the best (or at least which characteristics to seek out) you shouldn’t have any problems. Remember, you can go for whatever kind of whiskey suits your preferences and play around. Who knows, you might end up with an entirely new flavor combination!
The best whiskey for coke depends largely on your personal tastes, but the ideal choice is one that is mid-grade (not too expensive) and also not considered a house liquor at bars. You want something with just enough age to not be too caustic, but also not so aged that the finer notes get drowned out by the cola. Good examples include Maker’s Mark, Crown Royal, Jim Beam, and Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey.
Yes, you can make a bourbon and coke instead of a regular whiskey and coke. Look for a bourbon that has a strong flavor that won’t be diluted by the sweetness of the soda. However, you also don’t want to waste top-shelf bourbon either, as it will be overpowered and lost. Choose a smoky mid-tier bourbon to get the best bourbon and coke around.
Yes! Whiskey and coke are an iconic duo. The flavors of whiskey with coke blend extremely well together, and it goes down easy. Whiskey and coke might just be the ultimate love story!