Whip up a Whiskey & Coke, a winning libation for any time. Made with your choice of cola and bourbon, it’s all about nailing the ratio in this two-ingredient cocktail.
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Whiskey & Coke recipe
Easy, two-ingredient cocktails are the key to those nights when you want a lazy cocktail but you don’t want to get out a cocktail shaker and a bunch of ingredients.
A simple Whiskey & Coke answers that call. This simple drink is a true classic that is popular on airplanes, at night clubs and at parties.
The rich and bold taste of whiskey blends beautifully with sweet and bubbly cola. It’s a match made in cocktail heaven! The cola gives a refreshing, fizzy kick to the smooth whiskey.
Whether you like the velvety goodness of bourbon, the smoky allure of scotch, or the spicy kick of rye, there’s a whiskey out there that’ll take this classic drink to the next level. The Jack & Coke, made with Jack Daniel’s, is probably the most famous.
But whatever whiskey you use, this duo is all about the ratio and finding what you like!
Why you’ll love this recipe
There are plenty of reasons why this drink is so amazing.
- The Whiskey & Coke is a quick and easy drink with just two ingredients.
- It’s refreshing and tasty. If you like whiskey and cola, it’s a great combo to try!
- Make it your own with mix-ins and flavors.
Enjoy this cocktail all year, such as for a Kentucky Derby party, to celebrate Dad on Father’s Day or at a fall tailgate. It’s also a wonderful refreshment on a hot summer day: Sip it by the pool or on the beach.
Tools & glassware
To make Whiskey & Cokes, special equipment isn’t required.
However, a jigger will greatly help you measure out the right proportions.
When there are only two ingredients in a cocktail, that means they need to be really good! Quality ingredients will make the best version of this simple cocktail.
Most often, Whiskey & Cokes are made with bourbon. However, this two-ingredient whiskey drink can also be made with other types of whiskey.
If you have a favorite whiskey, you can use it here. I like trying different whiskeys, but my favorites for this drink are Jack Daniel’s, Old Forester, Jameson, Bulleit and Woodford Reserve.
Save the super expensive stuff for sipping after dinner and use a mid-range priced bottle. If you have some leftover, use it in some of these whiskey cocktails!
Best cola for whiskey & cokes
It’s all in the name: The Coca-Cola Company is the most popular brand for a classic Whiskey & Coke cocktail. Some people might argue the red can’s secret recipe is the only choice. After all, it has a high acidity which helps to balance this whiskey cocktail.
However, there are a lot of ways to enjoy this tasty cocktail without regular Coke, and you can call it a Whiskey & Cola instead.
- Bottled Mexican Coke is made with real cane sugar and doesn’t contain corn syrup.
- Pepsi comes from my home state of North Carolina and is slightly sweeter than Coke. Some might prefer the flavor of Pepsi instead.
- Try other cola brands besides Coke and Pepsi Boylan Sugar Cane Cola Soda is one of my favorites to pick up at a specialty shop.
- There are also craft sodas that are brewed for use in cocktails. Fentimans Curiosity Cola and Fever Tree Madagascan Cola are two that are loved.
- You could also make your own cola with a SodaStream and cola syrup. You can even make homemade cola syrup.
And it doesn’t stop there. Below, I’ve included some more options — see the Variations and Substitutions section.
Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice to impart some tart flavor that balances the sweet taste of cola. You could also add fresh lemon juice for a similar flavor.
You could also garnish it if you like. Try a lime wedge or a cocktail cherry, or both.
Variations and substitutions
If you switch up the spirit or try a flavored cola, you can end up with a whole new cocktail.
When you use different types of whiskey, it changes the flavor profile. It’s worth trying the different versions to see what you like:
- Jack & Coke: Use Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, which is different from bourbon.
- Crown & Coke: Use Crown Royal Whisky instead of bourbon.
- Irish Whiskey & Coke: Substitute Irish whiskey such as Jameson.
- Scotch & Coke: This one is popular in Europe. According to Whiskey Invest Direct, it’s usually made with J&B or Ballantine’s.
- Rye & Cola: Use a rye whiskey instead of the classic bourbon.
Or you can mix up the kind of cola you use, whether it’s another brand or simply a flavored cola.
Vanilla Whiskey & Coke: Use vanilla-flavored Coca-Cola.
Whiskey & Cherry Coke: Use cherry-flavored Coca-Cola.
Whiskey & Pepsi: Use Pepsi-Cola instead of Coca-Cola brand cola.
How to make a Whiskey & Coke
With a base of just two ingredients, the Rum & Coke is one of the easiest cocktails you can make. And it’s so good on a hot day!
- Start with a rocks glass or a tall glass, such as a highball glass or collins glass. Add lots of ice cubes.
- If you’re adding a mix-in like vanilla syrup, add it here.
- Then, add your choice of whiskey. About 2 ounces should do the trick.
- Top with your favorite fizzy cola. Let the bubbles die back, then add more to fill the glass.
- Add a wedge of lime or lemon as a garnish. Squeeze it in before taking a sip!
Tips & tricks
There are several ways to change up your Whiskey & Coke depending on your preferences:
Make it low-calorie: If you like diet soda, of course, you can use that here! I know a lot of people who like theirs with Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke, Coke Zero or Zevia Cola.
Make it non-alcoholic: You don’t have to drink plain Coke! Give it some flavor with one of the many non-alcoholic options on the market that highlight whiskey’s flavors but without the booze, such as Ritual whiskey alternative or Spiritless Kentucky 74.
Try a flavored cola: Cherry Coke and Vanilla Coke would provide additional flavor for a fun twist. You can also add your own flavoring with a flavored simple syrup.
Try another type of whiskey: You can use bourbon, scotch, rye, Canadian, Japanese or Irish whiskey.
What to serve with a Whiskey & Coke
Bar food like nuts, chicken wings and fried pickles are reliable pairings for a Whiskey & Coke.
This is also a great cocktail for cookout food, like a good burger, fried chicken or barbecue.
Make a batch of bourbon balls or chocolate bourbon pecan pie for dessert.
Yes, the whiskey and cola cocktail is an essential two-ingredient drink. It can be made with any kind of whiskey, such as Scotch, bourbon, Irish whiskey, rye or Canadian whisky.
A common choice for a Whiskey & Coke is Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, and then it’s called a Jack & Coke. When Crown Canadian Whisky is used, it’s called a Crown & Coke. If you prefer bourbon, try Old Forester or Bulleit. You could also use Scotch, such as J&B or Ballantine’s, or Irish whiskey, such as Jameson.
More soda cocktails
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Whiskey & Coke
- 2 ounces whiskey bourbon, Scotch, etc.
- 6 ounces cola
- cocktail cherry for garnish
- lime wedge for garnish
- Fill a rocks glass with ice.
- Next, add your choice of whiskey.
- Top with cola. Let the bubbles die back, then add more to fill the glass.
- Garnish with a cocktail cherry and a wedge of lime or lemon.
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