Why is mixing good whiskey with cola/ginger ale frowned upon?

  • I ordered a Jameson and ginger ale at a pub the other night and my brother asked me why I wasn't ordering it neat or on the rocks, since it was "pretty good" whiskey. Right now I'm having some good Kentucky bourbon (Willet) with Reed's ginger ale. Is this "wrong"? Does it matter if the ginger ale is good?

    I know that this could be considered an opinion question by some but I'm asking if serious whiskey buffs would scoff at this or if they have done so in any specific literature. You know...collectors, bartenders, distillers, etc. What is the reasoning behind the common practice of discouraging mixing good or better whiskeys?

    In practice, Reed's is probably too strong a ginger ale to use as mixer as it might easily not only over power, but clash in flavor. That, though, is only speculation; like cos says, if it rates good to you, and you "know what you're missing", that's your right

    I have to agree with the close votes and flags on this question; it's loaded with vague/ambiguous/subjective phrases like "good", "wrong", and "serious whiskey buffs". If you can source this advice as a notable claim - as opposed to something that your brother or "whiskey buffs" said - and tighten up some of the wording so that it sounds less like a poll, then the community and/or mods might consider reopening it.

    Jameson with ginger ale is promoted by the distillery themselves. At a new pub opening recently, there were marketing offers from the pub backed by distillery on the same. https://www.jamesonwhiskey.com/in/drinks/jameson-ginger-and-lime

  • Cos Callis

    Cos Callis Correct answer

    8 years ago

    It is about the same thing as putting A-1 on prime rib. Mixers, like cola or ginger ale, tend to mask the flavors of the whiskey, something which is understandable for an 'inferior' brand but is thought of as 'taboo' for a 'fine' blend. The drink that results from mixing your fine whiskey with the mixers is (roughly) 'the same' as if you had mixed a cheaper blend, having concealed the subtleties that aging and craftsmanship have worked to create.

    That said...if you like it, it is your drink.

    I agree that the taste is probably roughly the same and I understand the taboo. Sometimes I'm just in the mood for a whiskey and ginger ale and I would rather drink better quality whiskey than cheaper stuff, which I imagine is more harmful to my health.

    When dealing with commercial whiskeys I doubt that there is any real difference in the impact to your health. However, one difference that I have experienced is that the top shelf whiskey does give less of a hangover.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM