BENGALURU: With the plethora of mixers available - like soda/sparkling water, ice, water, tonic water, soft beverages and juices - it’s nice to know what goes well with what. Of course you are the best judge of what you like or what tickles your taste buds, but here are some pointers to get started with experimenting. Whisky is usually preferred on ice (on the rocks), or one can add a bit of still or sparkling water or soda if preferred. In case of soda, it’s best to chill the soda first, and the best Highballs are made with super-chilled sodas or sparkling water. White spirits like vodka, gin and white rum go well with fruit juices.
While picking up fruit juices for the white spirits, it is best to go with fresh juices. If one has to go with a canned juice, one must check if its within the expiry date, and the can is not swollen or puffed. Again, the combination of juices and spirits work best when the juices are chilled. For weight watchers and those who are calorie conscious, just a squeeze of lime and carbonated water works well with spirits, and sugary colas and lemonades can be avoided (though low-cal colas are also an option).
While the classic gin and tonic (G and T) is becoming increasingly popular these days, it’s a little-known fact that tonic water was basically quinine meant as an anti-malaria precaution in the days of yore in tropical British colonies. It was mixed with gin to make it more palatable and more readily consumed, and that has since become the refreshing classic that is trending today. From locally-manufactured to imported bottled tonics and tonic concentrates, the market has a multitude of options.
You could pair your gin, vodka or white rums with your choice of flavour. Another exotic mixer is, of course, bitters, of which a wide variety is available in the market, and adding it to your cocktails or drinks enhances the flavour and adds a different dimension. One must be careful not to use more than a drop or two of aromatic bitters because that’s all that’s needed, and more could be overpowering. (The author is the resident mixologist and beverage manager at URU Brewpark)