It’s no secret that cocktail enthusiasts can be particular — shaking a Negroni instead of stirring it is seen as a crime so grave you’d be forbidden from ever setting foot in a bar again. And while we’re very much in favor of learning how to make a well-balanced, perfectly poured cocktail that rivals what you can get at your local speakeasy, sometimes you want to be able to quickly and conveniently make your favorite cocktail.
Whether you’re trying to unwind at home or you’re hosting a large party, pre-made cocktail mixers are one of the easiest ways to make a genuinely tasty cocktail in a flash. Instead of measuring, stirring and straining four or five ingredients, a non-alcoholic cocktail mixer allows you to simply add your preferred tipple and ice. But before you turn your nose up at the idea, it’s worth noting that cocktail mixers have come a long way since your college days.
The craft cocktail movement turned the Old Fashioned from old fashioned in a bad way to old fashioned in a good way, and cocktail mixers were quietly growing up at the same time. Instead of being a sickly-sweet liquid coming in a 72-oz plastic jug, you can now find cocktail mixers that are produced with as much thought as actual bottles of booze.
The options below use natural and organic ingredients to replicate classics like the Margarita and Old Fashioned, in addition to offering flavorful twists on drinks like the Moscow Mule. Whether you’re a whiskey, gin, rum or vodka drinker, there’s an option on this list for you.
Take a look at our best cocktail drink mixers below. Cheers!
1. Strongwater Old Fashioned Cocktail Syrup
When it comes to an Old Fashioned, most of the heavy lifting is done by the bourbon. But the other ingredients go a long way, even though you’re just using a small quantity. The same is true of Strongwater’s bottle of Old Fashioned Cocktail Syrup. Even though it’s only 8 oz, you’ll only need to use a little at a time — the recipe calls for 2 oz of bourbon for every 1/4 oz of mix. It’s crafted with premium, organic ingredients like tart cherries, demerara syrup, bitter herbs and fresh orange peel. It’s non-GMO, vegan and organic, and it comes in a stylish, giftable glass bottle.
Pros: Organic, non-GMO ingredients. Closely replicates the taste of a classic Old Fashioned.
Cons: Some may find it too syrupy.
2. Hella Cocktail Co. Rosemary Collins Premium Cocktail Mixers
By combining premium ingredients and clever branding, Hella Cocktail Co. has become a stand-out in the premade mixer market. They offer a variety of cocktails mixers ranging from classics like Moscow Mules and Old Fashioneds to unique twists like Habanero Margaritas. The Bloody Mary is a cocktail classic that’s great at any time of year, and being able to whip one up without the hard work is a welcome treat. Three 25 oz bottles are included, and it’s designed to be combined with vodka or other more experimental spirits.
Pros: Stylish glass bottle. A pre-mixed concoction that delivers just the right amount of spice and punch without being overwhelming.
Cons: Some varieties are harder to find in stock.
3. Jordan's Skinny Mixes
Indulging one bad habit doesn’t have to mean indulging all of your bad habits. This set of mixers have no sugar and are keto-friendly and GMO-free. If your preference leans toward sweeter and fruitier cocktails, then this is a good set to get. Six, 32 oz bottles are included, and the flavors are Strawberry Key Lime Margarita, Margarita, Blood Orange Margarita, Mojito, Cosmopolitan and Peach Bellini.
Pros: Good option for those who like fruitier cocktails. Six bottles are included.
Cons: Some may not like the sugar-substitute, sucralose.
4. Eli Mason Old Fashioned Cocktail Mixer
This bottle from Eli Mason is a great option if you’re an Old Fashioned enthusiast looking for an easy way to mix up this classic cocktail. The stylish throwback branding and hot sauce shaped bottle make it a good gift, as well. It’s made using natural ingredients that hew closely to classic Old Fashioned ingredients, such as genuine cane sugar and a unique blend of bitters. Eli Mason also produces mixes for Mint Juleps, plus traditional mixing syrups.
Pros: Uses real cane sugar and a flavorful blend of bitters to deliver a classic Old Fashioned flavor. Made in Tennessee.
Cons: Somewhat expensive.
5. Thoughtfully Gifts Mule Party Cocktail Mixers
The Moscow Mule is one of those happy accidents of a cocktail — invented in Los Angeles at a bar that simply had a surplus of vodka and ginger beer. If you like the Mule and you want to try one (or seven) unique twists on the drink, then this thoughtful bundle is the way to go. There are seven, 2.3 oz bottles. They included the classic Moscow mule, plus Tropical, Mexican, Tangerine, Irish, Berry and Pineapple mixes. They come in a giftable box that would make for a great gift for any occasion.
Pros: Unique mix of variants on the Moscow Mule, including flavors like Mexican Mule and Berry Mule.
Cons: Somewhat expensive considering the small sizes of the bottles.