Imperial (Whiskey) Fizz

Classic Imperial Fizz Cocktail Recipe
Jeremy Hudson/Photodisc/Getty Images
Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
206 Calories
0g Fat
20g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 206
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 13mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 4mg 22%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 42mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The fizz family of cocktails uses soda and sugar for the "fizz" feel and sound. They differ from one another by the base spirit and the occasionally added flavors. In the case of the imperial fizz, the spirit of choice is whiskey.

Also called a whiskey fizz, this easy highball is the perfect way to transform your favorite whiskey into a tall, refreshing drink for summer or anytime you want to add a little sparkle to your drinks. It is nearly identical to the popular John Collins and very similar to the classic highball, simply adding a little sweet and sour to the mix for more depth.

Traditionally, the whiskey used in this recipe has been blended. However, there are many great whiskeys available and almost any of them work great in this transparent drink. Many people prefer bourbon or rye whiskey, though scotch and Irish whiskeys are excellent options as well.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar.

  3. Shake well.

  4. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice.

  5. Fill with the soda and stir well.

  6. Serve and enjoy.


  • Superfine sugar is a finer grain version of regular granulated sugar. It's recommended because it dissolves easier in cold drinks. There's no need to hunt it down at the store; you can simply run the sugar you already have through a food processor or blender. It should take just a couple of minutes at high speed.
  • Rather than sugar, pour about 1/2 ounce of simple syrup. It's convenient because the sugar's already dissolved and it's very easy and inexpensive to make.
  • Improve the taste of this fizz by using fresh-squeezed lemon juice. The average lemon yield 1 3/4 ounces of juice, so one fruit is plenty for a single drink.

Recipe Variations

  • One common substitution often attributed to the "imperial" (rather than the whiskey) fizz is to pour sparkling wine (typically Champagne) rather than soda.
  • In fizz tradition, add an egg white to this recipe to give the drink a foamy top and luxurious mouthfeel. Be sure to shake it extra hard and longer than normal to integrate the egg into the drink.
  • Add an underlying flavor if you like. Orange liqueurs are popular additions (pour about 1 ounce). Absinthe, berry liqueurs, or even favorite whiskey pairing liqueurs can be added as well.
  • You can also make a flavored simple syrup. Cinnamon syrup is great for winter and berry syrups are fun in summer.
  • Bring in a fresh, cooling taste by muddling a few mint leaves in the shaker with the lemon juice and sugar before adding the whiskey.

How Strong Is an Imperial Fizz?

Like most highball mixed drinks, the imperial fizz is a pretty light drink. When made with the average 80-proof whiskey, its alcohol content is just 10 percent ABV (20 proof), equivalent to a glass of wine.