Scotch & Soda: Dress Up Your Favorite Whisky

Scotch and Soda

The Spruce

Ratings (32)
  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
142 Calories
0g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Pour the scotch into a highball glass filled with ice.

  2. Top with club soda.

How Much Soda?

Adding non-carbonated water to whiskey opens up the flavor and club soda will do the same. It simply brings in a little effervescence as well to make it even more invigorating. The amount of soda you use is really up to you. Some people prefer to fill a highball glass all the way, while others opt for a rocks glass and just a splash or two of soda.

Also, if you have the option, choose a quality club soda like Fever Tree. These tend to have a cleaner profile than the average soda and are really nice complements to a decent scotch.

To further enhance your scotch and soda experience, consider using an ice ball or large cube. These will melt and dilute slower than smaller cubes. It's a simple trick that will prolong the drink's full flavor.

Choosing the Scotch

Any Scotch whisky can be used in a scotch and soda and it's a fantastic drink to use when exploring a new bottle. From blended to single malt and whiskies from the Highlands to those elegant Speysides, you cannot go wrong with any scotch you decide to pour.

The beauty of the scotch and soda is that you can easily tailor it to fit a particular whisky. If you have a great single malt like The Glenlivet 18 YO, add a splash of premium soda. When you're in the mood for a taller drink, choose an affordable blended whisky like Johnny Walker Black Label and fill the glass with soda.

This drink was made to be customized and you should feel free to adjust the ratio based on the whisky you're pouring at the moment. There is no wrong answer; the only right one is how you enjoy it.

How Strong Is the Scotch and Soda?

The scotch to soda ratio is a variable that will factor greatly into the final alcohol content of this drink. Let's do a comparison of both extremes so you have an idea of how strong your drink may be.

Assuming that your whisky is 80-proof (the bottling proof of scotch varies greatly), the scotch and soda would weigh in something like this:

  • Scotch with 1 ounce soda: 23 percent ABV (46 proof)

  • Scotch with 4 ounces soda: 12 percent ABV (24 proof)

You can see for yourself the difference a few extra ounces of soda will make. Use this to your advantage: if you want a slow sipping and flavorful drink, go with a short pour of soda and for a tall, casual drink opt for the long pour. It's wonderful to have a drink that can change with the occasion, your mood, or the whisky at hand.

More Whiskey and Soda Recipes

Adding clear soda to whiskey is a fantastic way to spritz up your favorite whiskies and the scotch and soda is not the only drink you can do this with. Try some of these other popular whiskey highballs next time you want a cool drink.

  • Whiskey and Ginger - Irish whiskey pairs perfectly with ginger and there are a number of ways to enjoy this combination. Simply choose your whiskey and top it with either ginger ale or, for an extra kick, ginger beer.

  • John Collins - A little sweet, a little sour, your favorite bourbon, and some club soda. The John Collins is a drink you need to know and the extra ingredients make a world of difference.

  • Presbyterian - The whiskey in this highball is up for grabs, so pick up the nearest bottle and pour away. The key to this soda drink is not one, but two clear sodas.