Whiskey Ginger Cocktail Drink

Whiskey Ginger

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
A shot of Andrea Ottaiano looking to the camera and offering a cocktail glass.
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano
In the spirit of timeless cocktails, our Whiskey Ginger recipe stands out! Few ingredients and easy steps make this drink a go-to for any occasion.

Whiskey Ginger Recipe

Brighten up your day with this smooth Whiskey Ginger recipe! Made with the perfect balance of whiskey and bubbly ginger ale, it's a surefire hit for any occasion.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

180 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Whiskey
  • 4 oz ginger ale, to top off
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wedge, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball or Collins Glass
  • Measuring Jigger

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Whiskey: Pour 2 oz Whiskey over the ice.
  • Top with Ginger Ale: Fill the rest of the glass with 4 oz ginger ale, leaving about an inch from the top.
  • Garnish: Squeeze a lime wedge into the glass and drop it in for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Whiskey: I often switch between different types of whiskey depending on my mood. Bourbon gives a sweeter profile, while rye adds a bit of spice. If you're looking for a smoother profile, Canadian or light Irish whiskey might be your best bet. Dark rum can be a surprising but delicious substitute if you're out of whiskey.
  • Ginger Ale: If you're out of ginger ale, ginger beer offers a spicier, more robust flavor. Club soda with a splash of fresh ginger juice and a simple syrup can also mimic the ginger ale profile.

Making a Pitcher of Whiskey Ginger:

  • Scale: To prepare a pitcher serving 8, multiply the whiskey by 8, which is 16 oz. Have an entire 2-liter bottle of ginger ale, though you may not use it all.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the whiskey and ginger ale. Stir gently to mix.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled glasses, garnish with a lime wedge, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Whiskey Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic whiskey substitute; many emerging brands mimic whiskey's smoky and rich flavors without the alcohol.
  • Proceed As Usual: Replace the regular whiskey with the non-alcoholic version and follow the original steps to enjoy a non-alcoholic Whiskey Ginger.

Making it Vegan:

Most Whiskey Ginger ingredients are naturally vegan. However, some ginger ales might use non-vegan ingredients or processes. Always check the label or brand's website to ensure your ginger ale is vegan. If in doubt, opt for a trusted vegan-certified brand.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
180
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
8
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
10
g
3
%
Sugar
 
10
g
11
%
Potassium
 
2
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
3
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.2
mg
1
%

 

Whiskey Ginger Cocktail Drink

Whiskey Ginger Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Brighten up your day with this smooth Whiskey Ginger recipe! Made with the perfect balance of whiskey and bubbly ginger ale, it's a surefire hit for any occasion.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 180

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Whiskey
  • 4 oz ginger ale - to top off
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wedge - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball or Collins Glass
  • Measuring Jigger

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Whiskey: Pour 2 oz Whiskey over the ice.
  • Top with Ginger Ale: Fill the rest of the glass with 4 oz ginger ale, leaving about an inch from the top.
  • Garnish: Squeeze a lime wedge into the glass and drop it in for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Whiskey: I often switch between different types of whiskey depending on my mood. Bourbon gives a sweeter profile, while rye adds a bit of spice. If you're looking for a smoother profile, Canadian or light Irish whiskey might be your best bet. Dark rum can be a surprising but delicious substitute if you're out of whiskey.
  • Ginger Ale: If you're out of ginger ale, ginger beer offers a spicier, more robust flavor. Club soda with a splash of fresh ginger juice and a simple syrup can also mimic the ginger ale profile.

Making a Pitcher of Whiskey Ginger:

  • Scale: To prepare a pitcher serving 8, multiply the whiskey by 8, which is 16 oz. Have an entire 2-liter bottle of ginger ale, though you may not use it all.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the whiskey and ginger ale. Stir gently to mix.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled glasses, garnish with a lime wedge, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Whiskey Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic whiskey substitute; many emerging brands mimic whiskey's smoky and rich flavors without the alcohol.
  • Proceed As Usual: Replace the regular whiskey with the non-alcoholic version and follow the original steps to enjoy a non-alcoholic Whiskey Ginger.

Making it Vegan:

Most Whiskey Ginger ingredients are naturally vegan. However, some ginger ales might use non-vegan ingredients or processes. Always check the label or brand's website to ensure your ginger ale is vegan. If in doubt, opt for a trusted vegan-certified brand.

What is a Whiskey Ginger?

Whiskey Ginger is a cocktail that combines whiskey with ginger ale. Many appreciate its clear-cut flavors, as the richness of the whiskey contrasts pleasantly with the sweet and bubbly ginger ale. Some fans add a squeeze of lime, which lends a slight tang to the mix. Originating from the simple concept of pairing spirit with soda, the Whiskey Ginger is a testament to the idea that sometimes less truly is more. You won’t need to dive deep into cocktail lore to understand its appeal; its popularity speaks for itself.

A side shot of a Whiskey Ginger cocktail in a highball glass on a black stone coaster on a green cloth surrounded by a lime wedge, a jigger, a shaker, and a plant, in front of a blue wall.

What is a Whiskey Ginger made of – The ingredients

Start your Whiskey Ginger creation with the following ingredients at hand:

  • Whiskey: The primary spirit in the drink, it adds warmth and depth with its rich, oaky flavors.
  • Ginger Ale: A carbonated soft drink, it provides sweetness, bubbles, and a ginger kick to complement the whiskey.
  • Lime Wedge (optional): When squeezed into the drink, it offers a citrusy tang that can enhance the overall taste.

Whiskey, and ginger ale laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make a Whiskey Ginger?

Create your own delicious Whiskey Ginger by following our guide:

  1. Start by filling a highball or Collins glass with ice cubes to chill the drink and maintain its temperature.Highball glass filled with ice cubes
  2. Pour your desired amount of whiskey over the ice, typically around 2 oz for a standard serving.Whiskey poured into highball glass with jigger
  3. Top off the glass with ginger ale, ensuring you leave a bit of room near the top to prevent spilling.Ginger ale poured into highball glass
  4. If desired, squeeze a lime wedge into the drink to introduce a hint of citrusy brightness.Lime wedge squeezed over the highball glass and added as garnish
  5. Drop the squeezed lime wedge into the glass as an optional garnish and an indicator of the drink’s flavor profile.Completed Whiskey Ginger cocktail in highball glass

Whiskey Ginger Variations

Want a drink with a similar flavor profile? While perhaps not direct variations on the original, we recommend one of these cocktails:

  • Irish Buck: Irish whiskey and ginger ale come together in this drink, often garnished with a lime wedge for a zesty touch. The smoothness of Irish whiskey perfectly balances the ginger’s warmth, a combination I find particularly harmonious.
  • Kentucky Mule: Bourbon meets ginger beer in this mix, traditionally served in a copper mug. The rich, oaky flavors of bourbon blend seamlessly with the spicy ginger beer. I especially enjoy how the copper mug keeps the drink refreshingly cold.
  • Jameson and Ginger: Jameson Irish Whiskey and ginger ale create this simple yet enjoyable blend. The triple-distilled smoothness of Jameson complements the ginger ale’s sweetness for an easy-drinking experience.
  • Horse’s Neck: Combining whiskey, usually bourbon or rye, with ginger ale, this drink is known for its long, spiraling lemon peel garnish. The lemon peel brings a bright, citrusy aroma that enhances the drink.
  • Penicillin: A complex mix of Scotch whisky, lemon juice, honey-ginger syrup, and a splash of smoky Islay Scotch. The sweet and spicy honey-ginger syrup balances the smoky Scotch, adding a unique, peaty layer.
  • Lynchburg Lemonade: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, lemonade, and triple sec make up this drink, topped with a splash of soda. The lemonade and triple sec add a sweet, citrusy complement to the smooth whiskey.
  • Black and Ginger: Featuring Black Bush, an Irish whiskey with rich, fruity notes, mixed with ginger ale. The sherry cask aging of the whiskey imparts a distinctive sweetness that pairs well with the spicy ginger ale.
  • Ginger Highball: A high-quality whiskey and ginger ale blend, served over ice in a highball glass. The glass allows for plenty of ice, ensuring the drink stays cool and slightly diluted for a smoother flavor.
  • Southern Buck: This drink mixes bourbon or Southern whiskey with ginger beer and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice. The added citrus juice brings a refreshing tang, making it a great choice for warm days.
A Whiskey Ginger cocktail, shot from above, in a highball glass on a black stone coaster placed on a green cloth on a white table with two lime wedges and a bar spoon around.

History and Origin of the Whiskey Ginger

Whiskey Ginger, also commonly known as the “Ginger Highball,” is intertwined with the history of highballs and the rise of carbonated beverages.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the highball style of drink, which typically involves a spirit topped with a more significant portion of a non-alcoholic mixer, started gaining popularity in the US and the UK. As rail travel became more common during this period, “highball signal” was used for trains moving at full speed. Similarly, the highball drink was something bartenders could prepare at full speed, making it a favorite among busy establishments.

As for the Whiskey Ginger specifically, its conception can be attributed to the widespread commercial availability of ginger ale. Ginger ale began its journey in Ireland and then went to the US in the second half of the 19th century. As ginger ale’s popularity surged, especially in North America, bartenders and drinkers alike began pairing it with the readily available spirit: whiskey. The pairing was harmonious, with the spicy ginger ale kick complementing the warm whiskey notes.

FAQs

  1. How many calories does a typical Whiskey Ginger contain? A standard serving has approximately 150-200 calories, depending on the specific whiskey and ginger ale brands.
  2. How strong is a Whiskey Ginger in terms of alcohol content? The strength largely depends on the whiskey’s ABV. If using an 80-proof whiskey (40% ABV), and you have a standard pour (2 oz) mixed with ginger ale, the drink’s alcohol content will be around 10-15% ABV.
  3. What type of alcohol is used in a Whiskey Ginger? As the name suggests, whiskey is the primary alcohol in a Whiskey Ginger.
  4. In which type of glass is a Whiskey Ginger typically served? The cocktail is usually served in a highball or Collins glass.
  5. What does a Whiskey Ginger taste like? The drink offers a harmonious blend of the whiskey’s warmth and depth with ginger ale’s sweet and effervescent kick.
  6. What’s the typical whiskey-to-ginger ale ratio in a Whiskey Ginger? A common ratio is 1:2 or 1:3, meaning one part whiskey to two or three parts ginger ale.
  7. How is the Whiskey Ginger typically served in terms of ice? Whiskey Ginger is commonly served over ice, ensuring a chilled and refreshing experience.
  8. Is the Whiskey Ginger a classic or modern cocktail? Whiskey Ginger is considered a classic cocktail, with its roots in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  9. Can I use any type of whiskey for a Whiskey Ginger? Yes, but the drink’s flavor profile might change depending on the whiskey type, whether bourbon, rye, scotch or another variety.
  10. Is there a difference between using ginger ale and ginger beer in the mix? Ginger beer is spicier and less sweet than ginger ale, leading to a more robust and spicy drink.

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