Why Cream Soda Is The Perfect Mixer For Bourbon Lovers

bottle of whiskey and mug of cream soda
bottle of whiskey and mug of cream soda - Static Media / Shutterstock

Bourbon lovers are a growing breed, and it's unsurprising, given how excellent this American whiskey is. Each part of the process of making this spirit, from fermentation to chill filtration, is an important factor that impacts how bourbon tastes. But considering bourbon's nine common tasting notes and all of its complex and rich flavors, it becomes crucial to use the perfect mixer to make cocktails with the spirit, especially for bourbon lovers.

According to Tasting Table writer Chesney McDonald, a qualified wine, spirits, and beer connoisseur, and other experts we consulted, that perfect ingredient is one of the 12 best mixers for your bourbon, and it's none other than the very accessible cream soda. Cream soda's sugary flavor perfectly complements the sweet notes in bourbon. Cream soda is also bubbly and has strong notes of vanilla, which is one of the common tasting notes of bourbon. Additionally, vanilla goes beautifully with caramel, another common flavor note in bourbon.

To make bourbon, distillers must age the spirit in new, charred oak barrels. From these barrels, the bourbon develops all the caramel flavors. McDonald noted how you might also taste "hints of butterscotch" or "slight sassafrass" when you mix cream soda with bourbon. With its pleasant fizziness and all these candy-like flavors at play, a bourbon cocktail crafted with cream soda can remind you of a delicious ice cream float.

Read more: The 27 Best Bourbon Brands, Ranked

Sweet Cream Soda Balances Bourbon's Rich And Full Mouthfeel

Closeup of a whiskey soda cocktail
Closeup of a whiskey soda cocktail - Nikita M production/Shutterstock

Another reason that cream soda is the perfect mixer for bourbon is that it is super sweet and refreshing, and sweet is often not a descriptor for bourbon, which is usually described as rich and strong in flavor. Opposites attract -- and opposite flavors balance each other out, especially in a cocktail. Even the lowest-proof bourbons are bottled at 80 proof, or 40% alcohol by volume (ABV), so it's one of the stronger and warmer spirits out there.

Non-chill-filtered bourbon, meanwhile, has a rich and full mouthfeel, and cream soda's sweetness can remind one of a delightful pastry when mixed with this thick, earthy bourbon. Using cream soda as a mixer for bourbon is straightforward. Chesney McDonald recommends pouring a ratio of 1:1 to 1:4 bourbon to cream soda and being generous with the ice. Note that bourbon is not the only unexpected liquor you should pair with cream soda.

This sweet carbonated beverage is also the perfect mixer for spiced rum. If you need a recommendation for the best cream soda brand, we've ranked 16 craft soda brands from worst to best. And if you need a recommendation for bourbon, we've also got you covered with our list of the 27 best bourbon brands, ranked.

Read the original article on Tasting Table