Soda isn’t just a lazy man’s mixer—though, it does make for quick and easy cocktails. Cola, ginger and citrus sodas are integral to some of the most crowd-pleasing classic cocktails. Here, the best soda cocktails to make and order.
7 Best Cocktails to Make with Soda Pop
Ginger beer wasn’t always the beloved mixer it is today. Back in the 1940s, it took an enterprising vodka brand rep and a desperate Los Angeles bartender to pair unwanted ginger beer with vodka in a spicy-sweet cocktail that soon took off. The Mule’s popularity was bolstered by its signature copper mug, which to this day remains an integral aspect of the drink’s appeal.
The Long Island Iced Tea owes a lot to Coca-Cola, which gives the college staple its tea-like color (and flavor), and distinguishes the Long Island from its Prohibition-era progenitor, the Old Man Bishop (vodka, rum, whiskey, gin, tequila and maple syrup).
All Clear Spirits
The Cuba Libre pairs American Coca-Cola with Cuban rum, a combination that supposedly came about after a U.S. victory over Spain at the tail-end of the Spanish-American war. According to Bacardi, a thirsty American soldier looking to celebrate ordered Bacardi rum with Coca-Cola and a slice of lime. He toasted Cuba’s independence, and a cocktail was born. Whether its origin story is true or not, this multicultural mashup has firmly secured its place in the cocktail hall of fame.
The Paloma proves that soda can be the difference between a great cocktail and a national cocktail. While the Margarita may have more name recognition, the Paloma (a mix of tequila, lime juice and grapefruit soda) is the official national cocktail of Mexico.
Ginger ale’s spicy-sweet flavors can overpower a neutral spirit, but pairing the soda with smoky scotch ensures a well balanced drink. Plus, the cocktail is only slightly more difficult to throw together than a neat glass of scotch, making it appropriate for even the laziest whisky fanatic.
Recipes for a traditional British Pimm’s Cup may list lemonade among the ingredients, but British lemonade is closer to American lemon-lime soda than straight juice. The citrusy fizz elevates Pimm’s spice and fruit flavors into a light sipper perfect for springtime garden parties or anytime brunch.
Pimm’s No. 1
British Lemonade or ginger beer
fresh lemon juice
A proper Dark and Stormy is made with Gosling’s Black Seal rum—according to Gosling’s, at least, which trademarked cocktail. But regardless of which brand you opt for, the mixture of ginger, lime and dark rum is hard to screw up and even harder not to enjoy immensely.