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The Whiskey Ginger is an easy cocktail that’s so refreshing! Whiskey and ginger ale is a classic combination: use any type you have on hand.

Whiskey Ginger
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Here’s a classic combination that makes one of the easiest cocktails…ever. The Whiskey Ginger! Whiskey and ginger ale are the perfect pair: the spicy notes of the liquor meld into the subtle sweet and bubbly notes of the ale. Add a squeeze of lime and a big ice cube, and you’re in business! We’re big fans of ginger ale cocktails and ginger beer cocktails around here. You can make this one with either, but it’s typically made with ale. Here’s what you need to know about how to mix it up!

What’s a Whiskey Ginger?

The Whiskey Ginger is another name for mixing whiskey and ginger ale. It’s essentially the same as a Whiskey Highball, a classic cocktail born in the early 1900’s. A highball cocktail is a family of drinks that combine alcohol with a larger percentage of non-alcoholic mixer, like the gin and tonic or vodka soda. The whiskey highball initially combined Scotch with soda water, called “scotch and soda.” It’s often served with soda water, but ginger ale is a common substitute. The ingredients you’ll need for a Whiskey Ginger are:

  • Whiskey: often it’s made with rye, but you can use bourbon, Irish whiskey or Scotch
  • Ginger ale
  • Lime or lemon wedge, for garnish
Whiskey and ginger ale

Why pair whiskey and ginger ale?

Whiskey and ginger ale are a classic pairing, because they compliment each other beautifully! The whiskey brings in spicy and oaky notes, and ale is perfect to offset it: it’s subtly sweet and bubbly. The two together make a stellar combo, similar to the combination in a Whiskey and Coke.

Can you use ginger beer in a Whiskey Ginger?

Can you pair whiskey and ginger beer? Absolutely, though it has a much different flavor profile! Using ginger beer makes it essentially a Kentucky Mule or Irish Mule, which add lime juice. Head over for those recipes!

What’s the difference of ginger beer vs ginger ale? Ginger beer has a very strong, spicy ginger flavor and big bubbles, whereas ginger ale is more subtle and sweet with less carbonation. Ginger beer competes with the flavor of the liquor, whereas ginger ale complements it. You get two very different drinks!

Whiskey ginger

The best whiskey for a Whiskey Ginger

You can use any type of whiskey in your Whiskey Ginger: you’ll get a different drink with each variety! Here are the major types of whiskey and how the flavors change the drink, listed in order of our preference:

  • Rye: The most common choice for a Whiskey Ginger! The spicy and peppery notes of rye are a good complement to the subtle sweetness of ginger ale.
  • Bourbon: Bourbon has a sweeter flavor than other styles of whiskey, with notes of vanilla, oak and caramel.
  • Irish: Irish whiskey is a great choice! It’s light and fruity, with a subtle floral scent and hints of nutty and vanilla tones.
  • Scotch: Scotch also works! Blended Scotch is malty and buttery, with a spicy finish. Single malt Scotch tastes oaky and woody, with signature peaty and smoky notes. You could also use a good Japanese whisky as well.

More great whiskey mixers? Go to What to Mix with Whiskey.

Top brands of ginger ale

There are several types of ginger ale brands on the market. Here’s what we like:

  • Q Ginger Ale: This is our top choice! We like that it comes in small cans so you only have to use a little at a time. It’s also our top brand of ginger beer.
  • Fever Tree Ginger Ale: Fever Tree is made with real ginger and has no artificial sweeteners.
  • More Ginger Ale Brands: Here’s a list of more top brands.

More ginger ale cocktails

There are lots of ways to mix ginger ale into tasty drinks! Here are some of favorites to try:

Whiskey ginger

When to serve a Whiskey Ginger

This cocktail is bubbly and light: a great party drink! Try it as a:

  • Summer drink
  • Afternoon drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Before dinner drink (aperitif)
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Whiskey ginger

Classic Whiskey Ginger

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


The Whiskey Ginger is an easy cocktail that’s so refreshing! Whiskey and ginger ale is a classic combination: use any type you have on hand.


  • 2 ounces rye whiskey (or bourbon or Irish whiskey)
  • 3 ounces ginger ale (4 ounces for more ginger taste)
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice)


  1. Add the whiskey and ice to a glass and stir to combine.
  2. Top with the ginger ale. Squeeze in the juice from the lime wedge and serve. Garnish with additional lime wedges or wheels
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

More whiskey drinks

There are so many famous drinks starring this liquor! Here are some of the top whiskey cocktails to try:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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