Hutch’s Happy Hour – The Coca Cola Signature Mixers
Cocktail – Noun
A drink, usually alcoholic, made by mixing two or more ingredients together.
I know the majority of our readers are well versed in the concept of a cocktail. However, for many of you, the word cocktail will conjure up images of brightly coloured liquids served in fancy glassware, adorned with weird and wonderful garnishes… this makes the thought of creating cocktails at home a more daunting prospect than it needs to be.
In actual fact, by its very definition, most of us have been mixing cocktails at home for years… think gin and tonic, vodka and orange, rum and ginger or my personal favourite Jack Daniels and coke. These are all cocktails in their simplest/purest form and something we instinctively know our personal preference on spirit:mixer proportions… no jiggers required. Whether you are mixing two or ten ingredients, their proportions are the key to a great tasting well balanced beverage.
Now, for anyone still not convinced from my blog posts that making more “complex” cocktails at home is a cinch; but getting bored of their go to spirit/mixer combos then Coca Cola may well have the answer for you.
From it’s humble beginnings in the late 1800’s as a tonic intended to cure most common ailments, the inclusion of coca leaf no doubt playing some part in making people feel better, Coca Cola has grown in to one of the world’s biggest brands. If that was news to you, don’t panic, coca leaf was removed from the recipe in 1903. The brand has such power and influence that the depiction of Santa Claus being a jolly fat man in a red suit, that we all know and love, was actually created by the Coca Cola marketing department.
So why do I mention them as a possible solution… well some may see it as being a little late to the party with the likes of Fevertree and Fentimans already so well established, but Coca Cola have brought out their own range of premium mixers. Whilst specifically created for pairing with dark spirits, I reckon these would all go well with vodka and if you usually mix coke with your gin then why not give it a go?
The new Coca Cola Signature Mixers range comes in four varieties (batches):
Batch 01 – Smoky – Ylang Ylang, Ambrette Seed, Peru Balsam, Oak Extract, Guaiacwood
Batch 02 – Spicy – Lime, Ginger, Rosemary, Jasmine, Jalapeno
Batch 03 – Herbal – Hops, Dill Seed, Tagetes, Lemongrass
Batch 04 – Woody – Patchouli, Balsam Copaiba, Basil, Vetiver, Yuzu
In the interest of consistency, I tried all four with the same base spirit which from a previous comment you will probably guess was Jack Daniels. I found all four added a nice twist to my go to tipple, my favourite being Batch 01 which delivered a real smoky oak flavour to the drink. One thing to note is that I found the flavours to be quite subtle, particularly so in batches 02 and 04 (Spicy and Woody). Therefore, whilst you may usually opt for a 1 part spirit to 2 part mixer ratio; in order to allow the flavours of these cola variants to shine through I would recommend doubling the amount of cola from your usual amount. So, for each 200ml bottle of cola, add a 50ml (double) measure of your chosen spirit.
Hutch’s Pairing Suggestions for the Coca Cola Signature Mixers
Batch 01 – Smoky – For me, Bourbon all the way with this one. Thinking Woodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace or Kings County Bourbon.
Batch 02 – Spicy – Being more subtle in flavour you don’t want to overpower it with a strong spirit so am thinking along the lines of a dark rum or a lighter single malt from the Highlands. I would try The Duppy Share rum or Old Pulteney 12yr.
Batch 03 – Herbal – This is a little trickier as the herbal notes in this were the most potent of the four batches so needs something to stand up to it but not overpower. Coca Cola suggest cognac which I can’t really comment on myself. I would consider another Bourbon here or perhaps an Irish Whisky. I would give Bulleit Bourbon or Jameson’s Cask Mates (Stout Edition) a go with this one.
Batch 04 – Woody – When I tried this one, my immediate thought was of it being all-rounder. Most dark spirits are aged in wooden casks, so this is only going to elevate that aspect. I’d happily try this with all whisky types (bourbon, single malt, Irish etc), dark rum… perhaps even tequila would be an interesting twist. I’m going to recommend El Dorado 5yr gold rum, The Glenlivet Founders Reserve whisky and Olmeca Altos Reposado tequila.
As an alcohol-free option, all four of these unmixed makes for a great tasting option but if you want some added depth then give our old favourites Rum-Ish a go; or our latest discovery, Lyre’s American Malt.
However you choose to mix it up, I hope you’re able to find an interesting new twist on one of your old favourites. Which of the Coca Cola Signature Mixers will you choose?