Tightening Up the Mix

Forget Canada Dry.

Christine Sismondo 0 Premium content image
Photograph by Liam Mogan

Photograph by Liam Mogan

That fancy booze with the macerated Gardenia flowers and Bergamot oil? The one distilled by drum-circling monks? You really can’t serve it with Canada Dry.

Fentimans
Fentimans Curiousity ColaAt Veneto Tapa Lounge in Victoria, B.C., bartender Simon Ogden admits he does brisk business in this botanically brewed cola. “It has ginger in it, which gives it a little snap,” he says.$9.99/four-pack

Mix it with: Some dark rum or spicy rye

Fever-Tree Bitter Lemon
Fever-Tree Bitter LemonWhat’s old is new. Bitter lemon (or lemon tonic) recipes date back to 1834. The signature taste—a combination of quinine, lemon pith and botanicals—has been long forgotten by most major soda makers but remains a cult favourite.$7.99/four-pack

Mix it with: Gin or vodka

Maine Root Ginger Brew
Maine Root Ginger BrewA personal favourite and ideal for dark ’n’ stormy kind of drinks. It’s murky, sweetened with fair-trade evaporated cane juice but still manages to slap your taste buds with a wicked spicy kick of ginger root.$2.39 for 355mL

Recipe: The Mescal Mule

- 1 1/2 oz. mescal (or tequila)
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Top with Maine Root Ginger Brew

Fever Tree Tonic Water
Fever-Tree Tonic WaterExtra fizzy and citrusy with a natural quinine bite. Malcolm Jolley, founder of Toronto non-profit Good Food Revolution, says it has become the de rigueur G&T among his yuppie-scum haute bourgeoisie friends.$4.69 for 500mL

Mix it with: A dry gin

Boylan Ginger Ale
Boylan Ginger AleNew Jersey pharmacist William Boylan perfected his recipe for birch beer in 1891. But Boylan also makes the true champagne of ginger ales—a crisp, high-quality pop made with cane sugar that actually tastes of… gasp…ginger.$2.39 for 355mL

Mix it with: Irish Whiskey

Mexican Coke
Mexican CokeWhat is it about the Mexican Coke formula that drives soda snobs wild? They still make it with cane sugar (as opposed to highfructose corn syrup). Simon Ogden adds that corn syrup, when mixed with liquor, deadens the flavour.$2.10 for 355 mL

Mix it with: Canadian whisky

Aspertame? Try AsperWild

A recent study published by Northern Kentucky University suggests that mixing alcohol with diet soda results in higher blood alcohol levels than mixing with sugary sodas. Your 18-year-old self might consider this proof that Captain Morgan and Diet Coke make magic together. However, the grown-up who has to be at work tomorrow might disagree.

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