13 Amazing Cocktail Mixes to Stock Up on This Summer
Whether you're just tuning up your backyard summer game or entertaining friends and family (finally!), having some savvy cocktail shortcuts can eliminate lots of work and stress. A great bottled mixer (or several) is the key to a DIY bar for any occasion, and the variety of cocktail mixes has never been better. We tested the best of what's out there, and here's what you'll want to have on hand all summer long. Cheers!
These all-natural cocktail mixers were developed with bartenders, and the generous bottles come in five fun flavors. Use a simple 2:1 ratio of mixer to booze or add a splash to sparkling or still water for a non-alcoholic sipper. Our fave? The Grapefruit Margarita, which is terrific with tequila for traditionalists, but we also love it for a Greyhound with vodka.
Buy it: Barcoop Bevy assorted flavors 2-pack ($25), bittermilk.com
We've been longtime fans of the elegant offerings of this brand, especially its perfect Old Fashioned mix, aged in bourbon barrels, and available not only in larger bottles but also convenient little one-drink versions that are ideal for popping in your purse, or gifting. So, it is no wonder we've gotten hooked on the full range of their products. You obviously can't go wrong with the classic, but our current addictions are the Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour, which will erase any memory of the sickly sours of your college years, and the Tom Collins with Elderflowers and Hops, which is the perfect summer swizzle.
Buy it: Bittermilk Tom Collins with Elderflowers and Hops ($15), bittermilk.com
When it comes to taking the guesswork out of fast cocktails, we love Cheeky for its syrups and juices. A splash each of its mint syrup and lime juice gets you this close to an instant mojito, the cranberry syrup and lemon equals ideal Cosmo, and agave and lime puts you straight into the margarita zone.
Buy it: Cheeky Margarita Kit ($15), cheekycocktails.com
These small-batch mixers come in the perfect variety of classics and unique, so there is something for everyone. We particularly like some of their new twists on old favorites, so keep an eye out for the Maple Whiskey Sour and Sriracha Margarita.
Buy it: Maple Whiskey Sour ($12, $30 for 3), cocktailcrate.com
With the focus on flavor and not sugar, these bright mixers use fruit juices to sweeten while keeping the sugar and calorie load at about half that of traditional mixers. We are all-in on their Bloody Mary, Moscow Mule, and Paloma mixers.
Buy it: Ficks Premium Cocktail Mixers 3-bottle set ($35), ficksdrink.com
Hella Cocktail Co.
We were always a huge fan of this company's bitters, so it was no surprise how much we enjoyed its bottled cocktail mixers. You really cannot go wrong with anything in the line, but we especially recommend the Moscow Mule, which is featured in the Popular Cocktail Set, which also includes Old Fashioned and Rosemary Collins mixes.
Buy it: Hella Cocktail Co. Popular Cocktail Set ($39.95), hellacocktail.co
LAVA is our go-to for larger parties. Its big bottles serve a crowd easily and come in a great range of flavors. For folks who are always looking for versions with less sugar, the Skinny Margarita and Skinny Ginger Lemonade are both summer godsends.
Buy it: LAVA Premium Skinny Ginger Lemonade Mix ($13.99), drinklava.com
Liber and Co.
This company is a revelation for me not just for cocktails, but also for cooking! Its range of flavored syrups can make drink crafting easy and fun, from simple additions like the Old Fashioned mix or the Tonic Syrup, but also for really special flavors like Caramelized Fig. I also use some of their more unusual flavors like Toasted Coconut and Passionfruit to sweeten ice cream and sorbets. And if you want to pre-batch some old school Tiki drinks for your next get together, its gum syrups and orgeat will have your back.
Buy it: Liber and Co. Syrups (from $10), liberandcompany.com
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These cocktail mixers all have that little something extra, and we are here for it. Honey boosting the grapefruit mixer, lime in the pineapple, and the kick of cayenne in the ginger. But it was the Tomato Beet with hints of horseradish and apple cider vinegar that really upped our Bloody game. Bonus points for its cocktail glass rimming salts: Both chili and hibiscus flavors are seriously next level.
Buy it: Morris Kitchen Tomato Beet ($11), morriskitchen.com
Powell & Mahoney
If you are cocktailing at brunch, Powell & Mahoney is your one stop shop. Choose from Classic or Sriracha Bloody Mary, Blood Orange Mimosa, or Peach Bellini to make those morning tipples as easy as opening a bottle.
Buy it: Powell & Mahoney Blood Orange Mimosa (from $8.99), powellandmahoney.com
Proof Syrup wants the hardest thing for you to have to do when crafting your cocktails is pick the perfect garnish! Its line of syrups includes 6 versions of Old Fashioned mixes, and 5 of Classic Cocktail syrups. The best part? All Proof's syrups are made with cane sugar, not corn syrup, giving them a more subtle sweetness and a cleaner flavor. While the traditional Old Fashioned is terrific, we love the earthy notes in the Black Walnut and Pecan versions, and the new White Peach makes a perfect Bellini just a bottle of bubbly away.
Buy it: Proof Syrups ($32.95), proofsyrup.com
These glorious flavor combinations are made in small batches and have a one-year shelf life, so there is no reason not to stock up. The Hey Girl, with cucumber, lime, and mint is amazing with vodka, gin, rum, or even just soda water for a refresher we are going to be drinking all summer long. The Honey Sour is boosted with bee pollen for an earthy backnote that balances the sweet, and the Bouquet with lavender, lemon, and rosewater is floral without tasting like a scented candle.
Buy it: WithCo Hey Girl ($20), withcocktails.com
Yes Cocktail Co.
If you love flavor in your fizz, whether it is bubbly wine or just bubbly water, these mixers are going to be your new favorites. Hibiscus Rose, Hopped Grapefruit and Rosemary, Tropical Mimosa, Lavender Honey or Blackberry Pomegranate are all just delicious with sparklers.
Buy it: Yes Cocktail Co. Hopped Grapefruit & Rosemary Cocktail Mixer ($17), yescocktailco.com