Whiskey has a strong flavour which can often put people off drinking it neat. Some whiskeys also have a bit of a burning sensation as you sip it.
A great way to make neat whiskey more enjoyable is to follow it up with a chaser of some kind.
A whiskey chaser is a drink that you consume straight after you take a shot of whiskey.
The flavour of the chaser complements the flavour of the whiskey, bringing out different taste notes (see also: Pisco Portón Review and Tasting Notes)and reducing the burning sensation of the spirit.
You can also experiment with drinking the chaser before the shot of whiskey to see how that impacts the flavour.
If you prefer, you can drop a shot of whiskey into a glass of the chaser, similar to when you compose a jaeger bomb. This allows you to drink the whiskey shot and the chaser at the same time.
There are lots of choices when it comes to whiskey chasers. We have put together some information about whiskey chasers and a list of the best chasers for you to try. Keep reading to find out more.
Why Should You Drink Whiskey With A Chaser?
There are several reasons why you should try drinking whiskey with a chaser.
Whiskey has a very high alcohol content which means it can cause a burning sensation in your throat when you drink it. Having a chaser reduces this burning feeling and makes the whiskey more palletable to drink.
A whiskey chaser will enhance the flavour of the whiskey and draw your attention to certain taste notes. If you don’t really like the taste of whiskey then having a chaser can make a big difference to the flavour and help you enjoy it more.
One of the fun things about drinking whiskey with a chaser is experimenting with different flavour combinations to see which ones you prefer.
Each whiskey has an individual flavour – Crown Royal will go down differently than Jack Daniel’s – that will pair well with different chasers.
Classic Whiskey Chasers
These are some of the most classic and popular whiskey chasers, chosen for how well the flavours complement each other.
Whiskey With A Beer Chaser
Following your whiskey up with a chaser of beer became very popular in working men’s pubs and clubs in the 19th Century.
The whiskey was on the cheaper end of the spectrum with quite a harsh flavour, so chasing it with beer helped to mellow the flavours and reduce the burn.
Beer is a cheap drink to use as a chaser and is available in all pubs and bars. A whiskey and beer is often called a ‘Boilermaker’, a ‘One and One’, or a ‘Half and Half’.
In recent years, the Boilermaker has become a more sophisticated and sought after drink as bars have begun pairing craft beers with different kinds of whiskey to create a more upmarket drinking experience.
Here are our recommendations for beers to use as a whiskey chaser:
This award winning, low calorie craft beer has both floral and earthy notes with a nice subtle aroma. It is a classic golden ale with a refreshing taste and a light body.
A combination of English and US hops are used to create this well-balanced beer.
The Athletic brewing company also offers four other types of beer (see also: A Beginner’s Guide On How To Brew Beer)which would make great whiskey chasers, including a stout.
This variety pack of craft beers is ideal for experimenting with different beer chasers to see which one you prefer with your whiskey shot. The flavours are bold and hoppy.
This 6 pack of Kona Big Wave Golden Ale is a very affordable option. The beer is smooth, easy drinking and light bodied and is the perfect chaser to mellow out your shot of whiskey.
Whiskey With A Water Chaser
This might sound boring but water is actually a great chaser for whiskey, especially if you actually enjoy the taste of whiskey. The water will reduce the burning sensation and cleanse your palette without overpowering the flavours of the whiskey itself.
Drinking water in between shots of whiskey also helps to keep you hydrated and reduce the effects of your hangover the next day. If you don’t want to use ordinary water then you can try a chaser of soda water instead.
This carbonated club soda has a dash of Himalayan salt to add a savoury note to whatever you mix it with. It is refreshing and natural, with no flavourings or preservatives.
This classic club soda goes well with any drink and has the perfect amount of fizz.
When it comes to club soda, you can’t go wrong with Schweppes. It is caffeine free and has zero calories. Schweppes have been making excellent club soda for over 200 years.
Whiskey With A Cola Chaser
Whiskey and coke is a classic combination and using coke as chaser works just as well.
The sweetness of the cola works well with the oaky, caramel flavours of the whiskey. Some whiskeys also have vanilla and fruity flavours which also pair well with the cola.
These miniature cans of Coca Cola are the perfect size for a whiskey chaser, as you don’t need a whole full sized can.
When it comes to whiskey and cola, you cannot beat the classic Coca Cola for the original sweet flavour.
Coca Cola and Pepsi tend to split opinions as to which one is best, so we have included both. If you prefer Pepsi, it works just as well as a chaser for whiskey as Coca Cola.
It is bold and refreshing and will provide the sweetness you need to counteract the whiskey.
If you want to try something a bit different, why not go for this vintage cola soda from Olipop. It is tasty and sweet and would go very well with whiskey.
Whiskey With A Fruit Juice Chaser
Fruit juice is often paired with spirits like vodka or rum, but it goes very well with whiskey as well. You can try out different flavours of juice to see which one you prefer, and which one goes best with your favourite whiskey.
A lot of people enjoy orange juice, especially with Irish whiskey, but don’t be afraid to try something a little different.
If you want to try your whiskey with an orange juice chaser then you can’t go wrong with Tropicana orange juice. It is made from 100% real fruit juice, not from concentrate.
The fresh, sweet flavour and smooth texture will cut through the alcoholic burn of the whiskey to create a much more mellow, delicious taste in your mouth.
Pineapple juice is another great option for a whiskey chaser as the citrus cuts through the harsh whiskey but the sweetness of the fruit complements the fruity, sweet flavour notes in the whiskey.
It also adds a tropical element to the drink which is ideal if you are drinking whiskey in the summer.
If you want to try something a little different to citrus fruits then you could go for a tart cherry juice.
Cherry juice is sweet but also sharp, which is the perfect accompaniment to whiskey. It is a little more expensive than orange and pineapple juice but is worth it if you enjoy red fruits.
Whiskey and apple juice is a great combination, as the sweet apples cut through the whiskey but compliment the flavours. The best apple juice or organic, not from concentrate, and cloudy, just like this one.
Whiskey With A Mountain Dew Chaser
Mountain Dew is a great alternative to other sweet sodas like Pepsi and Coca Cola. It is sweet and invigorating, perfect for offsetting a harsh whiskey.
Whichever whiskey is your favourite, you will love chasing it up with some sweet Mountain Dew. These small cans are the perfect portion size.
This grape flavoured Mountain Dew makes a nice change from the original flavour. It is still sweet, but also has a tart element which goes very well with whiskey that has fruity taste notes.
Whiskey With A Dr Pepper Chaser
Dr Pepper is another great alternative to Coca Cola and Pepsi. It is just as sweet, but with a unique flavour that leaves you wanting more.
These cans of Dr Pepper are the perfect portion size for using as a whiskey chaser. If you love the classic flavour of Dr Pepper then you will definitely enjoy using it as a chaser for your favourite whiskey.
Dr Pepper now offers a cherry flavour of their classic soda. The sweet yet tangy cherry will be a perfect addition to a fruity whiskey.
Whiskey With A Ginger Beer Chaser
Ginger beer is a non alcoholic fizzy drink which is used in many cocktails and as a mixer for spirits like rum and vodka.
This premium ginger beer from Fever Tree has no artificial flavourings, sweeteners, or preservatives. It has just the right amount of sweetness, not too much, with a deep ginger flavour that has a long finish.
If you are looking for a classic ginger beer then you won’t find better than Old Jamaica.
It has the perfect balance of sweetness and that fiery ginger kick that goes so well with whiskey.
This premium ginger beer has a bold and authentic flavour which pairs very well with whiskey. It is spicy with a touch of sweetness and is perfectly carbonated.
Whiskey With A Sweet Ice Tea Chaser
If you are trying to reduce the burning effect of alcohol then sweet iced tea is perfect. It is refreshing with a touch of citrus to cut through the strong alcohol.
This combination was first made popular in the USA where sweet iced tea is drunk regularly in the summer.
These flavour pods from Lipton give you the perfect sweet iced tea in a matter of seconds. If you want to try that classic Southern combination of whiskey and sweet iced tea then this product is ideal
This variety pack of iced tea allows you to experiment with different flavour combinations to find the ideal chaser for your whiskey. You can choose from peach tea, lemonade tea, raspberry tea, or Socorro sweet tea.
Unusual Whiskey Chasers
We have taken you through all of the classic whiskey chasers, but what if you are looking to try something a little more unusual? Here are some other whiskey chasers which are delicious but slightly more rare.
Whiskey With A Pickle Juice Chaser
Whiskey with a pickle juice chaser is called a ‘Pickleback’. The pickle juice has an umami flavour which is very interesting and sharpness from the vinegar that works well with the whiskey, offsetting the sweetness of the vanilla flavour notes.
It might sound strange but don’t knock it until you try it!
This pickle juice is designed for people who love to drink it straight out of the jar. You can add it to cocktails or use it as a chaser for spirits like whiskey.
This large bottle of dill/pickle juice is very popular for it’s classic flavour and is just what you need if you want to try a pickleback (see also: Pickleback Shot).
Whiskey With A Switchel Chaser
The Switchel was first served as a whiskey chaser at a bar in Brooklyn.
It is a concoction made from vinegar, syrup, and ginger and is a great ingredient for many cocktails and alcoholic drinks. It has a similar effect on the whiskey as ginger beer.
This drink was designed as a way to get a healthy daily dose of apple cider vinegar, but it happens to be the perfect chaser for a shot of whiskey.
This switchel drink comes in different flavours- this one is matcha lime and mint. If you are feeling brave and want to experiment with different combinations then see if this chaser goes well with your favourite whiskey.
What Should You Mix Whiskey With?
If you would rather put your whiskey with a mixer instead of having it as a shot (see also: Cement Mixer Shot)with a chaser, then there are lots of choices for what you can mix it with.
You can have a go at making a fancy cocktail- there are lots of recipes online.
If you don’t feel like making a cocktail and want something simple, then check out our recommendations for the best whiskey mixers.
Just add a single or double serving of whiskey to one of these mixers with a few cubes of ice and you will have a fantastic drink.
Soda water is the perfect mixer for people who really want to taste the whiskey. It doesn’t add any additional flavours, but dilutes the whiskey and is carbonated for a refreshing fizz.
Coca Cola is sweet, fizzy, and very satisfying. It is the perfect mixer for whiskey as it complements the sweet flavour notes and contrasts the burning strength of the alcohol.
Apple and whiskey is a great pairing that works well in lots of different cocktails. Adding a measure of whiskey into some fresh apple cider is a perfect way to enjoy whiskey in the summer.
The sweet yet tangy flavours of lemonade are a great accompaniment to whiskey. You can even add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for even more of a citrus flavour.