Scotch and Soda

Sometimes, simpler really is better.

Scotch and soda recipe

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food styling by Lucy Simon

Total Time:
3 mins

This simple, two-ingredient drink showcases the genius of a highball cocktail where a spirit is mixed with club soda. Not only does this one-two punch combination elongate a spirit like Scotch into a taller drink, club soda dilutes the strong spirit while also intensifying its aromas through its effervescence. “Scotch and soda is so satisfying in the way that highballs are because you get the essence of the spirit fizzing in your face in a way that's really pleasing without being overwhelming,’ says Executive Features Editor Kat Kinsman, a devout fan of all things Scotch who, on multiple occasions, has even traveled in search of Scotch-related experiences.

To craft the perfect Scotch and Soda, it's imperative to understand its core spirit. Scotch is a whiskey (or whisky), a category of spirits distilled from grains and is aged in barrels. What sets Scotch apart from other whiskeys are its ingredients, how it's made, and where it's from. Scotch is made in, you guessed it, Scotland, from primarily malted barley. Some Scotches have a smokey flavor, while others do not. “The whisky from each region of Scotland tends to boast its own unique character, often the result of some combination of terroir, climate, distilling tradition, and more,” writes Brian Freedman. “So while there are certainly plenty of smoky, peaty whiskies out there, not all single malt Scotch whisky is smoky.”

When choosing which bottle to pour from for a Scotch and Soda, there are a few things to consider. Single malt Scotch, which is made from the malt of a single distillery instead of a blend, might be best enjoyed on its own, whereas a Scotch and Soda is a great opportunity to lean on blends. “It's more forgiving of a less special Scotch, something that you're enjoying because you like the ethos of Scotch and a particular consistency of a bigger-batch expression, but you're not in it right then for the nuance,” says Kinsman. Read on for everything you need to know about making this simple but delicious cocktail. 


  • 2 1/2 ounces scotch

  • Club soda (such as Fever Tree)


  1. Add scotch to a highball glass filled with ice. Stir until chilled.

  2. Top with club soda.

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