15 Drinks To Mix With Diet Coke For Cocktails And Mocktails

There's a lot to love about Diet Coke. With its distinct crisp flavor and even more notable lack of calories and sugar, it's the second most popular soda in the U.S. As much as we love cracking open a cold can of this deliciously addictive elixir, there are more options than you may realize when it comes to using Diet Coke as a drink mixer.

Reaching for Diet Coke as the base of a drink can be great when you want something light. However, keep in mind that mixing alcohol with a diet drink may lead to you getting more intoxicated in less time because alcohol enters the bloodstream faster without those absorbent, sugary calories. In other words, if you choose to mix Diet Coke with alcohol? Please remember to proceed with caution.

That said, we've rounded up a collection of drinks — including nonalcoholic options — to mix with the beloved zero-calorie soda. Here's a collection of cocktails and mocktails to mix with your Diet Coke.


We know this may sound a bit odd, but bear with us. Mixing beer with cola is, in fact, a thing in Germany. This decidedly unique combination is called colabier or diesel, and the best way to conceptualize this pairing is to envision a shandy. The creation of the shandy (a simple mix of beer and lemonade) came about from people wanting to make their beer last longer — and the result was downright refreshing. Similarly, beer mixed with juice is called a radler. Since both are popular, quaffable ways to down your favorite brews, pairing beer with soda is a logical next step.

While mixing beer with Diet Coke is different from a shandy or radler, the idea is essentially the same. Adding another ingredient makes the beer sweeter while also reducing the overall amount of beer that you consume. We recommend using a lager or wheat beer to keep things from getting too hoppy. Another interesting way to enjoy this concept is to use a stout, which, when mixed with Coke, is called a Trojan horse. We know this drink isn't for everyone, but it never hurts to experiment.


While there are many people whose love for Diet Coke has absolutely nothing to do with its nutritional profile, plenty of others miss the taste of the real deal when they reach for the no-sugar version, whether they're drinking it straight or mixing it into a cocktail or mocktail. If you're one of those people who loves regular Coca-Cola but you don't want all the sugar, this option is the way to go. Even though there are plenty of other low-calorie soda options out there, and there is a difference in flavor when it comes to Diet Coke versus Coke Zero, sometimes you just want a little sugar.

Mixing Diet Coke with classic, full-sugar Coca-Cola is a fantastic way to enjoy the flavor you love while still watching your sugar intake. Regular coke contains 39 grams of sugar per 12-ounce can. If you replace half a glass of regular Coke with diet, you'll only be drinking half the amount of sugar as you normally would, and the flavor of the real thing will still be perceptible. And, if you don't enjoy the bitter aftertaste of aspartame-sweetened drinks, the addition of regular Coke helps minimize that flavor as well. This pairing is the definition of a happy medium. 

Fernet Branca

If you're a bartender, you already know about the intense, herbaceous, and extremely polarizing libation that is Fernet. If you're not, then we highly recommend you try mixing a shot with an icy Diet Coke for a beverage that has a lot more going on in terms of flavor than a standard well drink.

Fernet Branca is an Italian liqueur that's made from a secret blend of 27 herbs and botanicals. Popular amongst service industry workers and residents of San Francisco, it's also a favorite in Argentina, where it's often served with Coca-Cola.

With a flavor that can only be described as medicinal, earthy, and minty (we mean this in the best possible way), Fernet is a libation that can take some getting used to before you're ready to rip shots of it with your closest bartender friends. Mixing Fernet Branca with Diet Coke works to cut the bitterness and lighten things up while still allowing you to taste the base spirit. As an added bonus, the bartender will love it when you order this from them.

Red wine

If you think red wine can't be refreshing, think again! Mixing red wine with Coca-Cola is a common practice in Spain. Called a kalimotxo, this Spanish wine cocktail is a simple, effervescent, low-octane summertime sipper. All you need for this riff on the classic recipe is an inexpensive bottle (or box, or can) of red wine and Diet Coke.

Some people can't imagine mixing wine with soda, but it's not that novel of an idea when you think about its famous (and delicious) cousin, sangria. As much as we love a good pitcher of sangria, this pairing is easier, requires fewer ingredients, and doesn't require chopping fruit. 

Red wine's fruity, juicy flavor pairs well with the caramel notes of cola, so opt for a wine that isn't too dry. This is particularly important since Diet Coke is less sweet than its classic Coca-Cola counterpart. Simply combine the two ingredients over ice in whatever ratio feels right to you, and enjoy! Feel free to add a lemon or orange wedge as a garnish, and picture yourself in the Basque countryside as you enjoy this lower-sugar treat. It's perfect for a day at the beach, a picnic, or to accompany light bites before dinner.


If you want to drink Diet Coke, catch a buzz, and not taste much besides the soda, just add vodka. Although vodka is no longer technically classified as a neutral spirit (and the best vodka brands certainly taste better than bottom-shelf options), at the end of the day, vodka acts as a relatively flavorless mixer.

Vodka is also low in sugar, so mixing vodka with Diet Coke is one of the lowest calorie options you can reach for. We aren't reinventing the wheel with this one, but sometimes you just want a low-calorie vehicle for alcohol and to drink without noticing the taste of booze. If you're a vodka drinker, this is also a great way to get a little caffeine boost without ordering an espresso martini. 

However, just because you're trying to save a few calories doesn't mean you should forgo eating a healthy meal before drinking. We promise that it's a better option than that hungover bacon, egg, and cheese you'll need if you skip this step. Trust us; you'll be grateful later.


Cognac's sweet, caramel notes pair exceptionally well with regular Coke, and the same rings true for the diet version. Drinking this combo is a great way to get into cognac, and perfect when you want something a bit more unique than rum or whiskey. Nearly every bar stocks at least one of the top brands of cognac, so you won't have trouble ordering this one, either.

Cognac is a type of brandy that's made specifically from grapes grown in the Cognac region of France. You can think about cognac versus brandy much like you would squares versus rectangles. All cognacs are brandies, but not all brandies are cognac.

This spirit is aged in oak barrels, and the resulting flavor is sweet, fruity, and nutty. Cognac is often associated with luxury, but thankfully there are bottles at various price points on the market. We don't recommend mixing an expensive cognac with Diet Coke — it's better to save the good stuff for stand-alone sipping.

Coconut creamer

If you haven't heard of a dirty soda yet, we're here to blow your mind. Essentially a carbonated soft drink mixed with syrups, creamers, or other flavors, it's a trendy refresher that can be concocted in nearly infinite ways. Wildly popular in mountain states like Utah, dirty sodas are steadily gaining traction nationwide. Dirty sodas have been popping up everywhere on social media, and they are ushering in a new era of viral beverage trends. 

This version, made with coconut creamer, happens to be vegan as well as delicious. We know that pouring coconut creamer into Diet Coke might seem a bit unconventional at first, but as soon as you taste this creamy combo, you'll understand the hype.

To make this dirty soda, simply add a splash of your favorite coconut coffee creamer to your bubbly beverage, give it a stir, and prepare to be refreshed. You can also squeeze in some fresh lime juice or even throw in a pump or two of coconut-flavored syrup to really amplify that flavor. Enjoying this one ice-cold is essential, so using crushed ice — or better yet, pebble ice — is a good idea.

Cranberry juice

If you're at a bar and want to stick to alcohol-free beverages but want something more flavorful than soda water, a Diet Coke with a splash of cranberry juice is a great bet. Even sweetened cranberry juice (which is what most bars will have on hand and what you should use in this scenario) is still pleasantly tart, so it acts as a nice foil to the sweetness of Diet Coke.

If you're only adding a splash of cranberry (which is plenty), you won't be adding too much sugar to your beverage. Cranberries are packed with antioxidants and boast several health benefits, and while that might not be the most important thing here, it's still nice to know.

As with many beverages, adding a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a garnish will make this drink a little extra special. If you're making it at home, don't hesitate to pour it into a wine glass or a crystal rocks glass to make drinking Diet Coke feel more like an occasion. To go the extra mile, you can add frozen cranberries to your drink.


Shirley Temples aren't the only way to use grenadine! Adding a splash of this sweet, red syrup to Diet Coke is another tasty way to enjoy a lower-calorie take on a drink called the Roy Rogers. Counterintuitive as it may seem to add a notoriously sweet ingredient to a mixer that's famous for being sugar-free, hear us out: a little goes a long way, and you're still drastically reducing your sugar intake by not using regular Coke.

Despite the common misconception that grenadine is made from cherries, the reality is that good grenadine is made from pomegranate. We recommend skipping store-bought varieties (which often don't contain any pomegranate) and making homemade grenadine with pomegranate juice instead.

The final result will be much tastier, and it's an incredible ingredient to have on hand when you want to whip up a few drinks. It's a key ingredient in a plethora of cocktails (dirty Shirley, anyone?), and it will stay fresh in the fridge for up to a month. Like we said, grenadine is extremely sweet, so it's better to start with less and add more to your glass of Diet Coke after you taste it.

Coffee creamer

Mix a little of your favorite coffee creamer into your Diet Coke for another take on a dirty soda. If you're still not sold on the idea of mixing a creamy, dairy-based beverage with soda, just picture a float. Most people wouldn't bat an eyelash at the thought of adding a scoop of ice cream to Coke or root beer, and adding creamer to your Diet Coke shouldn't be any different.

For many people, part of the appeal of Diet Coke is its caffeine content, and adding a splash of coffee creamer makes it feel more like coffee for those who enjoy this beverage in the morning. If you find yourself reaching for this combination over your morning mug of coffee, don't say we didn't warn you. 

We like this option because of how many possibilities are available. If you think about the various flavors of coffee creamer in the dairy aisle of most large grocery stores, you'll know exactly what we mean. Try it with Italian sweet cream, French vanilla, or whatever you usually use in your daily cup of joe. Don't hesitate to experiment, add syrups, and even mix multiple types of creamer. There's no right or wrong way to enjoy a dirty soda. 

Lemon juice

This is one of the easiest and best ways to jazz up your Diet Coke. Just like dishes need a variety of flavor components to make them tasty, so do balanced beverages, which is why lemon juice and Diet Coke play so nicely together. If you think this soda tastes great on its own (and we wouldn't argue with you), the addition of lemon makes it zippier, brighter, and all-around better. It also couldn't be a more convenient pairing since many bars and restaurants serve Diet Coke with a lemon wedge garnish and will certainly give you one upon request if they don't.

One important tip is that when it comes to citrus, fresh is always better. Even though the store-bought stuff often comes in cute, lemon-shaped bottles, the flavor and quality are vastly inferior to fresh-squeezed juice. This is also a great way to get a little extra vitamin C since lemon juice is packed with this essential nutrient.


Sometimes, flavor pairings can work when elements complement rather than contrast one another. This is very much the case when it comes to mixing whiskey and Diet Coke. Both whiskey and Diet Coke feature sweet, caramel flavors with hints of warm spices, so the two are naturally compatible.

Whiskey and Diet Coke is a reliable drink that tastes good and provides a nice balance, letting you taste the booze without making you taste it too much. It keeps the calories and sugar in check, but it won't make you miss out on the flavor of sweeter beverages. When someone asks what you want to drink and you simply can't come up with anything, don't panic. Requesting a whiskey and Diet Coke is a safe, foolproof option to have stored in the back of your mind.

While we'd typically be doling out advice on whether you should choose a bourbon, rye, or Irish whiskey, this is an instance in which it really doesn't matter. Sometimes house whiskey works perfectly fine!


A tried and true option, chances are you've ordered (or at least tasted) a rum and Coke at some point — so you already know the flavors work well together. If you want a lower-sugar, lower-calorie twist on this classic, we highly recommend trying it with Diet Coke. It's one of those swaps where you genuinely won't miss the full-sugar soda, and you might even discover that you like the Diet Coke version better!

Although we often recommend adding a squeeze of fresh lime to your beverages, if you're ever going to heed that advice, now is the time. Not only will a little citrus add brightness and balance, but in this case, it will take your beverage from a basic well drink to a full-blown cocktail called a Cuba libre.

Rum is a spirit that comes in a wide range of styles and flavors, and it's extremely terroir-driven. Some rums are funky and vegetal, while others are sweet and fruity, so it's important to choose your rum wisely for this combination. As much as we love more adventurous rums in some cocktails, a standard white rum is the best option when you're using Diet Coke as a mixer.

Tequila or mezcal

There aren't many classic American cocktails that call for tequila, but that doesn't mean it should be reserved solely for margaritas and shots. In fact, simply mixing the alcohol with Diet Coke is a fantastic option. It tastes similar to a rum and Coke but with a brighter, grassier taste and, of course, fewer calories and less sugar thanks to the diet cola substitution. Overall, the flavor is sweet, zesty, and perfectly balanced, making it perfect for year-round enjoyment.

A simple mix of tequila and Diet Coke is tasty as is. However, adding a bit of lime juice will serve you well. In Mexico, this cocktail, which is usually made with plain Coke, is called a charro negro. It's popular at celebrations because it is easy to make and tastes great. You can also take this drink a step further and turn it into a batanga by adding a pinch of salt and a salted rim. Either way, silver tequila is recommended.

There are several differences between tequila and mezcal. But they're both made from agave, and they both pair nicely with Diet Coke. If you decide to swap out tequila for mezcal, expect a more potent, smoky flavor. Admittedly, it's not for everyone, but it really hits the spot if you're after this flavor profile.


If you like coffee as much as Diet Coke, this is your sign to combine the two. Well, not coffee exactly, but espresso. Think of it like a beefed-up, effervescent Americano with bonus caffeine. When combined, Diet Coke and espresso have a deliciously rich, balanced taste with hints of bitterness and sweetness. Whether you're looking for a blast of caffeine or a bubbly, complex drink with layers of flavors, this blend has you covered.

Mixing a Diet Coke with espresso is simple as long as you add the ingredients in the correct order. You'll want to add the espresso to the glass first, then top it with the soda. Moreover, you should add the ice last to prevent it from melting quickly and making your beverage too watery. 

In a pinch, you could make this drink with coffee, but espresso adds all the same flavors to Diet Coke without watering it down as much. Espresso allows you to get the best of both worlds — in terms of flavor and caffeination — while still allowing the soda's bubbles to shine through.


Considering how popular Diet Coke is, it's no surprise people have been using it as a mixer for cocktails and mocktails for a long time. As a result, we didn't have to look for long to curate a list of tasty drinks to mix with Diet Coke. We researched classic and inventive cocktail and mocktail recipes and explored bartender recommendations regarding flavor pairings. We also considered how the flavor of Diet Coke changes or is enhanced when combined with other drinks to ensure we did not include any duds in our list. What's left is a group of mixers that appeal to all different types of drinkers.

Diet Coke isn't always the first thing that comes to mind when mixing cocktails and mocktails. Still, it makes a perfectly viable option if you are looking to cut calories, reduce your sugar intake, or simply love the way it tastes.