Experiment With Flavored Seltzers In Your Next Highball Cocktail

Nowadays, popular hard seltzers are bar staples, as readily available as macro lagers or vodka sodas. The beverage is so widespread it's easy to forget it has a non-alcoholic alternative — the flavored seltzer. This bubbly drink is made with artificially added carbonation and aromatic ingredients. The flavor essences in seltzer are created with extracts from natural substances, making them a great cocktail ingredient.

So, experiment by spicing up a highball with the soda water swap. Start by reaching for a citrus-flavored seltzer — it'll be easier to meld into the drink. A lemon seltzer can go beautifully with what's in a whiskey highball, while a lime-flavored seltzer aligns well with tequila. Or even riff on the paloma with a grapefruit seltzer.

You'll want to mix in the same ratio as a classic highball — around two parts seltzer to one part spirit, served in a glass with ice. From there, you'll likely need to adjust the ratio per taste. And if the flavoring's too intense, remember you can dilute it with unflavored soda water.

Flavored seltzers enable surprisingly aromatic highball combinations

The first highballs were crafted with whiskey — particularly Scotch –  making the spirit a dependable choice. Experiment by combining variable whiskey types with seltzer flavors for wide-ranging highball riffs. Pair the liquor with creative seltzer flavors, like orange or plum, which meld with the whiskey. To imbue some extra tartness, consider throwing in some freshly squeezed citrus,  and garnish the drink with a fruit slice. And if it all just tastes a tad too boozy, some simple syrup can help round it out.

Track down unusual seltzer flavors for even more creative highball renditions.  A mint seltzer can make for a playful take on a mojito, while a sparkling cucumber refresher will go great with gin. To highlight a berry flavor, simply combine the seltzer with vodka — it's less likely to clash.

For an even spirituous take on the drink, try out a hard seltzer, too. Not only will such a move raise the ABV of the drink, but it will open the door to even more seltzer brands. The hard variant might not mingle with the spirit, so it'll require careful mixing. However, if it does not taste right, you can always enjoy the seltzer and spirit separately.