The Filthy Liar (and Other Good Things)

The lowly cocktail mix gets a much-needed shot of class

The phrase "premade cocktail mixes" is not exactly mixological melody to the drinks purist's ears.

We're not above the occasional Bloody Mary mix (like on a plane, say). But just-add-alcohol concoctions tend to bring to mind unfortunate images of supermarket Whiskey Sour mixes in falling-down-drunk-proof plastic bottles.

Happily, two friends from North Carolina have remixed the formula, with the introduction of White Whale cocktail mixers. Dave Staples and Corey Mason relied on their hobbies (home brewing and botany, respectively), plus a love of drink and an odd sense of humor, to stir things up with a line featuring offbeat ingredients (youngberry, Siberian fir needle oil) and cocktail names (Your Older Brother, Auntie's Old Fashioned).

They're not cheap ($30 for three 8-ounce bottles). But a little goes a long way toward ensuring a more interesting at-home bar experience. Our favorite, The Filthy Liar, combines refreshing lychee with dusty cloves and rosemary oil. Shake it with gin, and you've got an odd and oddly refreshing new summer standby.