Easy Whiskey Ginger Cocktail

by | Nov 17, 2019 | All, Whiskey/Bourbon

This refreshing, 3-ingredient Whiskey Ginger Cocktail is one of the easiest & best whiskey drinks to make at home. 

Glass of Whiskey Ginger Cocktail. Garnished with lime slices and blue and white striped straws. Bottle of whiskey and glass with ice cubes in the background.

Whiskey Ginger?

Ginger Whiskey? 

Big Ginger? 

Jameson Ginger? 

This 3-ingredient cocktail goes by a slew of names, but I think we can all agree that the combination of whiskey, ginger ale and fresh lime juice makes this easy Whiskey Ginger drink one refreshing libation!

Highball glass of Whiskey Ginger Cocktail. Garnished with a fresh lime wedge on a dark brown board.

Ingredients

Just because an ingredient list is simple doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious! There are only three ingredients in this easy drink: 

  • Whiskey
  • Ginger ale
  • Fresh lime juice

Ginger ale vs ginger beer – what’s the difference?

It’s confusing, I get it. These two mixers look nearly identical so let’s set the record straight. 

Ginger beer: Back when ginger beer was invented in 1700s England, it was an alcoholic beverage. Fast forward to today and even though it has “beer” in its name, most ginger beer you buy at the store doesn’t actually contain alcohol. 

Ginger beer can be clear or cloudy depending on the brand you buy. The strong, spicy flavor of ginger beer comes from a brief fermentation with yeast before sweetener, ginger flavoring and a bit of carbonation are added. Ever had a Moscow Mule? Ginger beer is a key ingredient to its unique flavor. 

Ginger ale: Likewise, there is no alcoholic “ale” in ginger ale. It’s basically soda (or pop – depending on where you live) – a sweetened carbonated beverage with ginger flavoring. Consider ginger ale a tamer version of ginger beer with a more delicate flavor, a lighter color and more carbonation. 

If you love ginger beer, you can definitely use it in this recipe. Ginger beer will give you a spicier drink while ginger ale gives a sweeter, smoother flavor. I personally prefer using ginger ale in my Whiskey Ginger drinks. 

Two glasses of Whiskey Ginger Cocktails on a silver tray garnished with fresh lime wedges and a blue and white striped straw.

Can I use bourbon instead of whiskey? 

You might have heard that all bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon. That makes the difference as clear as mud, right? 

I couldn’t agree more. If you really want to do a deep dive into the nuances between bourbon and whiskey, this article by Chowhound sums it up pretty well.

In a cocktail like this where the strongest flavor comes from the ginger ale (or ginger beer, if you prefer), you can use either bourbon or whiskey. The small difference between the two isn’t worth buying a whole separate bottle of something else for this mixed drink. 

Best whiskey for ginger ale drinks

Ever browsed the whiskey aisle and experienced sticker shock at the prices of some bottles? There can be a huge range in cost for whiskey and bourbon.

Fortunately you don’t need a super expensive bottle of whiskey to make this ginger ale cocktail. Grab a reliable, mid-priced bottle and save the higher-end stuff for sipping on the rocks. A big buck bottle is not needed (though you definitely want to buy something you like the taste of).

The only time I’m a stickler for a certain type of spirit is when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around. Ever been in a bar and heard someone order a Jameson and Ginger? It was probably March 17th. Since everyone is a little bit Irish on that holiday, Irish whiskey is a must in this Whiskey Ginger on St. Paddy’s Day.

Top down view of highball glasses of Whiskey Ginger Cocktail garnished with lime wedges on a dark background.

I’m not a huge whiskey fan – will I like this whiskey drink?

Not feeling the whiskey love? I know whiskey can be a bit polarizing. Either you love it or can’t stomach it.

I think this ginger ale drink is a happy medium for those non-whiskey lovers out there. The bubbly ginger ale mellows the whiskey and keeps the cocktail’s flavor light and bright. Plus the lime juice gives each sip just a nip of freshness. 

How to make a Whiskey Ginger

Some cocktails are sticklers for proportions. For example, I wouldn’t just toss the ingredients for a Perfect Manhattan into a glass and hope for the best.

But this whiskey mixed drink isn’t a fussy cocktail at all: 

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Measure desired amount of whiskey and add it to the glass. (These beakers are great for measuring liquids, especially for smaller amounts like in cocktails. Definitely one of our favorite kitchen tools!)
  3. Top with ginger ale. 
  4. Squeeze the juice from a fresh lime wedge into the glass. 
  5. Stir cocktail with straw or a bar spoon

The whiskey amount I’ve listed in the recipe below is merely a starting point. Feel free to adjust to your own tastes. Some like their drinks a bit stronger and will go heavier on the whiskey (ahem, my husband) and others a bit lighter on the liquor (me, on a hot summer day). You do you! 

Two highball glasses filled with Whiskey Ginger Cocktails and garnished with fresh lime wedges on a dark background.

Set up a DIY drink station 

A drink station is the easiest way to make sure you’re not tending bar all night at your party. This Whiskey Ginger is a simple ginger ale cocktail that is always a hit. 

Place the whiskey, ginger ale and lime wedges on a table along with glasses and ice. Guests can add as much or as little whiskey to their cocktails as they like. Cheers! 

Pin this easy Whiskey Ginger Cocktail for later! 

Highball glass filled with whiskey ginger cocktails garnished with a fresh lime slice.

More good whiskey drinks

Are you more of a vodka fan? We have loads of easy vodka drinks, including one of our favorites – this vodka soda made with a splash of elderflower liqueur! 

And don’t forget the snacks! Every party needs easy appetizer recipes. These bacon appetizers disappear EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. Your friends will definitely want the recipe. 

Yield: makes 1 drink

Whiskey Ginger Cocktail

Whiskey Ginger Cocktail

This 3-ingredient Ginger Whiskey Cocktail is an easy ginger ale to make at home. Perfect for parties or last-minute happy hours!

Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 ounces whiskey
  • 5 ounces ginger ale
  • 1 lime wedge

Instructions

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour whiskey into glass.
  2. Top with ginger ale.
  3. Squeeze and float a lime wedge in the glass.

Notes

The amount of whiskey can vary depending on your personal taste (and size of your glass). Pour in the amount that works for you!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1 cocktail

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 232Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 2gSugar: 15gProtein: 0g

Just three ingredients – spicy ginger ale, hearty whiskey and a squeeze of fresh lime juice – make this Whiskey Ginger one of the easiest ginger ale cocktails around! It’s super refreshing, comes together in minutes and is a great cocktail recipe for spur of the moment happy hours or large groups as it can also be served batch style. 

We're the creative juices behind Garnish with Lemon. In the past 8 years, millions of people have sipped & snacked on our recipes. Need easy, delicious party food and drinks for your next shindig? You’ve come to the right place.

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About Anna

Hi, I’m Anna, a former corporate communications nerd turned food fanatic. Turns out I like cooking for others A LOT more than explaining HR policies to them. C’mon over!

12 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Oh I’m definitely in the whiskey loving camp! And ginger too! So I’ll raise a glass of this with you! Cheers!

    Reply
  2. Avatar

    I could definitely kick back and relax with one of these ginger & whisky cocktails. They look and sound seriously delicious.. have to pin the photos!

    Reply
    • Avatar

      TGIF, Serena!

      Reply
  3. Avatar

    This is known here in Milwaukee as a Milwaukee Mule (as opposed to a Moscow Mule, which uses vodka instead of whiskey), and it is fantastic!

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Good to know. Now I can sound like a local the next time I visit Milwaukee!

      Reply
  4. Avatar

    Other than the lime wedge, I’ve always known this drink to be called a High Ball.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Interesting, Carol. I’ve never heard that before. Cheers!

      Reply
      • Avatar

        any whiskey cocktail on a tall(high) glass(ball is a bartenders slang for glass) is a highball, like a jack and coke.

        Reply
  5. Avatar

    Couldn’t you use ginger beer, which has a little more bite to it?

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Aaron, as much as I love all things ginger, I’ve never tried this recipe with ginger beer. If you do, please report back how it plays out!

      Reply
  6. Avatar

    I add ginger beer to this and it’s the bomb!

    Reply

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