Scotch and Soda Cocktail Recipe

Jump to Recipe ⬇️

Scotch and Soda Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Scotch and Soda cocktail is a classic highball drink that has been enjoyed by whiskey enthusiasts for decades. It is believed to have originated in the late 19th century as a simple and refreshing way to enjoy Scotch whisky. The drink gained popularity in the United States during Prohibition, as it was an easy way to mask the taste of low-quality spirits.

  • The Scotch and Soda is a favorite among whisky connoisseurs
  • It is often enjoyed as an aperitif or a casual drink with friends
  • The simplicity of the recipe allows the flavors of the Scotch to shine through

How Scotch and Soda Tastes?

The Scotch and Soda cocktail has a smooth, slightly sweet, and smoky taste with a hint of effervescence from the soda water. The drink is well-balanced, with the soda water lightening the intensity of the Scotch without overpowering its flavors.

Interesting facts about Scotch and Soda

  • The Scotch and Soda is sometimes referred to as a 'Presbyterian' due to its popularity among Scottish Presbyterians
  • The drink can be customized by using different types of Scotch, such as a peaty Islay or a fruity Speyside
  • The Scotch and Soda is often served in a highball glass, which is designed to showcase the bubbles and maintain the drink's effervescence


  • Scotch whisky: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Soda water: 4 oz(120ml)
  • Ice: As needed
  • Lemon twist: 1 (optional)

Scotch whisky

  • Reason for 2 oz: This is the standard serving for a spirit in a cocktail. It's enough to appreciate the whisky's flavor without overpowering the drink. If you use more, the Scotch might dominate too much; less, and it could be too subtle.
  • Flavor enhancement: The oaky, smoky, or peaty notes of the Scotch provide a complex base for this simple highball.
  • Alternatives: You could go for a milder whisky if Scotch isn't your thing. Bourbons can add a sweeter, smoother taste.

Emma Rose

Soda water

  • Reason for 4 oz: Double the whisky for a balanced dilution. It keeps the drink light and refreshing. More soda water would dilute the Scotch too much, less might leave the drink too strong for some tastes.
  • Flavor enhancement: The carbonation of the soda water adds a lively effervescence that lifts the heaviness of the Scotch and allows for a more refreshing experience.
  • Alternatives: Tonic water can be an option if you prefer a bit of bitterness in your highball, but it will significantly change the taste.

Mary Mitkina


  • As needed: Usually enough to fill the glass, ice chills the drink and adds some dilution, which can open up the whisky's flavor profile.
  • Flavor enhancement: Without it, your Scotch and soda could be too warm, which might not be as refreshing and could dampen the Scotch's nuanced flavors.
  • Alternatives: Whisky stones could be used as an alternative if you want your drink cold without any dilution, but they won't chill the drink as effectively as ice.

Alex Green

Lemon twist

  • Optional: A lemon twist can add a light citrus scent and a hint of essential oil, enhancing the drink's aroma.
  • Flavor enhancement: Adding it introduces a zesty, fresh dimension which can complement the whisky's richness.
  • Alternatives: An orange twist could also work if you prefer a slightly sweeter citrus note.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Scotch and Soda Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice
  2. Pour 2 oz of Scotch whisky over the ice
  3. Top with 4 oz of soda water
  4. Gently stir to combine
  5. Optional: Garnish with a lemon twist

Pro Tips

  • Use quality Scotch: The simplicity of this cocktail means the quality of your Scotch will greatly affect the final taste.
  • Chill your glass: This will help keep your cocktail cold for longer.
  • Don't over-stir: Stirring too much can dilute the Scotch and alter the taste.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese plates: The creamy and smooth textures of cheeses, especially aged cheddar or gouda, complement the bold flavors of Scotch.
  • Smoked salmon: The smokiness of the salmon matches well with the peaty profile of many Scotches.
  • Nuts: Almonds and walnuts offer a contrasting texture and a hint of sweetness which can balance the bite of the whisky.

Main Courses

  • Steak: A hearty sirloin can stand up to the strong flavors of a Scotch and soda.
  • Grilled or roasted meats: The char from grilling or roasting mirrors the often charred barrels that the Scotch was aged in.


  • Dark chocolate: The bitterness of dark chocolate contrasts nicely with the complexity of Scotch whisky.

Additional Drinks

  • Coffee: Enjoying a cup of rich, black coffee alongside a Scotch and soda can heighten the experience with its contrasting flavors.

🍹 Discover the Top 50 All-Time Recipes! 🍹

Enter your email, and we'll send the exclusive list straight to your inbox.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

What you could change in Scotch and Soda

  • Scotch: You can use any type of whisky, though the taste will change accordingly. Bourbon can be a good substitute.
  • Soda water: Club soda or sparkling water can be used instead.
  • Lemon twist: An orange twist or a cherry can be used for a different flavor profile.

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky and Soda

  • Ingredients: Use a heavily peated Scotch for a more intense smoky flavor.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe but choose a smoky Islay Scotch for a powerful aroma and taste.
  • Flavor change: The drink will have an increased smoky profile, perfect for those who enjoy a more robust flavor.

Scotch and Ginger

  • Ingredients: Replace soda water with ginger ale.
  • Recipe: 2 oz Scotch whisky, 4 oz ginger ale, ice, and a lime twist.
  • Flavor change: The ginger adds a spicy kick that complements the Scotch, creating a sweet and zesty combination.

Highland Fizz

  • Ingredients: Add a splash of fresh lemon juice and a teaspoon of simple syrup.
  • Recipe: 2 oz Scotch whisky, a splash of lemon juice, a teaspoon of simple syrup, 4 oz soda water, ice, and a sprig of mint for garnish.
  • Flavor change: The added sourness and sweetness give a new dimension, making a more complex and refreshing cocktail.

In case you forgot basics how to make Scotch and Soda

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

Find the cocktail you'd love!

If you want to drink something else - you can use our AI-augmented search to find the best cocktail for you!
Completely free!

Frequently Asked Questions on Scotch and Soda

Why is it called a Scotch and Soda?

The name comes from its two main ingredients - Scotch whisky and soda water. It's a straightforward name for a straightforward cocktail, reflecting its simplicity and easy preparation.

Can I use other spirits besides Scotch whisky?

Yes, you can substitute scotch with other types of whisky or even different spirits, but that will change the taste and the drink will lose its original essence. It is recommended to use Scotch whisky for the traditional taste.

Is Scotch and Soda a strong drink?

Scotch and Soda is a relatively mild cocktail in terms of alcohol content compared to other mixed drinks. But obviously, its strength depends on how much Scotch is used in comparison to the soda water.

What is the appropriate time to serve Scotch and Soda?

Scotch and Soda is versatile and can be enjoyed any time. It's a popular choice for both daytime and evening events. Though it's often enjoyed as an aperitif or a casual drink with friends.

What are some food pairings with Scotch and Soda?

Scotch and Soda pairs well with a wide variety of foods, particularly salty or smoked appetizers like nuts, olives, meats, or cheeses. It can also complement heavier entrees like stews or meat dishes.

Why is a highball glass recommended for Scotch and Soda?

Highball glasses are tall and straight-sided which is designed to showcase the bubbles and maintain the drink's effervescence. It also allows for a perfect ratio of the cocktail's ingredients.

More similar recipes to Scotch and Soda!

Explore new cocktails you'd love!

Please rate this recipe