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7 vanilla and whisky drinks that are anything but ordinary

Ballantine's Coke Float cocktail

Everyone loves vanilla. Sure, it might not be the biggest, most original flavour out there. But sometimes you can’t beat a classic. 

The natural sweetness of vanilla is often found in desserts, from New York’s signature baked cheesecake to an ice cream sundae. But less so in cocktails. We’re here to change that. 

Much like vanilla, our blended scotch whisky is smooth, rich and delicious. So pairing the two together is an obvious choice.

Here we share our favourite vanilla whisky drinks that are anything but ordinary.

How to use vanilla in cocktails

Vanilla is a smooth, creamy ingredient that brings flavours together, making it a great addition to cocktails. Try it as the headline taste or use it to sweeten up a drink in smaller doses. 

Vanilla’s organic sweetness pairs perfectly with most ingredients from spices such as cinnamon and clove, to fruits like raspberries and bananas. It also works well with chocolate, cola and nutty or creamy flavours. Whatever you like, you can’t go wrong.

When it comes to adding vanilla to your drink, there’s a few methods to try. Drops of vanilla extract are great for adding to short or shaken serves. Whilst vanilla pods can be used as an epic looking garnish. There’s also other vanilla flavoured ingredients like ice cream, simple syrup and infused spirits to experiment with.

Mixing vanilla and whisky

Just like vanilla, whisky has a smooth, creamy flavour with hints of spice and sweetness. So naturally these two are a perfect match. 

Many of our blended single malt whiskies contain vanilla in their taste, like our 10 Year Old scotch and Ballantine’s 7 American Barrel that’s part finished in American barrels for an extra creamy, caramel flavour. Pairing these blends with extra vanilla enhances the sweetness of the scotch, with other complementary notes like honey, oak, pear and florals mixed in.

How to make your own vanilla whisky

If vanilla and whisky is a flavour combo you’re loving, then you’ve got to try infusing the two together. Pour your favourite Ballantine’s whisky over an open vanilla bean in a clean bottle and leave to infuse for a week or two until it’s as vanilla-y as you want it to be.

Vanilla whisky cocktail recipes

From extra sweet dessert cocktails to lightly flavoured simple serves, here’s our go-to vanilla whisky drinks to make at home.

White Orchid

The White Orchid is our go-to vanilla whisky cocktail. One part sweetly flavoured vanilla liqueur is layered with one part 21 Year Old whisky to elevate the blend’s natural notes of apple and liquorice. It also comes with a white orchid petal garnish, frozen into ice to look seriously refined.

ballantines 21 year old white orchid drink

Whisky Coke Float

Your favourite childhood treat just got an adult only remix. Meet the Whisky Float, made with scotch, Amaretto and a good few scoops of vanilla ice cream. A fizzy pour of cola creates the drink’s signature frothy top that’ll take you right back to the good old days.

Whisky Cream Soda

If you like vanilla, bets are you love cream soda. This vanilla-flavoured fizzy drink is great for drinking solo when you want something sweet and creamy without the dairy. But it’s even better when mixed with Ballantine’s. Make up a Whisky Cream Soda and enjoy that scotch and vanilla flavour combo.

Scots Coffee

Vanilla and coffee are a great pairing. So add in whisky and you’ve got yourself a winner. Our Scottish Coffee cocktail is what happens when an Espresso Martini meets a Whisky Spritz. It’s light, caffeinated and topped with fizzy cream soda goodness.

scots coffee - espresso cream soda cocktail - Ballantine's

Vanilla Whisky Sour

Sweeten up a classic cocktail with a vanilla twist on a Whisky Sour. Add a dash of vanilla syrup in place of sugar to get a hint of your favourite flavour. It’s a fun variation that adds extra subtle sweetness to the whisky, citrus mix.

Whisky Milkshake

Turn dessert into cocktail hour with a boozy Whisky Milkshake. This rich and creamy recipe blends Ballantine’s Finest with vanilla ice cream and liquid chocolate to make a drink more delicious and over the top than any you’ve had before. And the best part is all in the garnish. Cookies, marshmallows, cream and donuts… whatever your favourite treat it needs to be included.

Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is an easy cocktail to customise. The original recipe of whisky, bitters and sugar is great on its own, but can be even better when you mix things up. Try adding a dash of vanilla syrup for sweetness and a vanilla bean garnish to keep things on theme.

Looking for more ways to mix Ballantine’s? Get your sweet fix from our favourite honey whisky drinks and chocolate whisky cocktails including our Honey Sour and Boozy Chocolate Milkshake. Or check out our full collection of whisky cocktail recipes for every kind of flavour.

espresso and cream soda whisky cocktail - Ballantine's

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You already know we’ve nailed the Finest Whisky to ever grace a glass. But that’s just a little drop of what we’re about. Scroll on for the latest news and features from across the world of Ballantine’s whisky, True Music and much, much more.