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Easy Craft Cocktail Shortcuts with Mixicles

5 from 6 votes

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Two Smoked Cherry Manhattans with Mixcles package box nearby, garnished with orange peel
Grill Master Manhattan

Great craft cocktail shortcuts can be hard to find. Sometimes you want a great cocktail without having to make two simple syrups, sourcing an out-of-season fruit juice and hand juicing a lemon as well. Even I want shortcuts some days when an easy cocktail sounds much more delightful than picking through my spirits collection for 4 bottles, 2 bitters, and a weird fruit juice just to make something tasty. 

The Mixicles® folks thought of that when they created their frozen, non-alcoholic botanical mixers. They approached me to try their products to see what kinds of things a home mixologist could come up with. This post is sponsored, but the review and the opinions are all my own.

(Post may contain affiliate links.)

What are Mixicles?

Mixicles are non-alcoholic, botanical mixers infused with herbs and spices that are frozen in 1-ounce quantities. They store happily in the freezer until you’re ready to make a cocktail. At that time you pop them out, toss them in the shaker with your other ingredients, or build in a glass, and you have a simplified craft cocktail on your hands. 

They come in many different flavors, and each cube combines a sweet or sour element, a fruit or floral element, and usually an herb or food element. These layers of flavors create an easy way to add complexity to a basic cocktail.

They have a list of flavors that had my imagination running when I got my hands on them. And then I tried them and started to combine different Mixicles together as elements in cocktails. I played Choose Your Own Cocktail Adventure. It’s been epic fun.

The team at Mixicles, like me, are fascinated at the flavors behind a great cocktail. But they were frustrated at the time and money needed to create those same great flavors at home. They developed the product in order to get craft cocktail flavors to cocktail enthusiasts at home in a way that was simple and easy to use. 

How to Use Mixicles as a Craft Cocktail Shortcut

Two Ruby Bubbles cocktails in champange flutes with blackberry garnish and box of packaged Mixicles
Ruby Bubbles Cocktail

The easiest way to try these flavors is in a highball or champagne cocktail. Toss a cube or two in a highball glass or a champagne flute add a bit of whiskey and soda, or simply sparkling wine and you taste the complexity as it melts through.  

One of the best things about these is their balanced flavor. They’re sweetened, but not as much as I expected. Many of the flavor combinations include citrus or berry that’s sour in nature, so they work devilishly well in cocktails with a great sour connection like a whiskey sour, a margarita, or a French 75. 

Mixicles suggest using 1 cube per ounce of spirit, but there were cases when topping with spirit or champagne that the ratio didn’t work as well as I wanted and I reduced the ratio to 1 Mixicle to 2 oz of spirit. However, adjust these recipes to your own preference. Each palate is different, so make the cocktail that fits your preferences. It just takes a little experimentation and you get to drink the results. 

For this first experiment, I made a whiskey sour with the Blackberry Lemon Thyme Mixicle and split it between two champagne flutes and topped it with sparkling wine. A great cocktail for brunch!

Ruby Bubbles (makes 2) 

  • 1 Blackberry Lemon Thyme Mixicle
  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • ½ oz simple syrup 
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • Champagne to top
  • Garnish: blackberry or lemon twist (or fresh thyme if it’s in season)

Add Mixicle cube, rye, simple, and lemon to a shaking tin and shake until you can’t hear rattling in the tin. Add ice, shake 10 more seconds, and strain into two chilled champagne flutes or coupes. Top with champagne and garnish with a blackberry or lemon twist.

How to Get a Craft Cocktail Feel with Mixicles

Lavender Peach Mixicles Sour with lavender garnish and box of packaged Mixicles nearby
Lavender Peach Sour

Making great cocktails at home can be a lot easier using craft cocktail shortcuts like these frozen botanical mixers or buying the freshest ingredients.

Add a Touch of Simple

Many craft cocktails contain a measure of simple syrup (infused or otherwise) to thicken the mouthfeel of the cocktail. That’s one thing I added when playing with these products. While the flavor in fancier “up” cocktails – served in a martini glass or flute – was layered and complex, the mouthfeel was a little thin. Adding just a touch of simple syrup to the cocktails balanced that out and made the flavors pop a bit more.

Add an egg white! 

I was surprised when the Mixicles folks hadn’t yet tried their products with an egg white because using the cubes during an initial dry shake is the perfect way to create that lovely head of foam. For that cocktail, I did add 2 cubes to 2 ounces of Mixicles with a touch of simple and fresh lemon juice and it was amazing. You could easily do this with any of their products, just matching the cube’s flavors to a complementary spirit. (Their Cucumber Lime Sage cube begs to be made into a frothy egg white gimlet!)

This Lavender Peach whiskey sour could easily be adjusted to a gin or even a vodka base. But my first love is whiskey. I tried with bourbon, rye, and an Irish whisky, but the bourbon and rye tasted best to me. If you’re new to making egg white sours, head to How to Make a Boston Sour for all the easy tips and tricks.

Lavender Peach Sour

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 2 Lavender Peach Mixicles
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • 1 egg white or ¾ oz aquafaba
  • 2 dashes lavender bitters (optional)
  • Garnish: fresh lavender and/or fresh peach

Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin without ice. Shake until you no longer hear the Mixicles rattling in the mixing tin. Add ice, shake for 10-12 seconds and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with lavender and fresh peach as available.

Combining Mixicles Flavors as a Craft Cocktail Shortcut

Bourbon Margarita with Mixicles garnished with orange wheel, lemon wheel, pineapple spear and chili spiced rim
Mermaid Margarita

Mixicles come in many flavors, and they have three collections if you’d like to try a mix of them to play with at home. They have Cranberry Rose, Cucumber Lime Sage, Jalapeño Citrus, Orange Blossom Pomegranate, Blackberry Lemon Thyme, Smoked Black Cherry, Blueberry Lemon Basil, Elderflower Lemon Mint, and Lavender Peach.

For more information on their collections, head here

I love a great Margarita in the heat of summer, and they’d already played with using Jalapeño Citrus and Cucumber Lime Sage cubes to make a great one, but I wanted to try layering the Orange Blossom Pomegranate cube in a margarita with it. Traditionally, margaritas have tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur, and sometimes a little simple syrup. The orange blossom stood in for the orange liqueur.

I also rimmed the glass with chili lime seasoning (use tajin if you have it) and added a pineapple slice. Win-win! This is one I envision sipping poolside as it heats up.

Mermaid Margarita

  • 2 oz whiskey (or tequila)
  • 1 Jalapeño Citrus Mixicle
  • 1 Orange Blossom Pomegranate Mixicle
  • 2 tsp simple syrup or orange liqueur
  • Splash of mezcal
  • Garnish: chili lime seasoning rim, pineapple spears/wedge

Set the Mixicles in the shaker to melt a bit while you prepare the glass with a chili-lime seasoning rim. Add the whiskey, simple or orange liqueur, and a splash of mezcal to a shaking tin. Shake until you no longer hear the Mixicles rattling in the tin. Add ice, shake for 10 seconds more, and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and rimmed with chili lime seasoning and garnish with a pineapple wedge. Dangle your toes in the pool. Sip.

How to Make a Smoky Backyard Manhattan

Two Smoked Cherry Manhattans with Mixcles package box nearby, garnished with orange peel
Grill Master Manhattan

Because they’re spirit forward and heavy on whiskey many people think of the Manhattan as a fall and winter drink. I’m here to tell you a smoked Manhattan, using their Smoked Black Cherry Mixicles cube is perfect for a sip outside.

This smoky Black Manhattan is perfect for sipping while cooking at the grill. Its hickory smoke flavor blends deliciously with the bitter amaro while the cherry provides a great tie to the bourbon. While this is best made with thawed Mixicles, pouring the ingredients and slightly thawed cubes in a glass with a splash of water will give you a fabulous cocktail in just a few minutes, and one that changes while you sip. Cheers!

Grill Master Manhattan

  • 1 Smoked Black Cherry Mixicle, partially thawed
  • 1 oz amaro
  • 2 oz bourbon (or rye for a spicier kick)
  • Garnish: fancy cherry or orange peel

Let the Mixicle partially thaw, add it, the amaro and the whiskey to a mixing glass, fill with ice, and stir for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled glass and top with cherries and an orange peel. Turn the burgers one last time. Sip.

Other Cocktails You Might Enjoy

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Recommended Bar Tools

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You probably already have these, but you may need them, too:

Two Smoked Cherry Manhattans with Mixcles package box nearby, garnished with orange peel

Grill Master Manhattan

Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktailHeather Wibbels
This smoky Black Manhattan is perfect for sipping while cooking at the grill. Its hickory smoke flavor blends deliciously with the bitter amaro while the cherry provides a great tie to the bourbon. While this is best made with thawed Mixicles, pouring the ingredients and slightly thawed cubes in a glass with a splash of water will give you a fabulous cocktail in just a few minutes, and one that changes while you sip. Cheers!
5 from 6 votes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Bourbon Cocktail
Servings 1

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Smoked Black Cherry Mixicle, partially thawed
  • 1 oz amaro
  • 2 oz bourbon or rye for a spicier kick
  • Garnish: fancy cherry or orange peel

Instructions
 

  • Let the Mixicle partially thaw, add it, the amaro and the whiskey to a mixing glass, fill with ice and stir for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled glass and top with cherries and an orange peel. Turn the burgers one last time. Sip.
Keyword amaro, black manhattan, bourbon, cherry, Mixicles, smoke
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on March 25th, 2021
Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktail

About Heather Wibbels

Heather Wibbels is a whiskey enthusiast (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching and designing cocktails, drinking cocktails, and teaching cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location

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