Mixing Drinks 101: Can You Mix Whiskey And Vodka?

can you mix whiskey and vodka
Joe | Last Updated: September 24, 2023
I'm Joe, a veteran bartender with over a decade in the industry and a burning passion for mixing drinks.

Whether you’re looking to spice up your cocktail game to impress your friends or are simply curious about mixing drinks and want to expand your mixology knowledge, our mixing drink 101 series has it all.

Mixing drinks can be a great way to experiment with new flavors, but when using strong spirits like whiskey and vodka, it can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Some spirits are not compatible with one another and can make you sick, whereas others work well together and can create delicious and well-balanced drinks when done properly.

That’s why in this post, we’re going to take a closer look at two of the most popular spirits on the planet and answer a common question that many cocktail enthusiasts find themselves wondering: Can you mix whiskey and vodka?

By the end of this post, you’ll know all there is about mixing whiskey and vodka, from if it’s a good combination, what it tastes like, if it’s a good idea and more.

Let’s get into it…

Can You Mix Whiskey And Vodka?

No, it’s not recommended to mix whiskey and vodka together as these are both very strong spirits and their flavor profiles clash with one another, resulting in a gross drink that is far too strong.

Whilst it can be done, it’s not a good idea.

Mixing these spirits together isn’t done very often as it can be difficult to create a drink that is enjoyable due to how these spirits clash.

Whiskey and vodka have very different flavor profiles and characteristics, so combining them together will take some thought and the use of other ingredients to make the result even remotely enjoyable.

I’ve tried mixing whiskey and vodka in cocktails a couple of times and have always found the result to be far too strong and taste gross, even when using small measures and other ingredients such as syrups and citrus juices.

can you mix whiskey and vodka
Photo by Vinicius “amnx” Amano

This isn’t a mixture that I would recommend and I suggest you stick with either one or the other when it comes to whiskey and vodka.

Mixing drinks is more common in spirits that are low in alcohol content (ABV), whereas whiskey and vodka are both very strong at usually between 40% – 60% ABV each.

This means that the alcohol content in the mixed drink may be VERY strong and concentrated, so you’ll need to be careful about the pours you use to make sure you don’t go overboard.

Mixing whiskey and vodka often results in a drink that is far too strong and unenjoyable, leading you to become hammered very quickly and recovering from a nasty hangover in the morning.

Not fun.

>> Read more: Can you mix rum with vodka?

What Does Mixed Whiskey And Vodka Taste Like?

The result of mixing whiskey and vodka will usually be a drink that is far too strong and tastes incredibly bitter from the strength of both of these spirits.

Whiskey has a strong and distinct flavor profile with notes of oak, smoke, and caramel that is delicious when on the rocks or paired with soda.

Whiskey Sour, Old Fashioned, and Manhattan are some amazing whiskey cocktails that can be enjoyed without the need for adding vodka.

On the other hand, vodka is a neutral spirit with a subtle flavor profile that is best enjoyed with tonic, soda, or juices.

Both whiskey and vodka work well separately in many cocktails, but it’s best to keep them apart due to their differences in flavor profiles and how they clash when mixed together.

>> Read more: Can you mix gin and vodka?

Is Mixing Whiskey And Vodka A Good Idea?

No, mixing whiskey and vodka is generally not a good idea. Whilst it can be done, there are a number of reasons why you likely want to avoid mixing these two spirits.

can you mix whiskey and vodka
Photo by Tim Rüßmann

Firstly, the alcohol content in both whiskey and vodka is HIGH, so mixing them together will result in a highly concentrated alcoholic drink that will blow your socks off and leave you full of regrets in the morning.

It’s hard to create a drink that is enjoyable with both whiskey and vodka as ingredients, and even if you do create a somewhat tasty drink, you won’t be able to have many because of its strength.

Also, mixing dark spirits like whiskey with clear spirits like vodka can leave you with a HANGOVER FROM HELL due to mixing the different congeners and increasing the risk of adverse health effects.

It takes your body longer to process the different congeners which is why it’s best to keep clear and dark liquors separate.

My advice is to stay clear of mixing whiskey and vodka, there are much better spirits to mix together that result in a more desirable outcome.

>> Read more: Can you mix vodka with water?

Can You Drink Whiskey And Vodka In The Same Night?

It’s not recommended to drink whiskey and vodka on the same night and is best to stick with either one or the other for the duration of your drinking experience.

As mentioned above, whiskey and vodka have different congeners, therefore, mixing both of these drinks on the same night can lead to an increased risk of adverse health effects such as vomiting, blackouts, and stomach irritation.

It can also take longer for your body to process the alcohol which can mean you’re stuck with a lasting hangover that you won’t forget in a hurry.

can you mix whiskey and vodka
Photo by Andres Haro Dominguez

If you’re drinking whiskey cokes for most of the night and decide to have a shot of vodka, this isn’t going to kill you, but it isn’t worth the risk of fully switching drinks due to the risk of adverse health effects.

Stick to drinking solely whiskey or vodka for the duration of the night and you’ll have a night with less risk.

>> Read more: Can you mix vodka and tequila?

Wrapping Up

In summary, it’s best to avoid mixing whiskey and vodka as the two are very different spirits that have unique flavor profiles and don’t work well together.

There are some people that have tried mixing whiskey and vodka and enjoyed the result, but this is going to depend on your individual preference and tolerance to alcohol.

In my experience, it’s not a good idea and results in a drink that is far too strong and can make you blackout drunk very quickly.

You’ve got to be very careful when mixing spirits as some work well and create a well-balanced drink and others can be disastrous.

Hopefully, this post has been insightful and you now know why whiskey and vodka are a bad combination.

See you in the next one!