Have a Drink: Classic Highball


The highball is a strong and tasty whiskey cocktail

Classic Highball cocktail | Relampago’s Rating: Star16Star16Star16Star16StarBW16

The basic highball is the mother of all the other soda and liquor based cocktails. This tasty and classic recipe uses simple ginger ale and whiskey, specifically Jack Daniels. But realistically, the type of whiskey can be modified for your specific taste.

A little history on the classic highball and variations on it follows:

A highball is any spirit served with a carbonated beverage over ice. The origin of the term highball is about as difficult to pin down as a champagne bubble. New York bartender Patrick Duffy claimed to have invented it in 1895, and since no one has challenged him, he holds the title. A random poll in most bars would indicate that people have no idea what a highball is—yet it is right in front of them. Scotch and Soda, Gin and Tonic, Coolers, Daisies, and so on are all highballs. A highball is primarily any alcoholic drink meant to refresh.

Initially, the most common highball was made with Scotch whisky and carbonated water, known as a Scotch and soda. There are many rivals for the fame of mixing the first highball, including the Adams House in Boston. New York barman Patrick Duffy claimed the highball was brought to the U.S. in 1894 from England by actor E. J. Ratcliffe. Well-known examples of highballs include the gin and tonic, Seven and Seven, and Cuba Libre. A highball is typically served over ice in a large straight-sided highball glass or Collins glass.

So, how do you throw one of these together this weekend? Here’s how. You will need:

  • 1 oz. Jack Daniels
  • 5 oz. ginger ale
  • Lemon peel or quarter

Slowly add the ingredients, then drop in the lemon. Enjoy! That’s it for this incredibly simple cocktail.

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