Initially, the term “highball” referred to a cocktail made with whiskey and soda. At its base, the Presbyterian falls into the highball category.
- 1½ ounces whiskey
- 1 to 2 ounces soda water
- 1 to 2 ounces ginger ale
- Lime wedge
Fill a Collins glass with ice. Add the whiskey, soda water and ginger ale. Stir to combine, garnish with the lime wedge and serve.
The Japanese have taken a serious liking to the highball in recent years. Economics is one reason: A small whiskey stretched with water yields more bang for the buck. Also, lower-proof drinks pair well with Japanese cuisine. Perhaps most important, Japanese whiskeys are often densely layered with flavors from many barrel types and still shapes. These blends and vattings all show their best when they are cut down in strength. The pinnacle of this is the mizuwari preparation, a tradition found in Japan's higher-end whiskey bars.
- Large ice cubes
- 1 ounce Japanese whiskey
- 2 to 3½ ounces good-quality mineral water
1. In a Collins glass, add 1 to 2 ice cubes and stir rapidly for 20 seconds to chill the glass. Hold back the ice with a barspoon while draining off the water.
2. Add the whiskey and stir clockwise exactly 13½ turns. Set the spoon on the lip of the glass, with the end resting on the counter.
3. Add the mineral water, then use the spoon to stir exactly 3½ times to blend.
Presbyterian à la Minute
Create the effect of ginger ale à la minute with this technique for infusion involving an iSi siphon.
6 cocktails (and 1 cup honey syrup)
- ½ ounce whole black peppercorns
- ½ ounce whole cloves
- 9 ounces whiskey
- One 1-inch-long piece of fresh ginger, scraped and sliced crosswise into 4 coins
- 2 ounces honey syrup
1. Make the honey syrup: In a small saucepan set over medium heat, bring the honey and ½ cup water to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the honey is completely dissolved. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool. Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate.
2. In a cocktail shaker, use a muddler to coarsely smash the peppercorns and cloves. Transfer the spices to a 6-inch square of cheesecloth set flat on a work surface. Gather the corners and tie with a piece of kitchen twine.
3. In a 36-ounce iSi siphon, add the spice sachet, whiskey, 15 ounces water, ginger coins and honey syrup. Top with ice, cover and shake well to chill. Charge the contents with a CO2 canister, then strain into 6 ice-filled Collins glasses.