Food - Drink
What's Really In A Whiskey Highball?
By NIKITA EPHANOV
Highballs are a category of cocktail that includes classic drinks such as the rum & coke and gin & tonic. Combining liquor and a carbonated mixer to make your own highball seems easy enough, but a surprising amount of complexity goes into the whiskey highball, a drink popularized in Japan in the 1950's.
Whiskey highballs are made from whiskey, carbonated water, and ice, and in a concoction involving so few elements, each component must be handled with care. Using high-quality whiskey is a logical start, but the carbonated water and ice must also be perfect, and temperature is the most crucial factor in this drink.
Carbonated water should be used at near-freezing temperatures for the best fizziness, mouthfeel, and flavor; in many Japanese preparations, perfectly-molded ice cubes are stirred in a glass until frost appears, then excess water is poured out and the cubes are ready to use in the highball. And don't forget a sprig of mint or lemon peel to garnish.