Food - Drink
Why The Whisky Highball Is
So Popular
In Japan
By MICHELLE WELSCH
Highballs can be a bit difficult to define, but the term generally encompasses any cocktail mixed with a spirit, mixer, and ice. In Japan, the drink is an art form and you can find them everywhere from vending machines to upscale cocktail bars.
Since it’s customary in Japan for drinks to be served during dinner, rather than before or after, the highball rose to prominence because of its lower alcohol ratios that made it easier to enjoy with a meal. Additionally, after World War II, people wanted to drink affordably, and highballs were the answer for cost-effective booze.
The drink is so popular that many Japanese bartenders believe assembling a highball is close to a science and the temperature, glass size, type of ice, and mixers used are all carefully considered. Some mixologists even count the number of times the drink is stirred.