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Crisp, light and refreshing, a whisky highball is a true classic – and, with just two ingredients, it's a cocktail that's winningly easy to make
The whisky highball is not a new cocktail but it's enjoying a return to popularity thanks to its clean simplicity and versatility. Blended scotch is traditional, but you can try using your favourite single malt in this recipe (something fruity and grassy is ideal). Don't forget about other whisky styles as well – smooth, buttery bourbon and spicy rye would also work nicely. When it comes to mixers, feel free to play around – add a touch of sweet red vermouth to the sparkling water, or use different cordials and liqueurs – we like apple and peach flavours. You can also try swapping the water for ginger ale (this is particularly good with bourbon). For garnishes, as well as a lemon try using other citrus fruits such as orange and grapefruit, or even apple.
A highball doesn't always have to include whisky. Anything that uses two ingredients – spirit and mixer – can be classed as a highball, and these include the paloma (grapefruit soda and tequila), cuba libre (rum and cola) and moscow mule (vodka and ginger ale). We also like drinking blanco tequila with soda water, whisky with iced green tea and kombucha and vodka, for something a little bit different.
For glassware, any tall highball or tom collins glass will work, but it's nice to invest in some good-quality ones to give your cocktails a more polished look. We like this classic set below.
Pour the whisky and sparkling water into an ice-filled chilled or frozen highball glass and gently stir with a long spoon. Garnish with the lemon peel and mint leaves, if using.