Highball Recipes For the Ultimate Summer Refreshment
Cool off with these carbonated cocktails
The weather is heating up, but contrary to popular belief, that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up your whiskey until the weather cools off. There are many different ways to drink whiskey in the summertime, and they aren’t all the ubiquitous mint julep. Highballs are an easy summer cocktail option to make with a wide variety of ingredients, and while highballs were once relegated to just a simple spirit and soda water over ice in a tall glass, it’s perfectly OK to take artistic liberties with this tall, refreshing beverage.
“While not a traditional highball with soda water, our signature serve for Canadian Club is the CC & Ginger—1.5 oz Canadian Club 1858 (gold medal, 2019 New York International Spirits Competition) in a Collins or highball glass topped with ginger ale and garnished with a lime,” says Clement Reid, Marketing Director at Beam Suntory.
The nice thing about being a rule-breaker is that you can go as simple or as complex as you want with your summer cocktail creations. “I typically don’t garnish,” says Sailor Retro of the Metal, Rock & Whiskey Podcast. “I also like to combine a wheater [bourbon with wheat in the mash bill] with cardamom bitters and ginger ale. Makes a lovely bouquet of flavors.”
“Depending on what origin of whisk(e)y I stir a drop of complimenting bitter tincture to the soda water before building the cocktail,” continues Sailor Retro. “The soda/whisk(e)y ratio depends on proof. Always use a large ice cube and make sure all components are well chilled.” Even adding a few dashes of bitters to a classic whiskey and ginger highball cocktail can give it that additional edge.
Here are some fizzy refreshers to try:
Dalton Kenley, Old Hickory Whiskey Bar, Pensacola, FL
1.5 oz. (45ml) of Buffalo Trace bourbon
2 dashes Fee Brothers peach bitters
3 drops orange flower blossom water
0.25 oz. (7.5ml) of Aperol
Build in glass over ice and top with soda water. Garnish with a mint sprig and a lemon peel.
Rossville Union/MGP Ingredients
2 oz. (60ml) Rossville Union Master Crafted Straight Rye Whiskey (Gold Medal, 2019 NYISC)
1 oz. (30ml) cocktail syrup*
0.75 oz. (22.5ml) lemon juice
0.5 oz. (15ml) red wine
Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin over ice. Shake for 30 seconds and strain into a glass over fresh ice. Add splash of soda. Float red wine on top.
*Cocktail Syrup Recipe (yields 24 oz.)
16 oz. (475ml) turbinado sugar
16 oz. (475ml) water
The peels of one orange
Heat and stir sugar and water until you have a syrup. Remove from heat and add the peels of one orange. Let orange peels steep in syrup for 24 hours. Strain orange peels. Store in refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
Sailor Retro of the Metal, Rock & Whiskey Podcast
2 oz. (60ml) Indian Creek Rye
Chilled soda water
2 dashes of vanilla-orange bitters
Use a large ice cube in the highball glass, and add the bourbon over the cube. In a mixing glass portion out the chilled soda water and add 2 dashes of vanilla-orange bitters. Stir well to incorporate the bitters & soda. Pour over the bourbon and stir well in the highball glass.
Thyme After Time
Cocktail consultant Meghan Webb
We can’t all have Suntory Toki highball machines at home, but this recipe is a great home bar substitute.
2 oz. (60ml) Suntory Toki Japanese Whisky (Silver Medal, 2019 NYISC)
4 oz. (120ml) Fever Tree Club Soda
2-3 slices sliced kumquat
1 sprig of thyme
Build in Collins glass, drop in slices of kumquat and give gentle stir. Express and garnish with Thyme.