Whisky Highball

Some people will tell you the Highball got its name from a railway signal, but the oldest reference we could find offers a different explanation. Round about 1888, in St. Louis University Club, a drink of bourbon and soda served with an ice ball was popular with members who referred to it as a Ball; if they wanted a longer drink, they’d ask for a High Ball.

Today a whisky highball involves whisky and a mixer, usually carbonated, served in a long glass over ice. So Scotch and soda, or JD & Coke are both examples of highballs, although very often these days, they’re served in short tumblers – a lowball?

For a Whisky Highball or a JD & Coke, the method is the same; it’s the mixer and ratios that are different.

For both, fill a highball glass with ice. Pour the whisky over and add the soda, ginger ale or coke.

For a Whisky Highball:

  • 1 part whisky (blended Scotch)
  • 5 parts soda water or ginger ale
  • Ice
For a JD & Coke:
  • 1 part Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whisky
  • 3 parts Coca Cola
  • Ice

Chilling the glass first will help keep the drink cool for longer.

Don’t stir as this will reduce the bubbles and, as any ball-player will tell you, there’s nothing worse than a Foulball!

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