With only 2 ingredients, this Japanese Highball is so easy to make and so refreshing to sip! Crisp and light with the perfect balance of whiskey to club soda, it's the perfect cocktail!
Take a classic highball and give it a twist by using Japanese Whiskey!
When I was growing up, I always remember my grandmother ordering a highball whenever we went out to eat. It looked like a fun, sparkling drink.
But then it seemed, like no one was ordering highballs any more.
Thanks to the Japanese for bringing back a classic and in a big way.
The Japanese have taken the highball to a whole new level! They took as simple 2 ingredient cocktail and gave it the techniques and reverence that it deserves!
What is a highball?
A highball is a tricky word. It is a classic cocktail - The Highball - which is usually whisky and club soda.
It is also a category of cocktails, which are cocktails that include a liquor and a sparkling mixer. A gin and tonic is a type of highball cocktail.
Highball also refers to the type of glass that you that you serve a highball in. It is a tall glass (similar and many times interchangeable with a collins glass.) It typically holds around 12 ounces giving you plenty of room for your liquor and sparkling mixer.
Japanese Whisky - since we are making a Japanese highball, we need a Japanese Whisky. There are many varieties to choose from ranging from moderately priced to a little more costly. We went with the classic Suntory Whisky Toki. Many describe it as floral, subtle and complex.
Club Soda - You can go as fancy as you'd like, lots of options. We went with a classic.
Let me begin by saying that you can make a Japanese Highball in a couple of different ways. One is the Japanese way - with specific turns and counting or you can make it like I made it, which is a bit easier to remember!
Also, you want everything very cold. Make sure your club soda is very well chilled and some people even chill the whisky.
How to make a Japanese Highball the Japanese way. Place the ice cubes (preferably clear) in a highball glass and stir for 30 seconds. Pour out any of the water from the melted ice. Add the whisky and stir for 13.5 times clockwise. Add the club soda - if you don't have a bar spoon, tilt the glass to allow the soda to pour gently down the sides. If you do have a bar spoon, pour the club soda down the rivets, while gently lifting up the ice from the bottom, to get the club soda to go to the bottom of the glass. Stir 3.5 times clockwise.
Add ice to a highball glass and stir to chill the glass and take of the hard edges of the ice. Pour out any water.
Your next decision (after deciding if you're going to make it the ritualistic Japanese way) is deciding your whisky to soda ratio.
Most people choose either a 1 part whisky to 4 parts soda, 1 part whisky to 3 parts soda or 1 part whisky to 2 parts soda.
We tried a 1:3 ratio and a1:2 ratio. My husband liked the 1:2 with it being more whisky forward and liked the 1:30, which was more subtle.
Add your whiskey to the glass and stir gently.
Gently pour the club soda into the glass, either using a bar spoon and allowing it to flow down the rivets or tilting the glass and pouring it on the side.
Stir once very gently, you don't want to disperse the bubbles.
Add more ice if you'd like.
This was really good. Simple and elegant. It's the cocktail you can make on a moments notice, especially if you always keep some club soda in your fridge, which we do now!
You can go all out and make it the ritualistic way, or you can simply mix it together with a couple of quick stirs, it's up to you.
Since you can vary the ratio, you can easily make it to suit your tastes. With less whisky and more soda, you can have always have more than one and it's a low calorie cocktail!
If you're looking for more simple cocktails, I've put together 27 EASY 2 or 3 Ingredient Cocktails - you have to check it out!
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- 1 ounce whiskey Japanese whisky
- 4 ounces club soda
- Add ice to a highball glass and stir for about 30 seconds to chill the glass and smooth the corners of the ice.
- Pour off any water that melted from the ice.
- Add the whiskey and stir for about 3-5 seconds or 13.5 turns clockwise.
- Using a bar spoon pour the club soda down the spoon so that it gets to the bottom of the glass, while gently lifting the bottom ice cube, or tilt the glass and pour the club soda gently down the side of the glass.
- Do one brief gentle stir or stir 3.5 times clockwise.