A highball is a cocktail that refers to the type of glass that you use, a highball glass. It’s similar to a Collin’s glass, just a little bit smaller. The other nice thing about highballs is that the name of the cocktail is also the recipe, generally. Examples are the gin and tonic or the rum and coke. Let’s just run through a couple of them. Very simple, but you can still screw them up.
So start with two ounces of spirit, let’s start with the gin/tonic, a nice crisp London Dry Gin. And this drink is all about ratios. You just don’t want to put in too much gin. You want there to be plenty of room for the tonic to give it that really nice, crisp, slightly bitter, refreshing quality that just makes a gin and tonic perfect for a hot summer day.
Funny fact about the gin and tonic is that originally it was invented to stave off malaria in the Algerian front back when Britain was doing whatever they were doing over there. Now we just drink it for fun. We’re going to garnish this with a little bit of lime. When you’re cutting limes it’s always a good idea to cut a little slit down the center, so that when you cut it into wedges it just fits perfectly on that side of the glass. It gives it a nice professional look.
Okay, so we’ve got our gin and now it’s time to add our ice. We want this drink to be nice and cold so fill it all the way to the top. And since we’re not going to shake it or anything, you definitely want to use really cold tonic water, and also fresh tonic water. You want it to be just as bright and bubbly as possible. All right, and with the lime, we are done with our gin and tonic. Now let’s quickly make our rum and coke.
Same deal, two ounces of spirit, in this case we’re going to use white rum. Fill it up with ice. The story with the rum and coke is that during World War II when whiskey was being made for the war effort and sugar was rationed, rum and coke was kind of what they were left with. Luckily, it makes a delicious alternative to whatever they were drinking before then.
Now we can just top this off coke, everybody’s favorite gateway cocktail. But it’s nice that it is really delicious, even though it’s kind of what everybody drinks when they don’t know what else to drink. And again, a little lime on there. They also call this a Cuba Libra, and there you are. That is how you make two classic highballs; the gin and tonic and the rum and coke.