As the warm (albeit mostly indoor) summer comes to a close, many of us are once again reaching for our favorite fall whiskeys to accompany the coming autumn weather. And while elaborate cocktails are great for a special night in, it’s more likely you’ll find us whipping up drinks that are satisfying and easy to make.
Following its recent comeback in Japan, the Highball remains a bartender favorite in the U.S. The beauty of the Highball is in its simplicity: With just two main ingredients, whiskey and sparkling water, the drink is easily modifiable. When made correctly, the bare-bones drink allows the spirit to sing.
That’s why, in honor of Bourbon Heritage Month, we’ve put together a list of the best whiskey Highballs from VinePair’s recipe library. Read on to discover autumn’s newest staples.
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High-quality whiskey stars in this sweet and citrusy riff on the classic, two-part Scotch and soda. Scotch or single malt whiskey is combined with fino sherry and honey syrup. The drink is then topped with soda water and garnished with a citrus twist.
Forgoing the classic large ice cubes that are typically used in a classic Highball, this fall-flavored iteration uses crushed ice. An easy combination of blended whiskey, pumpkin spice syrup, and soda brings sweet and spicy flavors to the cocktail. And, since crushed ice increases dilution, this drink is ideal for daytime sessions.
A riff on the Penicillin, the Ray of Sunshine tastes as bright as it looks. This drink is simple to make, employing a split base of whiskey and rum. Add in lemon juice and ginger syrup to bring in some freshness to this sour cocktail, top with soda water and an expressed lemon peel, and enjoy this deliciously balanced sipper.
Developed by the team at Jersey City’s Ani Ramen, this Japanese-influenced cocktail uses a split base of whiskey and rum. Adding lime juice, Okinawa brown sugar syrup (a mixture of brown sugar and water), and topping with ginger beer brings this cocktail’s flavor profile somewhere in between a Dark ‘n’ Stormy and a Kentucky Mule.
Had a rough night? This Tiki-influenced cocktail, created by Michael Neff, beverage director at The Cottonmouth Club in Houston, mixes ginger ale with bourbon and gin. (If the name didn’t give it away, it was designed as a morning-after tonic.) Mix the spirits with a few dashes of cardamom vanilla Angostura bitters to add a kick to this refreshing sipper.
Sweet, spicy, and fruity, this cocktail screams “fall.” Combine bourbon, ruby red grapefruit juice, and maple syrup with ice; then top with a few dashes of Angostura bitters. Garnish with a grapefruit slice for an extra fancy presentation. The best part? This drink can be made right in the glass.
Inspired by Southern tailgates, this is an easy-to make, three-ingredient cocktail. It’s as simple as mixing bourbon and fresh cherries in a Highball glass, and topping with Coca-Cola. Garnish with whole cherries, and pair this drink with football season.
Part fizz, part Highball, this cocktail was created by Death & Co. New York’s head bartender, Shannon Tebay. To make this sour-style cocktail, combine dry vermouth (or Absentroux, if you wanna get fancy), Scotch, simple syrup, egg whites, and apple slice in a shaker. Shake, and strain into a Highball glass over sparkling water. Top with more soda water, and enjoy this texturally satisfying cocktail.