As we start to think of long summer nights (and try to put the recent snow behind us), our minds inevitably turn to refreshing drinks and the promise of a long sipper (When we are not thinking of other things, but who are we kidding, we are pretty much always thinking of cocktails).
Enter the highball – as simple as it is versatile. The classic highball cocktail generally describes the family of cocktails that include the combination of a spirit and mixer, which includes, for example, the humble Cuba Libre (Rum and Coke), Gin and Tonic, and perhaps the most overlooked yet iconic, the Scotch and Soda.
This drink has come a long way since its origins in 1890-something, and even further since the New York Times described it in 1904 as:
‘A pretty safe generalization respecting the highball that the best thing in it is the carbonated water – and one cannot always be sure of that’
Enter Glenfiddich (who have been around since 1886, a few years before the highball first appeared), and their new mission to bring the highball back into the mainstream and into your hands. We had the pleasure of attending an event at one of our favourite bars, Oriole in Smithfield market, a few weeks ago, and it really got us excited about how simple cocktails can really hit the spot sometimes!
Glenfiddich have introduced the new Glenfiddich Highball, which reimagines the classic cocktail. Inspired by the classic combination of whisky and soda, one of the new serves by the famous scotch whisky brand pairs their 12-Year-Old vintage with soda and a lemon twist. This is as simple as it gets in terms of drinks you can make at home, and let us tell you, it sure is refreshing!
As well as this cocktail, created by Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman (what a job title!), other twists on the cocktail include drinks from Tristan Stephenson, owner of Black Rock (and author of several great books), Stu Bale, founder of the Crucible experimental cocktail kitchen, Lulu Fedi, Head Bartender at the American Bar, and Craig Harper, Gleneagles and Fever Tree ambassador.
One of our favourites was Lulu’s ‘Fields of Gold’ – a mixture of Glenfiddich 12-Year-Old, honeyed barley coffee, soda water and a lemon peel – which showed how versatile the mixers could be in this style of drink. Even more complex was Stu’s mix of Glenfiddich 12, Williams pears, Conference pears, honey, citric acid and wine tannin.
For those who find scotch a bit strong, ‘not their spirit’, or even just people looking to ensure a slightly less foggy head the morning after, a highball is a good shout. As the summer nights get longer (and warmer, hopefully), we will certainly be sipping a few more of these in the coming months.
If you are looking to take even more effort out of making a highball, Glenfiddich have installed a ‘highball machine’ at Oriole bar, which will be in place throughout April. Go check it out!