The Smokey Talisker Highball

The Smokey Talisker Highball

Crafted with Talisker Storm Malt Whisky, soda, and a hint of white pepper, this cocktail offers a smoky and maritime twist on the classic Highball recipe. The classic Highball cocktail, with its origins traced to the UK, gained popularity in the US before being perfected in Japan. 

During the era of steam locomotives, it's believed that when the boiler reached a high level, a ball was sent up the duct, signalling a break for the men to enjoy whisky, leading to the term 'highball.'

The Highball's history originates in England with the creation of soda, a crucial element in the cocktail. In October 1887, American actor EJ Ratcliffe allegedly asked bartender Patrick Gavin Duffy for a "scotch & soda," marking an early version of the Highball. The drink gained popularity across the country, and Duffy claimed in his book The Official Mixer’s Guide that he introduced the iconic cocktail to America in 1885.

During prohibition in the United States, scotch sales surged on the black market. The Highball cocktail gained popularity in underground bars, as referenced in Gatsby the Magnificent. Additionally, the availability and popularity of ice increased in 1880, becoming another key component of the cocktail.

After the repeal of the liquor ban, whiskey and soda became a sophisticated drink. The highball trend persisted until the 1980s when vodka supplanted scotch as the preferred spirit. However, its resurgence in Japan as a post-work beverage, and the trend rose like a phoenix from its ashes. 

The classic Highball cocktail remains immensely popular and an integral part of Japanese culture. Comprising only ice, whiskey, and sparkling water, the Land of the Rising Sun found a more economical alternative to beer in the 1950s. 

In 2008, a local scotch brand launched a campaign that highlighted the Highball, bringing it back to the forefront and sparking a new wave of popularity. Today, the Highball is considered a symbol of authenticity for young Japanese people, connecting them to a beverage enjoyed by their grandparents.

Crafted with Talisker Storm Malt Whisky as its foundation, the Smokey Talisker Highball introduces a nuanced smokiness (a nod to Talisker's maritime character). The smoky notes from the whisky intertwine with the effervescence of soda, creating a refreshing and invigorating drink with a subtle peppery finish. Each sip is a journey along the rugged coastline of Skye, the birthplace of Talisker's renowned distillery. 

It stands as a testament to the craftsmanship of Talisker whiskies, providing enthusiasts with a unique and flavorful twist on the classic highball cocktail. Notable whisky bars and cocktail lounges with a reputation for curating exquisite drink menus and showcasing the distinct flavours of Talisker whiskies are ideal destinations for experiencing this cocktail. 

Ingredients

  • Talisker 10 Yrs - 50ml
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  • Soda - to top up
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  • Orange peel
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Method

Pour Talisker 10 Yrs in a highball glass with lots of ice.

Top up with soda.

Garnish with an orange peel.

The Smokey Talisker Highball

Mixologist: Shreya Paul

Ingredients

Method

Pour Talisker 10 Yrs in a highball glass with lots of ice.

Top up with soda.

Garnish with an orange peel.

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The Smokey Talisker Highball