Sometimes all you really want is some tasty booze and a nice tall glass to hold it in. Enter the highball, a traditional whiskey cocktail that involves a basic mixer, some ice, and that's about it. But lately highballs are making a comeback, and bartenders are thinking up brilliant little twists on the straightforward classic. Here, five outstanding highball takes at bars around the U.S.
Highball Tropical, Izakaya, Houston
A modern-day version of a traditional Japanese pub, Izakaya in Houston has a drink menu that emphasizes classic Japanese preservation and fermentation techniques to complement its tapas-style menu. Beyond the selection of shochu- and sake-based cocktails, made with ingredients like salted plums, yuzu and matcha, the bar offers Japanese whisky highballs on tap. One favorite? The Highball Tropical, made with pineapple-infused sherry wine fortified with vodka and topped with ginger beer and a juicy pineapple wedge.
Lavender Honey Collins, Embers Ski Lodge, Nashville
The neighborhood hotspot Embers Ski Lodge in Nashville serves seasonal bites and an extensive roster of whiskies to keep you warm while you mingle at the ski lodge-themed bar. You'll want to go for the Lavender Honey Collins, a spin on the classic Tom Collins, for its fabulous combo of gin, fresh lemon juice, soda and lavender-honey syrup for a subtly delicious floral note. Photo by Nickellac Photography.
Love Bruise, Edgar’s Proof & Provisions, Atlanta
Mosey up to the bar at Atlanta’s Edgar’s Proof & Provisions, where the list of celeb fans includes Paul Rudd and Ice Cube. Definitely don’t skip must-try drink, the Love Bruise, made with gin, lemon, sumac-apricot, orange bitters and ginger beer for an incredibly bold-tasting cocktail with an ultra-smooth finish.
Nui Nui, Latitude 29, New Orleans
Island-inspired bites, a wall mural made up of Polynesian tiki statues, and exotic vintage drinks make New Orleans’ Latitude 29 your ticket to paradise. Amp up your experience with the Nui Nui. The tall cocktail combines fresh lime juice, orange juice, a pair of infused sugar syrups (cinnamon and vanilla), a dash of Angostura Bitters, allspice dram—and lots of rum.
Floraison, Highball Lounge, Boston
Nine Zero Hotel’s Highball Lounge has a playful vibe thanks to rubber duckie-adorned martinis, plus Jenga, board games, View-Master toys and rotating DJ’s. But it’s not all fun and games. The retro bar is serious about its drinks, which it serves up in antique glassware. One to try: the Floraison, a luscious blend of almond-flavored crème liqueur, tonic, lemon and aleppo pepper, spiked with gin and poured over ice in a tall, cool glass.
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