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The Highball

Highball is the name for a family of mixed drinks that are composed of an alcoholic base spirit and a larger proportion of a non-alcoholic mixer. Originally, the most common highball was made with Scotch whisky and carbonated water, which is today called a “Scotch and Soda”.

There are many rivals for the fame of mixing the first highball, including the Adams House in Boston. New York barman Patrick Duffy claimed the highball was brought to the U.S. in 1894 from England by actor E. J. Ratcliffe.

The Online Etymology Dictionary suggests that the name originated around 1898 and probably derives from ball meaning a “drink of whiskey” and high because it is served in a tall glass. The name may refer to the practice of serving drinks in the dining cars of trains powered by steam locomotives, when the engine would get up to speed and the ball that showed boiler pressure was at its high level, known as “highballing”. Or the name may have come from the railroad signal meaning “clear track ahead”.

Well-known examples of highballs include Bourbon and Water, Cuba Libre, Scotch and Soda, Seven and Seven, the Moscow Mule, and gin and tonic. A highball is typically served in large straight-sided glass, for example, a highball glass or a Collins glass, with ice.
Highballs are popular in Japan, where they are often made with Japanese whisky as a haibōru, or mixed with shōchū as a chūhai. Various mixers can be specified by suffixing with -hai, as in oolong highball (ūron-hai). These are consumed similarly to beer, often with food or at parties.

Take a look at the 33cl Glass4ever high ball glass here.

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