The Art of the Japanese Highball

let’s begin

Massively popular in Japan,The Highball is going back into fashion in bars around the world.

It has several variants including the Scotch & Soda, Cuba Libre and the Seven & Seven.

The Japanese Highball

The Japanese are well invested in their Highballs, with dedicated Japanese Highball bars all over the country.

They have their own version of it that involves adding water to the Whisky, referred to as mizuwari. It’s a simple process that involves chilling a glass with ice, adding Whisky, stirring 13-and-a-half times in a clockwise direction. then you add sparkling water and stir a further three-and-a-half times.

In Japan it is typical to use a ball of ice rather than cubes and pour the Whisky over it. Everything is well considered and thought out – even down to the last drop of water.

If you’ve never had a Japanese Highball, your best bet is to head to Japan, you’ll never get a better one(regardless of the air fare, it’s very worth it).

So why are Japanese Highballs so good?

Highballs are attractive because they’re so simple yet so good.

Make sure to use a good ratio of Whisky to soda, veering towards the Whisky more than the soda.

You can vary your mixers as well. if you use something like Ginger Ale it will bring out more flavours in the Whisky. We highly recommend experimenting – find out exactly how you enjoy your Highball.

Our Recipe for the Perfect Highball

50ml Dewar’s 12 Year Old (we’ve suggested Dewar’s 12 Year Old as Dewar’s was voted #1 whisky for Highballs in Japan by Japanese bartenders… no mean feat!)

100ml soda water
Lime to garnish

  1. Add ice to a tall glass and allow it to chill.
  2. Pour the Whisky into the glass.
  3. Stir with the ice.
  4. Pour over the soda and add the lime.

Highballs are an elegantly simply drink and very easily enjoyable. You can enjoy them in many different ways and trial different combinations to see what you enjoy.

And if you ever get the chance, definitely head to Japan to enjoy one. You will not regret it.

Tags: HighballJapanscotchseven and sevensoda
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My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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