A highball is a labor of love.
It begins with a polished glass, set softly on the bar. We don't want any fingerprints showing up, so hold it delicately by the base, with clean hands, of course.
The next step is to carefully fill the glass three-quarters of the way with ice, stirring a couple times for frosty chill, and straining off the melted water.
Then, the spirit: poured with pride, with the label facing the guest to showcase their spirit of choice. At this point, the drink calls for a couple stirs to introduce the alcohol to the ice and the chill to the spirit.
The mixer is often overlooked, but whether is it club soda, tonic, or a ginger ale, keep in mind that it makes up a majority of the drink in volume. Use something that tastes amazing on its own, and keep it chilled.
Pour precisely and deftly over your chilled mixture, avoiding the ice and even the side of the glass if you can. Mixers only have so much sparkle to share. These bubbles should be delivered directly to the spirit, rather than dashing against the edges of hard ice and glass, giving up effervescence before being given the chance to mingle.
There is no need to stir a highball. This agitates the ingredients needlessly. The best way to integrate the fizzy mixer with your spirit is to use a bar spoon to gently nuzzle the ice upwards, creating a vortex in the bottom of the glass where the spirit and mixer may socialize without interruption.
All it takes is a steady and gentle hand to guide the ice back down and to gingerly extract the bar spoon without jostling the ice.
At this point, the highball may need a final topping of sparkling and ice so that the glass is satisfyingly filled from base to lip with ice-cold refreshment.
Tip: Garnish as you like, but hold back on those straws. The small steps we take to minimize plastic waste will add up to something great. Not to mention, that these highballs sip so well from the glass.
The bubbles bring out some beautiful aromatics to the surface of the drink that you may miss out on if drinking from a straw.