You don’t need a doctorate in mixology to up your cocktail game. You just need a tall glass, ice, spirits, and a little fizz. In other words, you need a highball—BA’s official drink of spring.
Five steps to crafting the perfect highball:
1. Get the right glass: A proper highball is tall and narrow, with a hefty bottom.
2. Stir, don’t shake Add all liquids—except the bubbly one—to your glass and give them a quick stir.
3. Don’t have a meltdown Fill the glass with ice. Any size cube will do, but the larger the better. (Nobody likes a watery highball.)
4. Mind your own fizzness Top off with the carbonated ingredient—use more or less, depending on desired strength.
5. Finish with a flourish For a drink this simple, garnish matters. See our guide to making easy twists and peels.
The classic garnishes for a Pimm’s cup—cucumbers, strawberries, and orange and lemon slices, are why we crave this drink every spring and summer.
- 3 oz. Pimm’s No. 1
- Lemon-lime soda
- Mint sprig, cucumber spear, orange slice, lemon slice, and strawberry
- Pimm’s in a highball glass. Fill glass with ice, then top off with soda. Garnish with mint sprig, cucumber spear, orange slice, lemon slice, and strawberry.
The horse’s neck garnish is perfect for a highball glass.
- 8 fresh mint leaves, slapped
- 3 oz. dry gin
- 1½ oz. fresh lemon juice
- ¾ oz. simple syrup
- Club soda
- Lemon peel
Combine mint, gin, lemon juice, and syrup in a highball glass. Fill glass with ice, then top off with club soda. Garnish with lemon peel.
Looking for a margarita alternative? The Paloma—made with grapefruit soda—is exactly what you’re looking for.
- Kosher salt
- Grapefruit slice
- 2 oz. tequila reposado
- ½ oz. fresh lime juice
- Grapefruit soda (preferably San Pellegrino Pompelmo)
Pour some salt on a plate. Rub rim of a highball glass with grapefruit slice; dip rim of glass in salt. Combine tequila and lime juice in glass. Fill glass with ice, then top off with soda. Garnish with grapefruit slice.
The Americano is one of those classic cocktails that feel fresh again, perhaps thanks to the fact that we are seeing Campari everywhere.
- 1½ oz. Campari
- 1½ oz. sweet vermouth
- Club soda
- Orange wedge
Combine Campari and vermouth in a highball glass. Fill glass with ice, then top off with club soda. Garnish with orange wedge.
CEL-RAY AND AQUAVIT
If you can find Cel-Ray soda, this is a revelation. Your best bet? Go to an old-school deli.
- 2 oz. aquavit
- Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda
- Celery stalk and cucumber slice
Place aquavit in a highball glass. Fill glass with ice, then top off with soda. Garnish with celery stalk and cucumber slice.
The créme de cassis in this drink adds fruity sweetness without being cloying.
- 3 oz. tequila blanco
- 1½ oz. fresh lime juice
- 1½ oz. crème de cassis (black-currant liqueur)
- Ginger beer
- Thyme sprig
Combine tequila, lime juice, and crème de cassis in a highball glass. Fill glass with ice, then top off with ginger beer. Garnish with thyme sprig.