Mixology Monday

Spicy Whiskey Highball

Highballs are probably my favorite drink request when I’m pressed for time while playing host to friends. They’re the epitome of simplicity; mixing a bit of the hard stuff and topping it off with some juice or soda couldn’t be easier. It’s ideal for the host (me) who spreads herself too thin.

So when this Mixology Monday hosted this month by Southern Ash came to be I got pretty excited. I couldn’t track down a bottle of my favorite highball mixer for whiskey in town, so I tried my hand at ginger beer production.

I unpleasantly discovered while I was elbow deep in ginger juice that I misplaced (lost) the charger holder to my soda siphon. Plan B was bottle fermenting the stuff; so I tracked down some Champagne yeast and EZ cap bottles at a nearby home brew shop. I mixed my soda and added the yeast. I waited, while growing anxious by the minute that I just created a bottle bomb complete with glass shrapnel. Two days later I checked the soda only to discover it never carbonated. I added more yeast and waited another two days. The soda was as flat as the day was long.

Later that evening my charger holder replacement arrived and I made another batch of soda. I was back in business.

My highball is essentially a whiskey ginger. My favorite soda to mix with whiskey is a bottle of South Carolina’s Blenheim Ginger Ale.

I tried to create a spicy ginger soda that left a tingling burn in my throat long after I swallowed. I added a handful of dried chile de arbol to the simple syrup in the ginger beer recipe. Once the sugar dissolved and the mixture came up to a boil I removed the pan from the heat and allowed the dried chilies to hang out until the syrup provided the right amount of burn.

My favorite ratio turned out to be 1.5 ounces of whiskey topped off with 4 ounces of ginger beer. I garnished my highball with some homemade candied ginger and a squeeze of lime.

side view

Highball: Whiskey and Spicy Ginger


  •  ounces Bourbon or Rye
  • 4 ounces ginger beer or spicy ginger ale
  • Garnish: candied ginger and lime (optional)


Grab a highball glass and fill it to the top with ice. Add your favorite whiskey and fill with ginger beer. Stir with a straw to incorporate and garnish with candied ginger and some lime. Enjoy on a sunny day, feet up.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    January 20, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Beautiful glass!

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