Friday, June 17, 2016

The Spirit of Things: Ginger Beer Highball

When I was growing up, my mother would make dozens of bourbon balls for the Holidays, starting well enough in advance so that they would have time to develop and mature before giving them away to friends and family. In the spirit of transparency, I confess she actually made these treats with rye whisky (and not bourbon), but after sampling a few, no one could be bothered to quibble over such pesky details :-)

To help pass the tedious time rolling ball after ball, my mother would mix herself a classic Highball of whisky and ginger ale on the rocks. It's an extremely pleasing combination, and one that reminds me of Winter - but when I came into a bottle of whisky recently, I saw no reason to wait that long! I added some peppery kick in the form of ginger beer, and the addition of mint for that Churchill Downs feeling:

Ginger Beer Highball

4-5 fresh mint leaves
2 oz. whisky (or bourbon)
2-3 ice cubes
6 oz. ginger beer (naturally sweetened if you can find it)

Roughly tear mint leaves and place in the bottom of your glass. Add whisky and let steep for a few minutes (if you want to muddle the mint leaves in the whisky, that would be fabulous). Add ice, top with ginger beer, and serve. Easy - and refreshing!

Ginger Beer Highball Cocktail

Notes: The ginger beer may seem too sharp and fiery for warm weather, but it really is the perfect thing on a hot day. Make sure it's completely chilled before using. If you can't find or don't like ginger beer, of course use a good ginger ale in its place.



  1. Sounds yummy and refreshing! And safe for a paleo diet--except the sugar in the ginger beer. I wonder if you could make some very strong ginger tea, chill it, and add that with some seltzer and maybe a drop of honey.

    1. That sounds like a great spritzer on its own! And it reminds me, I've always wanted to make ginger syrup, and using a bit of honey instead of sugar would be a great option. Thanks for the idea, and write back if you try yours!


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