Amid the craft cocktails on the trifold menu at the Windmill Lounge in Dallas, Texas, barman Charlie Papaceno lists a selection of highballs. Also known as “long” or “tall” drinks, highballs follow a basic formula: a couple of fingers of your preferred spirit topped off with soda water, ginger ale, or some other effervescent nonalcoholic mixer. Papaceno offers tips for enjoying these classics the way bartenders, who often favor highballs after hours, do.
Dark and Stormy
Papaceno tops dark rum such as Goslings Black Seal with his own ginger beer, which is surprisingly easy to make at home. Simply pulp a few knobs of ginger in a juicer, then strain liquid through a cheesecloth and add it, plus a bit of honey and lime juice, to store-bought ginger ale to taste.
A blend of rye whiskey and ginger ale, with a dash of Angostura bitters and a lemon peel for added depth, “this one resembles old-fashioned flavors,” Papaceno says. Just be sure to drink off of the top to get a balanced mouthful with every sip, rather than using a straw.
Combine bourbon or rye with equal parts soda and ginger ale. “I lean toward rye,” Papaceno says. “Old Overholt is my standby, but High West double rye is a pretty great blend of old and new whiskeys.”