Japanese Highball

The result is more art than cocktail.

Japanese highball with whiskey cocktail easy recipe highballs stir
Photo: Matthew Kelly for Thrillist
Photo: Matthew Kelly for Thrillist

The Japanese Highball is not your average Whiskey Soda. This is a cocktail made with a fastidious attention to detail, zen-like focus, and the highest quality ingredients. Bartenders use block ice, which they carve into perfect cubes and stir in a glass until frost appears. After pouring out any excess water, the glass and ice is finally ready for the whiskey, which the bartender chills by stirring the liquor with ice precisely 13 times before adding more ice and topping everything off with soda water. The result is more art than cocktail. Plus, it's the perfect drink to have at karaoke night.

Japanese Highball



  • 2 oz Japanese Whiskey
  • Soda Water


Step one

Place one large cube of ice in a highball glass. Stir until a frost appears on the glass. Pour off any excess water.

Step two

Add one more cube of ice, then add the whiskey to the glass.

Step three

Stir exactly 13 times clockwise.

Step four

Place another cube of ice in the glass (the ice should fill the highball at this point).

Step five

Top with soda water and stir three times to incorporate.

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