Alcoholic Whiskey and Soda Highball with Lemon
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Scotch and Soda Cocktail

The classic scotch and soda drink, or more traditionally known as a Scotch Highball, is a drink that was made popular in the States towards the end of the nineteenth century.

We’re going to give you an overview of this popular drink, so keep reading to learn more about the Scotch Highball, it’s origin story, why we think it’s special, and how to make the best Scotch Highball you’ll ever drink in your life.

Scotch and Soda History

British actor E.J. Ratcliffe brought the idea of the Scotch highball to America, according to New York barman Patrick Duffy. Duffy, having opened a café bar in Manhattan in 1894, claimed that Ratcliffe, a regular customer at the time, ordered a scotch with soda.

It took Duffy some months to track down scotch, but once he did, people couldn’t get enough of it. Ratcliffe seemingly dubbed the drink a Scotch Highball due to the type of tall glass that Duffy was serving the drinks in.

What Makes It So Special?

Scientific evidence suggests that the dilution provided by the amount of ice in the drink helps bring out the natural aromas in the liquor. These natural aromas generally cling to the alcohol molecules.

The dilution from the ice allows these aromas to escape quicker, and this means that the drinker can more easily pace themselves as the night progresses. As well as that, the dilution also prevents the drinker’s palate from being burned by a potentially harsh spirit, allowing for a smoother, more enjoyable drinking experience.

How to Make the Perfect Scotch Highball

So, now you know the history; you’ll surely want to make your own. While you may panic thinking of this drink is a cocktail, it really doesn’t have too many ingredients, so don’t worry. We’re going to break it down step by step and tell you exactly how to make the most refreshing soda and scotch drink to keep your taste buds satisfied during the hot summer months.

What You’ll Need

  • A highball glass
  • Plenty of Ice
  • 2 ounces of scotch whiskey
  • Club Soda
  • Lemon twist to garnish
  • A sunny back yard to enjoy it in


  1. Fill the highball glass to the brim with ice
  2. Pour the two ounces of scotch whiskey over the ice
  3. Finish the drink off by pouring club soda up to the top of the glass
  4. Additional but recommended step: garnish with a lemon twist
  5. Put your feet up and enjoy

So there you have it! That wasn’t so hard now was it? Now you’ve perfected the fine art of the Scotch Highball, you’re going to be the most popular person in your friend group. Don’t forget to tell them about its interesting origins once you’ve served it up to them. Always remember to drink safely and ensure that all your guests are of legal drinking age. Have fun!

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