Highballs and low lights

Photo By Beautiful Isolations

Photo By Beautiful Isolations


Those of you who have made it out to our cocktail lounge so far this summer, and those of you who have followed us on social media have probably noticed the phrase "Highball" being thrown around without explanation. You have also probably noticed some photos (Above) of brightly colored, decorative cocktails in tall, skinny glasses being shared to promote our Lounge updates. (Also, Side Note, how great are those photos? Thanks Sarah! Click the photo above to check out her work) 

Well, if you have been curiously wondering what all this is about, you aren't alone. In fact, most people who wander into the Lounge begin their interaction with our bartenders by asking about the photos or what exactly a highball is.


I thought now would be a good time to write a brief explanation about highballs and our approach to cocktails in general. 


Starting with highballs, the inspiration came from this clip about a European cocktail bar that places a high priority on the Highball


if you took the time to watch the video, you understand  The concept. In case you didn't, I will explain the idea and also attempt to clarify our take on the subject.

According to the interweb, here are a couple explanations of a highball

"a drink consisting of whiskey and a mixer such as soda or ginger ale, served with ice in a tall glass." 

"Highball is the name for a family of mixed alcoholic drinks that are composed of an alcoholic base spirit and a larger proportion of a non-alcoholic mixer."

"a railroad signal for a train to proceed at full speed"


You get the idea I'm sure (Although That last one is a little confusing). 

We consider a highball a cocktail with a full pour (at least 1.5 oz) of a spirit or liqueur, and at least that same amount of a "mixer", usually a carbonate (club soda, coke, sparkling wine, etc) or a juice. What separates a highball from our other cocktails? Great question. Most of our other cocktails are generally much smaller in size and have much less non alcoholic mixer to them. The difference really becomes drink-ability, as highballs are much lighter, typically moderately sweet and flavored primarily by the additive and second by the liquor. 


Take These Two Recipes as an example:

Strawberry Basil Julep
2 oz Knob Creek Bourbon
1/2 oz Sweet Basil Syrup
1 whole strawberry, thinly sliced
4-6 basil leaves
Photo By Josh Hicks Photo

Photo By Josh Hicks Photo

Keenan & Kel Highball
1 1/2 oz Dark Rum
1 oz Orange Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 oz Club Soda
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Photo By Beautiful Isolations

Photo By Beautiful Isolations





While both of these cocktails contain fruit and sweetener, one of them should be distinctly stronger and the other lighter and easier to drink.

A word we use a lot is approachable. The Julep may not be "approachable" to someone who isn't used to drinking bourbon since it is primarily bourbon accented by fruit and herbs. The Highball is going to be more approachable due to lower alcohol content, higher sugar content, and the light and effervescent nature of the drink itself.



So you may be asking, "What's the point of offering highballs at your cocktails lounge?" or "Why are you telling us this?" or "What does this have to do with Railroads?" and those are all good questions. Kind of.   

Well, my answer to these kinds of questions is actually our approach to serving cocktails in general, which is:

Cocktails are for everyone, and it's our job to create drinks that everyone will like. 

I've talked to tons of people who think cocktails are only for "fancy rich people" or "old british guys". Lots of people have been bullied by cocktail snobs who make claims like "That's not a Martini" or "This is the only way to make this drink" or " A cocktail shouldn't have fruit in it". 


Highballs are kind of our way of responding to this kind of talk. Highballs are cocktails (Damn good cocktails) that, Yeah, are fruity and sweet. They do have more than just a couple ingredients. You can drink them on a beach or on your porch or anywhere you want. They don't take expert skill to assemble, and they aren't generally considered "Classic". 


So whether you exclusively drink bourbon neat, or you like a little rum with your fruit juice, or you are like me and think that drinks should reflect our mood and there is a time and place for everything, We've got just the drink for you. Come put us to the test. 


Here is a look at our Highballs. For our full cocktail menu, Click the "Food and Drink" tab. 



Citrus Christmas                                        

Our take on a Gin and Tonic Citrus forward dry gin, with house made tonic. Notes of grapefruit and clove, lightly sweet.


   Kenan and Kel                                            

     House orange soda with a dark, spicy rum and fresh Lime juice. Sweet and Spicy with a tart finish


      The Lizzie                                             

Our take on the Palamo 100% Agave Tequila, Lime Juice, and house Grapefruit Soda.


Lady and Mac Iced Coffee                                    

Brovo Amaro #14, Cold Brewed Coffee, Simple Syrup, topped with whipped cream


Garden Party                                             

Floral, Fruity, Herbal, and slightly sweet with elderflower, prosecco, lemon and basil


Liz Lemon                                                

Russian Vodka, Galliano Liqueur, Lemon, and Soda make a spicy sweet spiked lemonade