Highball Glasses

Highball Glass

This tumbler is used for cocktails consisting of ice, liquor, and a mixer. The shape is slim and high with straight sides of varying sizes. Related to the Collins and Rocks glasses, the highball glasses provide an elegant vessel for any concoction.

What is in a highball drink?

This libation consists of three elements: spirits, a mixer, and ice.

  • Spirits: any liquor, like whiskey, gin, vodka, and rum
  • Mixers: any non-alcoholic liquid, usually soda water, tonic, juice, or a soda
  • Ice: cubed, crushed, or whatever you prefer

It is made by first filling the glass with ice, pouring spirits over the ice, and topping it off with a mixer.

What is served in highball glasses?

These glasses are designed to serve specific cocktails. However, it is common to see iced tea or soft drinks served in them as well. Some common concoctions served in this tumbler include:

  • Gin and Tonic
  • Cuba Libre
  • Mojito
  • Greyhound
  • Screwdriver
How many ounces are in highball glasses?

The standard glass holds 8 to 12 ounces of liquid. The normal amount of alcohol in an alcoholic beverage is 1.5 to 2 ounces. Therefore, the 8-ounce tumbler is the standard, and the 12-ounce tumbler is normally used for a double.

Where did highball glasses get their name?

There are various theories on where the name came from, including the bar industry and the railroad industry. In the bar industry, back in the 1890s, the term "ball" referred to a drink of whiskey. “High�� comes from the height of the glass. In the late 19th century, bartenders referred to glasses as "balls" and tall glasses as "high."

Another origin story lies with the railroad industry. Before radio, railroads used large balls that were raised high to signal an open track. Steam-powered locomotives had pressure gauges in their passenger cars that displayed boiler pressure. When the train was at full speed, the ball was high on the gauge.

Why is the highball glass so tall?

These tumblers are made for the many variations of the cocktail. There are two defining characteristics of this concoction.

  • Light: The variations of the libation calls for more mixer than alcohol, which gives the drink its light profile.
  • Cold: This concoction is poured over a large amount of ice. The high, straight-sided tumbler is designed to hold an ample amount of ice.

While the dimensions of the glass are tailored to the requirements of the cocktail, its slim profile and its ease of use make this already easy to drink cocktail that much easier.