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Super Bowl XLIII Drink #3: DIY Highball Bar

Posted by Reese on 2009-01-28 @ 05:45pm

One of the cocktail variations I have yet to cover in great detail, but would be perfect for this application, is the highball.  A highball is most simply defined as a cocktail composed of a base spirit and a mixer.  Although you may not recognize the name immediately I’m sure you know the cocktails that make up this group.  Well known among the highballs are the Gin & Tonic, Seven & Seven, Jack & Coke, and even the Screwdriver.

Gin and Tonic

This class of cocktails works especially well for a party because you can buy the spirits, mixers and garnishes and let your guests mix their own drinks however they like.  To get you started I’ve come up with a list of base ingredients (and my suggestions for each) and the drinks you can make given a bar composed of only these few ingredients.  My goal in creating this guide was to keep costs on the low side while keeping quality high.


  • Vodka (Tito’s Handmade)
  • Gin (Plymouth or Bombay Sapphire)
  • Rum (Dark – Goslings Black Seal)
  • Whiskey (Jack Daniels or Knob Creek)


  • Cola and/or Diet
  • Tonic Water (Canada Dry)
  • Soda Water
  • Ginger Ale
  • Lemon/Lime Soda
  • Red Bull
  • Fruit Juice (Orange and/or Cranberry Cocktail)


  • Lemon Wedges
  • Lime Wedges


  • Gin & Tonic (2oz Gin, Top with Tonic, Garnish with Lime)
  • Vodka Tonic (2oz Vodka, Top with Tonic, Garnish with Lemon)
  • Jack & Coke (2oz Whiskey, Top with Cola)
  • Rum & Coke (2oz Rum, Top with Cola)
  • Cuba Libre (2oz Rum, Top with Cola, Garnish with Lime)
  • Dark & Stormy (2oz Rum, Top with Ginger Ale, Garnish with Lime)
  • Cape Codder (2oz Vodka, Top with Cranberry Cocktail, Garnish with Lime)
  • Whiskey & Ginger Ale (2oz Whiskey, Top with Ginger Ale)
  • Seven & Seven [Sorta] (2oz Whiskey, Top with Lemon/Lime Soda)
  • Bourbon & Water (2oz Whiskey, Top with Water)

That covers the basics.  There are of course many other high balls that can be made.  I’ve tried to cover all the classics and best loved ones here.  If there are some I’ve missed, let me know I’ll add them to the list.