The Japanese Whiskey Highball is a cocktail that has baffled many over the last few decades, except the Japanese, of course. It is simple, yet highly sophisticated, using only three ingredients – whiskey, ice and sparkling water.

One might wonder how such a simple concoction can turn into something sophisticated, well, that’s exactly where the Japanese step in.

After World War II, whiskey was highly consumed from the 50s till the 80s in Japan. This period gave rise to this a delightful cocktail which went well with or without food, and could be consumed at any time of the day. The Japanese, however, follow a unanimous and strict recipe for this drink. It is said that almost all through Japan, bartenders follow the same recipe except maybe in a few casual clubs. That’s where its beauty lays – in its tradition, the control of each element.

The Process

Keep a tall glass and hand-cut ice with no bubbles. Stir a single piece of carved ice in the glass till the sides start to chill. Then take out the melted water and pour a measure of whiskey (could be anything from Hibiki to Yamazaki) over the ice and add another piece to level the liquid and ice. Stir it clockwise thirteen and a half times precisely. Add the third ice cube and then top it off with two-thirds measure of sparkling water. After that, stir it three and a half times. Lastly, homogenize the whiskey and water without jostling the drink any further and gently take out the spoon from the glass.

Your drink is ready to serve.