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The Johnnie Highballs collection
Photograph: Supplied

Revealed: the drink you’ll be seeing in every bar this year

Say hi to the Johnnie Highball

By Time Out in association with Johnnie Walker

Bartenders are on notice. So are dinner hosts, and anyone organising after-work drinks, dinner or early-evening catch-ups. The alcohol trend of the moment is about to break, thanks to Johnnie Walker, and it’s going to shape the way we drink, eat, and socialise for the rest of 2021. And the word is: Highball. 

You already know what a Highball is even if you think you don’t. Basically, any combination of a spirit, a carbonated mixer and ice in a tall glass is a Highball. Think an Americano or an Aperol Spritz. But this year, it’s all about the Johnnie Highball. 

Some people don’t think about Scotch whisky as a mixing drink – but that’s old-school thinking. Practically Prehistoric. Whisky is the cornerstone of some of your favourite cocktails: Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, Whiskey Sours, Mint Juleps. But a Johnnie Highball is much simpler to make, and it’s a drink that’s perfect to start your evening with – pre-dinner, in a bar or at home – or even to pair with a meal.

Johnnie Highballs are easy to make at home, and your friendly neighbourhood bartender is more than happy to make you one. Simply take 30ml of Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky – Black Label is best – add your mixer, fill to the top with ice (lots of ice) and garnish as desired. It's the ideal way to get acquainted with the world of whisky, liven the aperitivo moment and explore the rich, full flavours of Johnnie Walker Black Label.

There are four kinds of Johnnie Highballs you should know about. 

Johnnie & Blood Orange Highball combines smoky, earthy Johnnie Walker Black Label with Pimm’s No.1 (for caramelised orange flavours) and blood orange soda, topped up with ice and garnished with a blood orange wheel. It’s the perfect balance of fresh tasting citrus that’s not too sweet, with a smoky whisky cut through.

Johnnie Walker Black Label joins forces with lemon barley cordial (Bickfords cordial has a savoury edge that enhances the Scotch) to make the Johnnie & Lemon Highball. Top up with soda water and ice for a super-fresh, citrusy, smoky drink that’s fruity and complex. Don’t forget the lemon peel garnish – presentation is everything.

The crowd-pleasing Johnnie & Crisp Apple Highball is a mix of Johnnie Walker Black Label, cloudy apple juice, crisp apple kombucha, ice and a green apple slice for garnish. It’s a delicious and fresh-tasting twist on the classic flavour combination of apple and whisky.

And the classic Johnnie & Ginger has the spice of ginger ale to balance out Johnnie Walker Black’s smoke, plus plenty of ice and a chunky lemon wedge.    

As a ‘built’ drink without any stirring, shaking or straining, Johnnie Highballs are simple to make, but impressive enough to earn you cocktail cred with your besties. They're crisp, clean and balanced, which makes them a prime palate cleanser, and they’re not too sweet, which makes them great with food.

Johnnie Walker is the world's number one premium Scotch whisky – enjoy it at its best in a Johnnie Highball with friends and food. Keep walking.

Remember to drink responsibly. Discover more about the Johnnie Highball and where to find it here

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