Japan has been in a whisky “highball” boom for at least the last couple of years or so, if not longer, spurned on by the big makers like Suntory. There are “highball” bars and highball-focused izakayas and restaurants in Tokyo’s oyaji havens, and canned highball drinks seem quite popular.

Being a beer drinker primarily, I didn’t pay much thought. But I’ve been trying for the last year to “get into” Scotch after going to a Scotch society event in 2011, with moderate success (actually very little, a lot of it tastes “the same” to me which is a sure sign of failure). After reading the highball can post linked above, recently I asked my wife to pick me up a couple of the highball cans, and although it didn’t really seem to tickle my fancy, I was intrigued enough to buy a bottle of Suntory that came with a tumbler this past weekend¬†– I figured at least this way I could pay around 75 yen per highball drink instead of the 150 yen the cans cost. And lo and behold, I’m liking what I’m drinking!

Mind you, Suntory’s packaging recommends a 4:1 ratio, and mine is more like 2:1! But this metallic tumbler really keeps the damn thing cold with very little ice-melting, for well near two hours.

The Japanese actress Koyuki (she was in The Last Samurai apparently, though I’ve never seen that) is Suntory’s main marketing presence for it’s whiskey/highball campaigns. I hope she gets paid a lot because I’d be willing to bet she has been a big reason for the highball’s resurgence:

This is a good overview of that resurgence.

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2 Responses to Whisky Highballs

  1. Quinlan says:

    I’ve noticed the highball places but never really thought about them either. I’ll have to try one next time I’m out.

    My personal boom is cocktail drinks. I bought enough types of alcohol to mix up a few different cocktails.. but it’s been so hot that I’m delaying making many in favor of beer… Oh well.

  2. Kurt says:

    Thanks for the comment! I’m getting into cocktails myself, or at least thinking about them, researching recipes online. Almost bought a shaker today, plus a jigger. Need to proceed slowly though, so s.o. doesn’t freak out by the sudden inclusion of more “hardware”! ;)

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