Whiskey Cocktail Hour: Winter Citrus Highball

As it’s now late-January, we’ve got quite a few citrus options for all our cocktailing needs. One of my faves is the blood orange. Its beautiful, rich color, coupled with its interesting raspberry-like citrus flavor profile, is such a stunner in winter cocktails. I love adding it to things like traditional whiskey sours, but for this drink, I wanted to make something a little more effervescent.


The highball is an awesome drink category, mainly because of its infinite possibilities. It’s composed of a base spirit and a large proportion of a non-alcoholic mixer. A gin and tonic is considered a highball, as is a vodka soda. The most common form of the highball was originally the Scotch & Soda.

Playing off the tradition of the Scotch & Soda, I used a hearty 12-year-old single malt as my base and added some blood orange juice for color and depth, with a little thyme syrup for an earthy element and some lemon juice for a tart bite. It’s a delicious twist on the original and oh so pretty to serve up. I hope you’ll try it out and home. Cheers!


Winter Citrus Highball

  • 2 oz Single malt Scotch (I used Highland Park 12)
  • 1 oz Blood orange juice
  • 3/4 oz  Lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Thyme syrup
  • Soda water

Instructions: Add all ingredients except the soda to a highball or collins glass with ice. Stir to incorporate. Top with cold soda water. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and a blood orange wheel.


For more beautiful cocktails and recipes, check out the fern + shaker blog and follow along on Instagram.