High Times With A Highball
Updated: May 16
My first experience drinking a highball wasn't at a well-established cocktail bar. I remember it fondly, as it occurred during my first trip to Japan way back in 2014. I was young and naive, wandering the streets of Tokyo in search of nourishment. More specifically, yakitori and booze. It was glorious, a song and dance of flame-grilled skewered meats and refreshing Suntory Kakubin-charged highballs at an izakaya I can no longer remember the name of.
My outlook towards whisky highballs only appreciated with time since then. It's easy to drink, suitable for any time of the day (mostly), and does a fantastic job at refreshing the palate, making it incredibly flexible with many dishes across many cuisines. As the local cocktail scene steadily grew, so too did the presence of the humble highball, thanks in part to the combined efforts of talented bartenders (Malaysian and Japanese) championing the drink and the insatiable appetite Malaysians have for Japanese cuisine and culture.
Enter the Chivas HiBall, a recently launched initiative by Chivas Regal Malaysia to marry Scotch whisky's expertise with Japanese highball culture. The campaign is aimed at the Hustle generation – young, hungry and ambitious individuals – to entice said demographic from breaking their perception that whisky is "too serious". Naturally, packaging and limited edition mugs bearing visual aesthetics that blend Chivas' signature luxe style with Japanese street style come to push the notion.
The idea is simple, Chivas is bundling a bottle of Chivas Regal 12 Year Old (RM253) with two complimentary bottles/cans of soda water and a special mug for the price of just the bottle, giving drinkers everything they need to make a DIY highball. That's everything you need to create a kick-ass highball at home (or anywhere really), minus the lemon and ice of course.
The good folks at Pernod Ricard were kind enough to send over a gift box with both mugs, along with two lemons, so you can take a glimpse of what a bundle would actually look like. I really enjoyed the entire experience, mostly because making a highball is basically effortless with a high level of satisfaction.
Making your own Chivas HiBall is as easy as pie:
1) Pour 50ml of Chivas Regal 12 Year Old into a highball glass
2) Fill that glass with ice
3) Top up with soda
4) Garnish with lemon wedge
Quick note: I love having my highballs with more than just a lemon wedge, I actually add a shot of lemon juice along with a wedge to create a zestier drink.
If you do decide to pick up the Chivas HiBall to make this classic cocktail at home, go wild and try pairing it with whatever you have at home for a fun evening. Swap yakitori for satay, order tonkatsu, snack on potato chips, the sky's the limit.
Keen on picking up a bottle during the campaign? Hit the links below. If you prefer going old school, selected Jaya Grocer and Mercato outlets are currently offering the bundle.