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History of the highball, Japan’s popular whisky and soda cocktail

The simplest things in life are often the best: sharing a pizza with friends, watching the sunrise with a loved one or sipping a perfectly executed two-ingredient cocktail, such as a whisky and soda, on a sunny day.

It wasn’t until after the second world war, in the 1950s, that the whisky highball started gaining popularity among the masses in Japan. During this time, Suntory opened a string of bars in the big cities, called Tory’s Bar, to promote the drinks company’s products.

This is when the Kakubin Highball (made using the iconic Kakubin whisky, created in 1937) became its bestseller.

Today, the drink is a staple in Japan; from yakitori bars to karaoke dens, and even vending machines stocked with delicious canned versions, the highball has become deeply ingrained in the country’s drinking culture. ...continue reading

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