This summer’s going to be a rough one with the coronavirus dictating a lot of our decisions, but you can decide what you want in your hand at the end of the day – how about a root beer highball? We’re still in Highball Quarantine Week, so I’m letting you all in on a little secret – I love root beer and root beer floats. You might have figured that out from the Root Beer Julep a few weeks ago, but this highball takes just minutes to put together.
Honestly it will probably take you longer to scoop the ice cream and find the ingredients than it will to build the cocktail in a glass. I do like to put ice in the bottom, just to make sure the whiskey and root beer stay cold while you sip away, but if you prefer not to, just use a couple of scoops of ice cream and add a little more whiskey.
A few weeks ago, a fellow instagrammer asked me about easy recipes to through together, something simple with mixers and I knew that root beer, cherry bitters and whiskey would be a hit. Once I put it together in a glass, I decided to take it over the top. It had been a long hard day and I wanted a little treat so I added a smidge of vanilla ice cream. Best idea all day.
But I wanted to get a little more chocolately flavor in there, so I added some Ballotin Chocolate Mint whiskey – and it’s a perfect match. If you wanted to, you could even top the cocktail with chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla, but that’s up to you.
When working on getting a good whiskey match, I had the Michter’s Toasted Bourbon close at hand. This is a bottle I’m consuming very slowly because it’s a higher price point and the vanilla/toasted caramel notes from it are amazing. I tried it in the cocktail on a whim and it’s absolutely magical. The vanilla shines through, and the addition of the chocolate mint liqueur make it even more of a dessert tipple.
For everyday use in the root beer highball, I would use a lower price point bourbon or whiskey that’s got a lot of vanilla and caramel in it. If you can find one that says “chocolate” to you, even better.
This is an easy cocktail to mocktail. Just build it without the whiskey, double the bitters and add a squeeze of chocolate syrup and mint extract. You can make a set for you and a set for your non-drinking friends 6 feet away.
(For those of you curious about the other recipes in the Quarantine Series, I’ll put them here before you skim past to get to the recipe. Quarantine Donut cocktails ( Maple Caramel Long John, Pecan Sticky Bun cocktail and Blueberry Cake Donut, Boston Cream Cocktail and Apple Fritter Cocktail). Quarantine Juleps, (Breakfast Julep, the Pineapple Sage Rum Julep, Elvis Julep (peanut butter-banana), Root Beer Float Julep, and the Persian Julep (rose-apricot) ), Quarantine Old Fashioneds (Breakfast Wakey Wakey, Smoke and Spice, Home School, Taco Truck, and Campari/Bitter Lessons ), Quarantine Manhattans (Balanced Perfection (Perfect Manhattan), Coffee Manhattan, Chocolate Ginger Manhattan, French Quarter Manhattan, and the Caramel Orange Manhattan.), Quarantine Whiskey Sours (Blackberry Sunset, Whiskey Tiki, Blue Mood Orange, Ya Basic, and Peach Rosemary), and Quarantine Smashes (Whiskey Smash, Blackberry Sage Smash, Pineapple Tiki Smash, Strawberry Basil Smash and the Coffee Cherry Smash.)
We All Float Down Here – Root Beer Highball
- 2 oz bourbon – Michter’s Toasted Bourbon
- ¾ oz Ballotin chocolate mint
- 10 drops Woodford Reserve spiced cherry bitters
- 4 oz of your favorite root beer chilled
- Small scoop of vanilla ice cream – optional
- Garnish: strawberry or cherry, sprig of mint
- Fill a highball glass 2/3 with ice. Add whiskey, cherry bitters and give it a quick swirl. Add about half your root beer, swirl again, top with ice cream (if using) and then add root beer to fill to the top of the glass and garnish with mint and a straw. If you’re forgoing the vanilla ice cream, just fill up with root beer and garnish with a mint sprig.