Although highballs are easy to make, there is a science behind making great ones. Jonathan Armstrong, House of Suntory West Coast Brand Ambassador, shared his secrets to making the perfect highball cocktail at home. That could be a Collins glass or even something with a handle. I recommend using something heavy and nice. Highballs taste better in a cold glass. A heavy glass will keep colder for longer once it has been out of the freezer.
So stock up on quality soda, your favorite spirit, and some citrus, then read on to find out about the best highball glasses to get this year.
Best Overall: Riedel Coca-Cola Glass
Keli Rivers, Sipsmith Ambassador, says that her favorite gin-and-tonic glass–or as I prefer to call it, the original Highball–is Riedel’s Coca-Cola glass. According to Rivers, many enjoy using the classic Spanish balloon-style stemmed glass for their gin and tonics, but these come with some downsides: “You can’t stack them, they take up a lot of room, and don’t survive very long in the dishwasher,” she notes.
Rivers and her friends set out on a mission to find the perfect highball-style glass to serve this classic drink. They tried over 100 styles before settling on Riedel Coca-Cola, although reluctantly. Rivers told Liquor.com that it was initially in there to have a few laughs and shits, but no one thought it would win. This glass was a winner after numerous rounds of controlled testing. The Riedel Coca-Cola glass felt best in my hand. It also allowed for the citrus and juniper notes to be more prominent in the mouth, so it was easy to take a sip. It allowed for stacking Kold-Draft-sized cubes down all the way and also allowed the tonic to mix well into the gin when it was poured down the side of a glass. Many glasses result in either mostly tonic or mostly gin. It was perfect for the G&T because it kept the carbonation of Coke more active. I believe carbonation to be the most important ingredient in a cocktail.
Kimura Kikatsu 12-Ounce tumbler is the best luxury item
We’d be remiss not to include a hat tip to Japan, the unofficial motherland of the best highball glasses category as a whole. Bartenders consider Kimura to be a legendary brand. They have countless styles that range from simple to intricately ornate, and there are many options for every price point. This is the place to go if you want to spend a lot on highball glasses.
The 12-ounce Kikatsu tumbler is a work of art. It’s made from soda glass in Japan and has an intricate but clean linear design. If you would like, you can add a certificate of origin to your purchase.
Schott Zwiesel Mode Highball Glasses are the most durable
These elegant Schott Zwiesel Modo glasses weigh 14.6 ounces and are ideal for long drinks or non-alcoholic beverages. They also make a great everyday water glass. Each Modo glass is made from German Tritan crystal, which is lead-free. They are resistant to cracks, chips, breaks, and thermal shock. Take a sip, rinse in the dishwasher and then repeat as necessary.
Williams-Sonoma Dorset Crystal Highball Glass is the best for fluting
Nothing can compare to classic-style fluted glasses. They are heavy in the hands and have the ability to capture light. This glass will instantly elevate any tray, bar cart, or cabinet in the right place. Williams-Sonoma’s 13.9-ounce Dorset crystal highball glass is a great example. It was made from lead crystal and inspired by the English coast. This set is a great choice for a wedding gift, or to upgrade your glassware collection.
Best Etched: Nude Big Top Crystal Highball glasses
Contemporary cult-favorite glassware company NUDE continues to be a hit. The NUDE glassware collection includes a wide range of sparkling, lead-free crystal glasses that are ultra-thin and easy to drink from.
Big Top is inspired by the lines and shapes of the circus. There are three sizes of highball glasses: 10 ounces to 11.5 ounces and 14.5 inches. All have distinct vertical raised lines and an inwardly inclined base. The 11.5-ounce highball glass works well, but you may prefer a larger drink or more ice.
Best Design: CB2 Franklin Cooler
For beautiful, modern design, you can always count on CB2, and these tortoiseshell highballs glasses are no exception. These glasses have a vintage-inspired look and feel. They are made in Poland from colored lime soda and have a weight of 17 ounces. CB2 recommends washing these glasses by hand.
Best Set: Suntory Toki Japanese Whisky Gift Set
We think this one is our favorite. It includes a bottle of whisky. You can purchase a gift set for about the same price as one bottle of Suntory Toki. It includes a custom-designed highball glass, recipe card, and specially-designed highball glasses. Kanpai, that’s what.
It’s good to know:
Armstrong says that the Japanese have taken traditional soda and whisky to new heights. They put great focus on every step. To make a great highball, you just need to elevate one part of the process. Whether that’s good ice, high-quality soda water, or just using authentic Japanese whisky, the reward is always a well-crafted, refreshing cocktail with a sum far greater than any of its parts.”