I went into the first floor cocktail bar of the Intercontinental on Collins Street in Melbourne at 5:00 one afternoon. A day of shopping – mostly successful – and I was ready to sit down and peruse the iPad. And I needed perusal oil to do it with.
I went to the bar and asked for a Highball.
The look of confusion on the face of the young man there should have warned me.
” You want a highball glass? ”
Yes, with a Highball in it. It transpired eventully that while he was familiar with the glassware, he had no idea what the drink for which it is named was made of…
So I told him – ice, rye whiskey, and ginger ale. In a highball glass…
He rose to the challenge, though his inexperience caused him to put two shots of rye in the glass before the ginger ale. I did not think it right to complain.
The next day the highball was served by a more experienced man – and it contained only one shot of rye. Ah, well, you can only win some of them.
Highball: rye, ice, and ginger ale. Named after the American railroad signal that all is clear and you can go ahead at full speed. The British railways do it with a whistle and a flag and the German railways do it with a red disc on a paddle. The American railroads do it with a lantern.
I do it with rye.