This recipe is a variation on the traditional highball, which usually made from mixing whisky with tonic water or ginger ale to give it a smoother taste and make it easier and more enjoyable to sip. This "skyball" will be made with vodka in lieu of whisky and with fruit juices substituted for the tonic water, to give it a more sweet and bitter taste, perfect for a warm summer evening, whereas a highball is better suited for a nice, later night in.
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Step 1: Ingredients
- 1.5 oz vodka of choice
- 0.5 oz lemon juice
- 1 oz cranberry juice
- 3 oz lemonade
- garnish of choice (orange or lemon work best)
- Preferred number of ice cubes
- Knife to cut fruits for garnish
Step 2: Creative Substitutions
For a sweeter drink, choose a cranberry juice that is premixed with another juice, such as cran-pineapple or cran-apple. However, try not to use juices that have overly dominant flavors, like cran-blueberry, since we'll be adding more citrus later in the form of lemon juice and lemonade.
When picking a vodka--just like with your juices--it's best to stay simple. While you most definitely can add whatever flavored vodka you want, we recommend keeping a low profile and sticking with something subtle, like the classic Smirnoff no 21. Beware of using a vodka with too high of an alcohol content, as it may dominate the drink and take away from the fruity taste that for which we're aiming.
Step 3: Garnishes
As for garnishes, we recommend either lemon, orange, or lime, depending on your personal preference. All three of these citrus fruits will complement the lemon and cranberry flavor that this drink focuses on. Feel free to experiment with them, using a combination to get your desired taste. Cut the garnish fruits of choice into thin slices, similar to the pictures.
Step 4: Forming the Base
To form the base you'll need to put a small amount of ice in a medium sized tumbler, staying true to the roots of this drink. If you want to add to the visual aesthetic of the drink there are many ice molds available that are specifically designed for a highball glass, or just feel free to use traditional ice that comes either from a tray or dispenser, the result will largely be the same.
After you add the ice, pour the 1.5 oz of vodka into the cup and let chill for a short moment. If you have a shot glass on hand, that's the perfect amount to measure out the volume of vodka needed.
Step 5: Adding the Flavors
Begin adding the 0.5 oz of lemon juice, followed by the 1 oz of cranberry juice, then finally the 3 oz of lemonade. Mix the liquids with either a stirrer or simply swirling the cup itself. There should be a sufficient amount of ice in the cup to chill the whole drink without melting considerably.
Step 6: Enjoy!
The best way to serve this variation of a highball is to combine the ingredients in the order above and pour over ice.If you're looking for a little extra pizzazz, adding sugar on the rim is a great addition.
Adding sugar to the rim of the glass also counter acts the tartness of the drink itself.
Grab your friends and a glass of cranberry skyball and enjoy responsibly!