The Highball is a simple cocktail that typically consists of a base spirit and a non-alcoholic mixer, such as soda water or ginger ale. The ratio of spirit to lengthener is commonly 1:3, and the drink is served over ice in a tall glass. The name “highball” comes from the tall, narrow glass in which the drink is typically served.
As subcategories to the Highball, we have Fizz and Collins. Just like the Highball, they are made with a base spirit, mixed with a carbonated beverage, and typically served in a thin tall glass. They are light, refreshing, and easy to drink.
The Fizz cocktail is similar to the highball, but it includes an additional ingredient: citrus juice. The most common fizz cocktail is the Gin Fizz, which consists of gin, lemon juice, sugar, soda water and Egg Whites. The addition of citrus juice gives the fizz a tangy, refreshing flavor that balances well with the base spirit. Fizz cocktails are usually made with Egg Whites or another foaming agent like cream and are often not served over ice.
The Collins cocktail is very similar to the Fizz but doesn’t have a foaming agent and is almost always served over ice. The most common Collins cocktail is the Tom Collins, which consists of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, soda water, and ice. Both Collins and Fizz cocktails are closely related to Sours, with carbonation being the only difference.
Overall, highball, fizz, and Collins cocktails are all light, refreshing cocktails that are perfect for casual occasions and warm weather. While they have some differences, they all share a common profile of a base spirit mixed with a carbonated beverage. Whether you prefer whiskey, gin, or vodka, there’s a highball, fizz, or Collins cocktail that’s sure to satisfy your thirst.
To see recipes from other cocktail categories, go to our Cocktail Recipe Overview.