The scotch and soda history is one that is quite surprising. Also, when one refers to the scotch and soda, they are referring to a “highball.” Highballs are a category of mixed drinks that include a liquor and non-alcoholic mixer, such as soda water.
The first highball was the scotch and soda mixture. The history of this drink is highly contested, with a few parties trying to claim that they were the first to serve the combination. The Adams House in Boston is one of the establishments claiming they were the original source for the recipe, while New Yorker Patrick Duffy claims he brought the drink to the United States in 1894 with actor E.J. Ratcliffe from England, per Wikipedia.
Other classes of highballs include Gin and Tonic, the Cuba Libre, and Seven and Seven.
Highballs are a highly prized mixed drink in Japan, using Japanese whiskey and they are drunk like beer.
The Right Scotch and Soda Recipe Makes a Difference
The purpose of the soda water is to water down the scotch gently, but without diminishing the flavor profile of the whiskey. After all, when someone pays top dollar for a single malt, they do not want to water down the flavor. The flavor and characteristics of that whiskey are what go into the price tag.
When adding soda, the whiskey lasts longer, feels smoother, and the drink is more refreshing. The refreshment is why soda and scotch are popular during the summer months.
The ratio to start with is two ounces of a quality scotch and club soda. Starting with a drop of club soda at a time until the scotch smooths in flavor, and the characteristics are more pronounced.
How Much Soda is Right?
Adding non-carbonated water already opens the flavor of the scotch, but club soda adds bubbles and refreshing flavors. The amount of club soda added is up to the person drinking the highball. Some will fill their highball glass to the top with soda water, while others add just a splash of club soda.
It is critical that a person uses a high-quality club soda because a low-quality soda could add adverse flavors to the whiskey and change the flavor profile entirely.
Choosing the Right Scotch for the Highball
In addition to using the right ratio of water and the good quality of soda water, a person must also use the right scotch for their highball.
In general, any whiskey can be used to create a highball, and it is an ideal way to explore a new bottle of scotch. However, the spirits that are produced in the Highlands and Speysides tend to do better with water than the other varieties.
Also, a person should consider how long they want their bottle to last. For a rare single malt whiskey, a consumer may want to stretch their dollars a little further, by using a splash of scotch with their club soda.
How Much Alcohol Content is in a Scotch and Soda?
The amount of alcohol will depend on how much whiskey and water is used. If the whiskey is 80-proof and one ounce of soda is added to the two ounces of scotch, the content would go down to 46 proof.
How Many Calories in a Scotch and Soda?
For those watching their weight, they will want to know how many calories each drink provides. According to MyFitnessPal, a 1.5-ounce serving of scotch and soda (using a generic scotch) has approximately 96 calories per serving.
The variety of scotch used will determine the calorie count. Livestrong states that an 80-proof scotch has 64 calories per one ounce, while a 100-proof scotch has 80 calories per one-ounce serving. Adding caloric mixers will naturally increase the calorie count.
Soda water has no calories, but tonic water has 83 calories; therefore, consumers must be aware of the type of carbonated water they are using if they want to cut down on calories, says Shape.