Green Tea Highball Cocktail Recipe

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Green Tea Highball Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Green Tea Highball is a refreshing twist on the classic highball cocktail, which originated in the late 19th century. This particular variation is popular in Japan, where green tea is a staple beverage. It's perfect for those who enjoy a lighter, more refreshing cocktail with a hint of earthiness from the green tea.

  • The highball cocktail has a long history, dating back to the late 1800s
  • Green Tea Highball is a popular variation in Japan
  • Ideal for those who prefer a lighter, refreshing drink with a touch of earthiness

How Green Tea Highball Tastes?

The Green Tea Highball has a light, refreshing taste with a subtle earthiness from the green tea. It's slightly sweet, with a hint of citrus from the lemon, and a gentle effervescence from the soda water.

Interesting facts about Green Tea Highball

  • Green tea is rich in antioxidants, which may provide some health benefits
  • Highball cocktails are traditionally served in a tall glass, allowing for plenty of ice and mixer
  • The Green Tea Highball is a versatile drink that can be enjoyed year-round, but is particularly refreshing during the warmer months


  • Green tea: 1
  • Whiskey: 1.5
  • Lemon juice: 0.5
  • Soda water: 3
  • Simple syrup: 0.5
  • Ice: As needed
  • Lemon wheel: 1
  • Mint sprig: 1

Green tea

Green tea adds a subtle herbaceous and slightly bitter note that pairs well with whiskey. Without it, you lose the ‘tea’ aspect of the cocktail.

Emma Rose


At 1.5 oz, whiskey provides a robust and warming backdrop, giving the drink its boozy kick. Too much would overpower the delicate tea, while too little might render the drink too weak.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon juice

Half an ounce of lemon juice brings a citrusy tartness, balancing the sweetness of the syrup and the strength of the whiskey. If omitted, the cocktail would be less refreshing.

Alex Green

Soda water

Three ounces of soda water create the 'highball' effect—lightness and effervescence. No soda would result in a flat, less refreshing beverage.

Emma Rose

Simple syrup

The half ounce of simple syrup sweetens the drink slightly, rounding out the flavors. Too much would make it cloyingly sweet, while too little could leave it overly tart.

Mary Mitkina


Ice is crucial for a chilled, more palatable drink. Without enough ice, the drink would warm too quickly.

Alex Green

Lemon wheel

A lemon wheel is primarily for aroma and visual appeal, and it adds a hint of extra lemon essence.

Emma Rose

Mint sprig

Finally, the mint sprig is a fresh garnish that plays nicely with green tea and gives off a welcoming fragrance, signifying a crafted and thoughtful beverage.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Green Tea Highball Drink

  1. Brew 1 cup of green tea and let it cool
  2. In a highball glass, fill with ice
  3. Add 1.5 oz whiskey, 0.5 oz lemon juice, and 0.5 oz simple syrup
  4. Top with 3 oz of cooled green tea and 3 oz of soda water
  5. Gently stir to combine
  6. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a mint sprig

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality green tea for the best flavor
  • Adjust the simple syrup amount to your preferred level of sweetness
  • For an extra-refreshing drink, try using a flavored soda water, such as lemon or lime

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

Appetizers: Fresh spring rolls, sushi, or a light salad with a vinaigrette dressing complement the cocktail's herbal and citrus notes.

Main Courses: Grilled chicken or fish, particularly with Asian-inspired marinades, work well with the Green Tea Highball's flavor profile.

Desserts: A lemon sorbet or green tea ice cream would be delightful with the refreshing qualities of this drink.

Drink Pairings

Non-Alcoholic: A chilled matcha latte or a sparkling lemonade would echo the cocktail's key flavors without the alcohol.

Alcoholic: A crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a floral gin could nicely precede or follow this cocktail, keeping with the botanical and fresh theme.

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What you could change in Green Tea Highball

  • Whiskey: You can substitute the whiskey with vodka or gin for a different flavor profile
  • Green tea: You can use other types of tea, such as jasmine or oolong, for a unique twist

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And of course - twists🍹

Matcha Highball

Replace green tea with matcha powder mixed with water. This will give the cocktail a more vibrant green color and a richer tea flavor, with a creamy texture.

Herbal Tea Highball

Substitute green tea with a floral herbal tea, like jasmine or chamomile. The cocktail will have a different aromatic profile, subtle and soothing.

Honey-Ginger Highball

Use honey syrup in place of simple syrup and add a teaspoon of fresh ginger juice. It'll introduce a spicy kick and the honey will provide a richer sweetness than simple syrup.

In case you forgot basics how to make Green Tea Highball

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Green Tea Highball

What type of whiskey works best for a Green Tea Highball?

While the choice of whiskey is largely up to personal preference, a lighter, smoother whiskey often works best in a Green Tea Highball to complement rather than overpower the subtle flavors of the green tea.

How can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Green Tea Highball?

For a non-alcoholic version of the Green Tea Highball, simply omit the whiskey. You might want to add a little more green tea or soda water to make up for the volume.

What other garnishes can I use for the Green Tea Highball?

In addition to lemon wheel and mint sprig, other possible garnishes could include a slice of cucumber or a sprig of fresh basil for a bit of variation.

Can I use bottled green tea for the cocktail?

Yes, you may use bottled green tea, but freshly-brewed green tea is generally considered to have a superior flavor.

What is the origin of the 'highball' in cocktail terminology?

The term 'highball' originally comes from railroading jargon in the late 19th century, where a 'high ball' or 'ball high' signal meant 'clear track ahead'. This subsequently got adopted into the bartending language to denote a family of mixed alcoholic drinks that are composed of an alcoholic base spirit and a larger proportion of a non-alcoholic mixer.

Where and when was the Green Tea Highball first popularised?

While the exact origins are unclear, Green Tea Highballs became particularly popular in Japan in the early 20th century during a period of western influences blending with traditional Japanese tastes.

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