February is the month of love, but rather than raking over old ground of sharers, innuendo or, worse still, “aphrodisiac” cocktails, we thought we’d explore how taking two great flavours and pairing them properly can give you one spectacular highball cocktail.

Firstly, we have to understand what a cocktail is. The legal definition of a cocktail is a “drink which contains three or more different liquids (not counting water)”. But this is just a means to keep our weights and measures in check.

The dictionary definition of a cocktail is “an alcoholic drink consisting of a spirit or spirits mixed with other ingredients, such as fruit juice or cream” – hmm, a bit boring.

For us, a cocktail is the coupling of two or more flavours to create a new and exciting flavour. The most famous and simple cocktail we can all make is the G&T. “That’s not a cocktail!” we hear you cry. But, for us, it is.

The definition of the highball cocktail is a spirit mixed with a larger amount of carbonated soda – a recipe that has been written about since the late 1800s and sounds exactly like a G&T to me!

We’re all pretty confident with mixing the perfect G&T, especially with the explosion in its popularity over the past few years. But what about extending these skills to partnering other spirits and mixers?

Here are a few highball cocktail ideas that you may want to rustle up at home:

Vermouth and tonic

Tonic is not just gin’s perfect partner. It also works with a variety of spirits, one of the most interesting being vermouth – a wine-steeped spirit with botanicals.

Vermouth has shaken off its old-fashioned image as “granny’s favourite” and embraced the modern palate, showcasing an array of flavours. A word of warning though; no two vermouths are the same, they are all unique.

Supermarkets too have embraced this new world of vermouth and rather than just stocking Martini, you can now find frontier-pushing brands like Belsazar or Cocchi on the shelves, or even Regal Rogue Australian vermouth.

This vermouth uses unique indigenous botanicals and wines, such as the bold Barossa Valley Shiraz with wattleseed, cinnamon clove, native thyme and among others. Here, we’ve matched 50ml Regal Rogue Bold Red and one bottle of Merchants heart hibiscus tonic. Build in a long glass with loads of ice.

Whisky and soda

One of the most famous and enduring of all the highballs is whisky and soda. In Japan, it remains the most celebrated of all drinks, akin to our G&T. Here you’ll find elaborate rituals with ice, carbonation and technique to find the perfect end result. This is, of course, built on the fact that Japan has become one of the world leaders in producing the oak-aged elixir.

For this drink, we’ve mixed together the very approachable Toki Grain whisky with a Bottle Green elderflower soda. The honey floral notes of the Toki combine beautifully with the meadow-like sweetness of the elderflower.

To make a light, easy and refreshing drink, a million miles away from the whisky and soda of old, you will need: 50ml Toki Whisky and top with Bottle Green elderflower presse. Build in a long glass with loads of ice.


Fancy learning the art of cocktail making? Check out our upcoming classes, by clicking here.

Hunting for that extra special Christmas gift or the ultimate Secret Santa present? Search no further, The Stillery in Bury St Edmunds is here to help you, friends and family have a very merry gin-mas.

And let’s start with gin. We produce our own premium gin, which makes a great gift for any gin-lover or addition to your Christmas day drinks trolley. The Stillery London Dry Gin is distilled on site, in the bar itself, using the traditional “One Shot” method, producing a modern, yet classic, juniper-led gin with playful spice and citrus flavours.

Bottles can be purchased by clicking here. But also, be sure to keep an eye out for The Stillery at local Christmas events – including Blackthorpe Barn’s craft fayre and the Bury St Edmunds Christmas fayre – to pick up a bottle as well as some limited-edition festive creations.

There’s also still time to craft your own bottle of gin before Christmas with our “Ginspiration” courses on 23rd November and 7th December. Learn the processes of gin, taste the variations in styles available and make your own bottle to take away – what better Christmas gift than one you have crafted with your own fair hands?!

Finally, we offer gift vouchers for any of our gin tasting or cocktail creating courses at The Stillery – perfect for the gin enthusiast or mixologist in the making in your life! Simply click here to purchase yours.

Merry Gin-Mas one and all!

Looking for a perfect Christmas party venue or activity? The Stillery provides an ideal setting for your festive do!

Whether friends, family, work, networking or social group get together, from private hire to after work drinks or cocktail classes, we have something for every festive celebration – no matter your party size or budget.

For those looking for a pre or post-dinner activity, check out our one-hour gin tastings or the “Make a Christmas classic” course:

Friday night gin tastings provide a monthly round up of what’s hot in the world of gin. Sample three gins and find out how you should be drinking them.

The extremely festive “Make a Christmas classic” is perfect for getting you in the festive spirit while also adding some new tipples to your Christmas drinks trolley to recreate at home.

For those after a full evening of celebrations in one location, “Gin, a journey”, “Rumbunctious” and “Ginspiration” are for you:

If you enjoy your drink served with a side of storytelling, let us take you on a “Gin, a journey” to discover the history of this British institution as well as craft your own G&T.

Rum lovers unite at “Rumbunctious”. Here you’ll taste your way through all the different types of rum, enjoy some classic run cocktails and even create your own spiced rum.

Craft your own bottle of gin with “Ginspiration”! Immerse yourself in the botanicals and processes of gin, while tasti

ng the different styles available today before making your own bottle to take away – or indeed give as a gift this Christmas.

Bookings for courses are all made online, simply by clicking the links above or here.

We also offer private hire. Contact the team directly to discuss your requirements by calling 01284 700577 or emailing bookings@stillery.co.uk


Thanks for checking us out and we really hope you like our new website.  We have tried to make it as easy as possible to understand what we are about and make it easy for you to book courses and buy our lovely drinks!!  Any suggestions we would love to hear from you!


Phone: +44 (0)1284 700577
Email: bookings@stillery.co.uk


3 Short Brackland, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1EL