Kitty Highball

The kitty highball is a low alcohol aperitif made with red wine, ginger syrup, lime juice, and soda water or seltzer. Ideal for all night—or all day—sipping.

A tall, cool pink Kitty highball, filled with ice, and sporting a lemon slice

When you want (need?!) to sip all night long without getting tipsy and without feeling like you’re being deprived, this inspired riff on a classic is what you want. The original kitty highball, essentially red wine watered down with ginger ale, was created as a low-alcohol aperitif. This contemporary riff elevates it by infusing red wine with deconstructed ginger ale—that is to say, natural ginger syrup, seltzer, and a touch of lime. Definitely something you’ll want to sip all night long.–Angie Zoobkoff

Kitty Highball

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Serves 1
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Ingredients

  • 2 ounces red wine
  • 3/4 ounce store-bought or homemade ginger syrup*
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • Ice
  • Seltzer or soda water
  • Candied ginger (optional)

Directions

  • 1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the wine, ginger syrup, and lime juice. (Alternatively, make a big batch of the wine mixture and stash it in the fridge for aperitif emergencies.) Add a small piece of cracked ice and shake until chilled, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • 2. Strain into a collins glass filled with ice, top with a splash of seltzer or soda water, and garnish with the candied ginger.

*HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN GINGER SYRUP

  • If you’d like to make your own ginger syrup, simply combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/4 cup fresh ginger juice in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Let cool completely before using. Refrigerate in a covered container for up to 1 month.

Recipe Testers Reviews

My first thought reading the recipe was, "Why adulterate good red wine?” Now I know the answer. The ginger flavor harmonized surprisingly well with the wine without being overly sweet. This drink was delightfully delicious and refreshing, and, in fact, my demanding tasters insisted I immediately make a second batch.

A confession: I cheated! I happened to have a bottle of ginger syrup made by "Alchemist's Elexir" (the only ingredients are fresh pressed ginger and pure cane syrup) which I used instead of making my own ginger syrup. The cheat was prompted by not knowing where to buy ginger juice and not owning a juice extractor to make my own.

I used Rotie Cellars 2013 Southern Blend from Washington State (75% grenache, 15% syrah, 10% Mourvedre).

Use LARGE pieces of candied ginger that can be anchored to the rim of the glass. The nubs I mistakenly used for garnish quickly sunk to the bottom of the glass, but gluttonously eating those cocktail-infused candied ginger nubs with a spoon after slurping down this cocktail was quite the unsophisticated but satisfying treat!

Try this delicious, light, fast, and easy cocktail soon. It’s a winner.

I loved this drink as it combines two of my most favorite flavors—red wine and ginger. I don't think I would like it as much using ginger ale but with the strong ginger syrup this drink is a winner. I also think it works for any season.

I was expecting a cocktail that packed more of a punch. What I ended up with was a light refresco that was a red wine spritzer with a bit of a ginger zing. The cocktail is very refreshing and I can imagine it to be a thirst-quencher on a hot summer's day—not too sweet at all!

I tried this recipe twice. The first time I divided the recipe into two servings. Far too light and watered down and I didn't like it at all. The second time I used the same amount of the ingredients (except for the seltzer) but used it for ONE cocktail. Better. I used Cabernet Sauvignon.

In the future, I think I will combine the wine, syrup, and lime juice and chill in the fridge ahead of time if I know I am going to make the cocktail and especially if I am going to make a large batch.

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Comments

  1. Perfect timing! I am cutting back on calories at the beginning of this new year, as are many people I know, and in general lightening up. Yet, I would miss an evening cocktail! This was perfect to satisfy my evening craving for sipping and habit. I like the flavor — not too sweet for a spritzer. I had three over the course of the evening. Yes, as you said, an all-night sipper. Thank you!

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