Summer calls for poolside antics, frequent picnics, and beach adventures. When you pair these activities with a refreshingly tasty highball, you add a measure of flavorful fun to the mix. You’ve no doubt “met” (ahem, tasted) a member of the highball family that has gained popularity or lost acclaim over the decades. Highballs such as the Gin and Tonic, Vodka Soda, Rum and Coke, or the Scotch and Soda have all experienced a heyday and left many riffs in their wake. While some still only associate highballs with whiskey, you can craft one with a variety of top-notch spirits, particularly the ultra-premium Ketel One Vodka.

The most famous vodka highball is none other than the Vodka Tonic. Since the vodka blends right into the tonic water, it makes for a zingy, easy-to-drink libation. However, there are so many other tasty highballs you can craft with equally minimal effort and potent-packed tang. We’ve compiled a list of six easy and enjoyable highballs to try with Ketel One Vodka and the summer’s best fresh ingredients. In fact, you’ll likely find most of these components in your fridge and pantry as part of your summer grocery staples. So get ready to unleash your inner bartender and appease your hankering for a flavorsome highball.

Ketelade (Vodka Lemonade)

The Ketelade
The Ketelade

The best cocktails don’t have to require a lot of prep — or mess. This fuss-free, boozy lemonade can be made in less than 10 minutes. The result? A refreshing tasting highball that pairs well with every picnic staple from chicken salad sandwiches to shortbread cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces Ketel One Vodka
  • 3 ounces freshly squeezed lemonade

Directions

  1. Build in a Collins glass over ice.
  2. Add 1½ ounces Ketel One Vodka.
  3. Top with 3 ounces fresh lemonade.
  4. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Ketel Soda With Grapefruit Thyme

The Ketel Soda with Grapefruit Thyme
The Ketel Soda With Grapefruit Thyme

This simple yet elevated recipe only calls for four ingredients — yet every flavor takes a turn shining through on the palate. When you use a premium vodka, such as Ketel One, then combine it with bubbly club soda and juicy grapefruit, you get an effervescent highball that’s picnic perfect. If you’re feeling especially fancy, dip the rim of your glass in grapefruit juice, then dust it with a layer of turbinado sugar.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces Ketel One Vodka
  • 3 ounces club soda
  • 1-2 wedges sliced grapefruit
  • 1 sprig of thyme

Directions

  1. Build in a Collins glass over ice.
  2. Add grapefruit wedges.
  3. Add Ketel One Vodka.
  4. Top with 3 ounces club soda.
  5. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and a sprig of thyme.

Ketel Soda With Jalapeño

The Ketel Soda with Jalapeño
The Ketel Soda With Jalapeño

Spice up your life with this simple, zesty highball. Don’t be fooled by this stress-free recipe’s easy combination of just three ingredients because it still packs a serious punch! If you only want a slight bite of spice, merely adjust the number of jalapeño slices you add to the drink.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces Ketel One Vodka
  • 3 ounces club soda
  • 2-3 slices of fresh jalapeño (depending on spice preference)

Directions

  1. Build in a Collins glass over ice.
  2. Add jalapeño slices
  3. Add 1½ ounces Ketel One Vodka.
  4. Top with 3 ounces club soda.
  5. Garnish with a jalapeño slice.

Ketel & Kombucha Highball

If you’re a fan of the Moscow Mule, you will savor this kombucha-led experience. The ginger-flavored kombucha adds a variety of delicious flavor notes ranging from herbaceous to spicy and slightly sweet. The aroma alone will draw you in for a gulp. Word of advice: Kombucha varies in sugar content, so if this highball needs a little extra pep, just up the simple syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces Ketel One Vodka
  • ¾ ounces fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons simple syrup
  • 3 ounces ginger-flavored kombucha
  • Lime wedge (for serving)

Directions

  1. Build in a Collins glass over ice.
  2. Combine Ketel One Vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup in the glass.
  3. Top with kombucha and garnish with a lime wedge.

Ketel One Vodka-Watermelon Cocktail (Makes 2 servings)

Watermelon is the quintessential fruit of summer (we don’t make the rules). So it behooves us all to use this mouthwatering melon in a Ketel One Vodka-forward highball. This summery sipper is made complete with the citrusy blend of triple Sec and fresh lime juice and will have every watermelon fan thirsting for another glass.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound seedless watermelon cubes
  • 3 ounces Ketel One Vodka
  • 3 ounces triple sec
  • 2 limes juiced

Directions

  1. In a blender, add cubed watermelon. Pulse until liquefied.
  2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
  3. Combine watermelon juice, Ketel One Vodka, triple sec, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  4. Shake until combined.
  5. Pour over ice in a highball glass.

Vodka Highball

You can’t go wrong with this tangy classic. Full of appealing nuances, this classic drink plays on every accomplice vodka knows and loves, and becomes even more of a refreshing taste after the addition of a little cucumber — spa water, anyone? Meanwhile, the bitters and vodka give this highball a bittersweet kick, while the ginger ale and fresh lime juice add a fizzy, slight citrus smooch.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ ounces Ketel One Vodka
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • 2 dashes of aromatic bitters
  • 5 ounces ginger ale
  • Cucumber to garnish

Directions

  1. Build all ingredients over ice in a highball glass.
  2. Stir until combined.
  3. Garnish with a thin slice of cucumber.

This article is sponsored by Ketel One.