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#110904 08/26/03 02:00 PM
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old hand
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I always thought, like Zed (maybe this is a Canadian intepretation, perhaps it's how things are listed on menus?), that the highball glasses were the short heavy-bottomed glasses, until I got a book about mixing drinks, which indicates a highball glass is the tall sort (also called a Collins glass, which someone referred to above). The short, heavy-bottomed glasses are called rocks glasses. I still get the names mixed up because I called the short ones "highballs" for so long.

I like my morning orange juice in a rocks glass - my all-time favourite OJ glass was a rocks glass. Alas, like all great glasses, it broke, and now I use a less-satisfying rocks glass.


#110905 08/26/03 06:00 PM
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Pooh-Bah
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Cocktail is a well-known term worldwide, and not just in Engliah language countries. Highball is understood, but little used. Its etymology is not clear to me, however. The Concise Oxford believes that it comes from cock + tail, i.e. cocks (stands) up. Earlier senses were "docked horse" or "upstart". FWIW.


#110906 08/26/03 06:16 PM
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Carpal Tunnel
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That's right, Capfka. In Brazilian Potuguese it's rendered as coquetel.


#110907 08/26/03 07:39 PM
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Pooh-Bah
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In Brazilian Potuguese it's rendered as coquetel.
That's because after two you turn into a coquette.


#110908 08/26/03 09:44 PM
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Carpal Tunnel
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and after a couple more, there's no telling... ;)


#110909 08/27/03 04:59 PM
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dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah
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.....not if your a gentleman anyway.. ;)


#110910 08/27/03 07:11 PM
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Carpal Tunnel
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Maverick is always a gentleman!
I have never shared a bed with a finer person!


#110911 08/27/03 10:28 PM
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hey, babe, you said I shouldn't tell anyone about that...

So now we're back to that word cocktale...


#110912 09/03/03 01:52 AM
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I have no doubt there are regional variants on what, exactly, constitutes a 'mixed drink' as distinguished from a 'highball' or a 'cocktail'. My father in law, who worked for 40 years in a distillery, would have defined them as follows (and this is the usage in this part of the country):

'Mixed drink' and 'highball' are the same thing -- a hard alcoholic beverage, usually whisky of some kind, mixed with some carbonated beverage (usually), possibly plain water. Such as: blended whiskey (or rye) and ginger ale (the classic highball); scotch and soda, scotch and water, bourbon and branch, bourbon and ginger ale (classier than rye or rotgut), gin & tonic, rum & Coke, whiskey & Coke (ugh), to name the most popular. Vodka & OJ (screwdriver) might fit in this category.

A cocktail is a combination of liquor of some sort and (usually) another liquor (or 2 or more) or wine and (maybe) a smallish amount of some juice, soda, etc; e.g., the Martini (when made with vermouth, not just a glass of gin), the Gibson, the Old Fashioned, the Manhattan, etc.

A highball (or 'mixed drink') is properly served with ice in a highball glass, which is a tall cylindrical glass like an ordinary water glass, but holding about 6 oz. usually. A cocktail is served, either on the rocks or straight up in a smaller glass, which may be specific to the drink, like a Martini glass, which used to be unique to that drink but is now being used for other drinks. The other cocktails are usually served in what used to be called an Old Fashioned Glass, a squat tumbler holding maybe 4 oz.

The glass size demonstrates the difference between a cocktail and a highball -- the cocktail has more liquor proportionally; the highball is usually a pony (oz. and a half) and 5 or 6 oz. of mixer -- much less potent. You can drink a lot more highballs than cocktails in an evening.


#110913 09/03/03 11:13 AM
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Carpal Tunnel
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Welcome home, Bob. We've missed ya. And thanks for shining the flashlight of information on this thread.


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