Añejo Highball Cocktail

The Anejo Highball was created by famed mixologist Dale DeGroff to pay homage to the celebrated bartenders of Cuba from back in the twenties and thirties. Dale says that this drink illustrates how necessary it is for the bartender to understand the role that each and every ingredient plays in the cocktails that they make.


1 1/2 oz aƱejo rum

1/2 oz orange curacao

1/2 oz lime juice

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

ginger beer


Build in a highball glass.

Add ice and stir.

Top with ginger beer.

Garnish with orange and lime wedges.


Kimberly Patton-Bragg 16 Jun 2008
7:14 am

I got this book a while ago and this was one of the first cocktails I had made from it. It was snowing and gross outside and I was felling defiant - so rum and spicy ginger seemed the right choice. It was wonderful.
You’re right about those stupid pour tops - it’s on our cachaca at work and it drives me nuts. There’s nothing worse than being three-deep on a Saturday night, you’ve got a rhythm going and then….
Thanks again for the info on that wonderful jigger. It is now my favorite as well. I sent the company an e-mail that I saw it on you’re show - so hopefully they’ll send you a little love.

Robert Hess 17 Jun 2008
6:17 am

Yeah, “New Classic Cocktails” is a great book, I’m glad to see that it is still available. I think there are only 50 drinks in it, but that means that instead of simply a recipe, each drink also includes a lot of background information about where the drink comes from and how it was created. I personally love all that extra information and detail.

Xian 17 Jun 2008
7:31 am

Robert, next time you have a cocktail that calls for Ginger Beer, try “Bundaberg” from Australia.  It lacks the sickly sweet taste of most ginger beers found in the US and gives an extra kick of ginger spiciness.  It makes an awesome dark and stormy and my favorite: the ginger mojito.  I’ll be trying an anejo tonight!

DC 17 Jun 2008
8:25 am

Hmm interesting… I don’t understand why it is built, not shaken?

Xian 17 Jun 2008
10:02 am

It would kinda explode if you shake up the ginger beer, right?  Aren’t all drinks with carbonated mixers built?

DC 17 Jun 2008
1:32 pm

You would add the ginger beer afterwards. shake, strain, then top up with ginger beer.

Blair Frodelius 18 Jun 2008
4:04 am


Oddly enough, I had just made my first Anejo Highball about two days before this episode aired. I’ve tended to stay away from Bacardi rums, as they lack a lot of terroir.  I used a Jamaican aged rum.  If you really want to be adventurous try an agricole rhum from Martenique.  Dale’s recipe works well with an Anejo tequila as well.

As for Ginger Beers, I have yet to find an outstanding one that I don’t have to mail order.  Although there is an all natural cane sugar version out by Fevertree that works decently enough.



Martin 18 Jun 2008
6:00 am

Looks interesting, thing is I only have Cointreau instead of Orange Curacao and Ginger Ale.

Whats the difference between Ale and Beer, and can Ale be used for this drink?

Robert Hess 18 Jun 2008
8:18 am

Re: Build vs. Shaking…
I “Build” it here, since that’s the way Dale spec’d it in his recipe! :-> Technically, you “could” shake it (except do so before you add the ginger beer!), but it works just as well to build it instead. Often when you use a carbonated beverage you can get by with building it in the glass since the carbonation (and a quick stir) will mix things up fine by themselves.

Re: Cointreau vs Orange Curacao
There is quite a bit of flavor synergy between Orange Curacao, Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, and Cointreau. However there are some slight differences. Cointreau is an “upscale” Triple Sec, and Grand Marnier is an “upscale” Curacao. The main difference perhaps being that Triple Sec is made with a neutral grain spirit base, while curacao is made with a brandy base. You “can” often substitute one for the other, but I recommend at least trying the recipes with the called-for versions just to see what you think. I prefer Cointreau for my Sidecars and Margaritas, but prefer Orange Curacao for my Mai Tai’s and Pegu’s.

Re: Ginger Ale vs Ginger Beer…
The main difference is that ginger beer is a lot spicier than ginger ale. You really can’t substitute one for the other and expect the drink to taste the same. You “should” be able to find ginger beer in most of the better supermarkets, it may not however be with the sodapops. I sometimes see it with the cocktail supplies, and other times in with the beers.

Alex 18 Jun 2008
2:14 pm

A tip for those of us who live in Europe (outside the UK) where ginger beer can be harder to find: Try checking Asian grocery stores. I don’t know why they sell ginger beer, but often they do. “Old Jamaica” seems to be the standard brand over here (which is apparently one of those brands that are loaded with cayenne - I’m not sure about it’s suitability for drinks like this, I’ve heard for instance that it’s not suitable in a Dark & Stormy).

Of course, stores that specialise in British and/or American groceries are an obvious first place to look, but here in Europe they only tend to exist in the bigger cities (and my local one is very iffy with their stock - they never have what’s advertised on their website) whereas most towns will have at least one Asian grocery store.

Then there’s the option of making ginger beer yourself, there are plenty of recipes online. I tried making the “authentic” home-fermented stuff using dry yeast, and wasn’t really happy with the result. I find it better to simply soak some shredded ginger in a bottle of soda overnight (I use Swedish “sockerdricka”, which is a traditional sweet, slightly citrusy but otherwise flavourless soda - that incidentally seems to share a common ancestry with ginger ale). This tends to make the soda lose some of it’s carbonation though. I suppose I need to get one of those home carbonation machines next.

Sorry about the long post. I really need to find some good forum where to start posting stuff like this, so I can stop tacking my digressive thinking-out-louds to the comments sections of video tutorials like this. Anyone know any good forums?

Blair Frodelius 18 Jun 2008
2:53 pm


Try this site: http://forums.egullet.org



DC 20 Jun 2008
3:09 am

Robert, in previous episodes you talk about there being a lack of tequila cocktails, I’d like to see a show about a very popular mexican classic the vampiro.

Chuck 24 Jun 2008
3:00 pm

Robert, I’ve got it stuck in my head from somewhere that the original recipe for the A

Robert Hess 25 Jun 2008
10:14 am


I checked with Dale, and as it turns out you are right! Here is what he had to say:

“Yes..I was probably the only customer left in the USA using Wray & Nephew Pimento Dram at the Rainbow Room in the 1990’s and I used it in the Pilgrim Cocktail the Anejo Highball , my Planters Punch Rainbow Style…among other drinks…but when they pulled it off the market I removed it from my recipes…”

Nice little bit of trivia… wonder if now that Pimento dram is coming back, if Dale will start adding this back into a few of his drinks?


Xain 3 Jul 2008
5:16 am

I made a couple of these for me and the wife.  It’s now her favorite drink.  She likes the interaction of the bitters and orange curacao, the subtle spice of the Australian ginger beer and lime juice.  It is a very well balanced drink.  Thanks, Robert!

Dinah Sanders (MetaGrrrl) 3 Jul 2008
10:36 pm

Re: Cointreau vs Orange Curacao
An alarmingly thorough discussion of orange liqueurs was done by Jay Hepburn of Oh Gosh!

Robert Hess 4 Jul 2008
6:03 am

Dinah, thanks for that link, that’s a wonderful writeup and comparisons of various orange liqueurs. It sure can be a little confusing keeping track of them and figuring out when you should use what.


Dinah Sanders (MetaGrrrl) 4 Jul 2008
12:05 pm

Happy to share that prodigious report, Robert. Jay sacrificed himself nobly for the common good; not sure how long it will be before he chooses a prominently orange-flavored drink again.

Beyond the orange, though, Jay’s well worth having in your regular list of sites to read and we should have the pleasure of his company in New Orleans in a couple weeks.

Mike 17 Jul 2008
2:58 pm


Could you do a video covering Sangria? I just got back from Barcelona, Spain and loved the Sangria over there. I have since tried to make a good Sangria here and haven’t been very successful. Mine weren’t terrible, but they were nothing like the ones in Spain. Some recipes say to use 1 shot of Brandy, some say to use Rum, some say Gin. I don’t know what to use!

Thanks, Mike

Garretto 16 Sep 2008
11:43 am

There’s nothing better with spicier food than a good Sangria!
Wine, doesn’t go good with the heat, however Sangria over is great.

I don’t recall if I had Sangria when in Barcelona—I was only there a day, but the Madrid Sangria was fantastic.
The very recipe they use happens to be in the Bar-B-Que Bible, by Steven Raichlen. Also, it has a killer stuffed mushroom yesterday from a famous tapas bar there that goes great with it.
Also, this site pocotequila.com. It’s a Mexican version using tequila. It is a simple and tasty recipe.

Joao Eusebio 14 Jul 2009
6:01 pm

guys, the reason they have these pour tops is for people not to fill again the bottles!! Its really common here in spain, botlles to have these type of tops!!
beautifull cocktail!!
cheers to everyone and happy shakings

Robert Hess 15 Jul 2009
4:05 am

...but they still suck. :->

Nik 12 Oct 2009
10:54 am

When a cocktail like this calls for Aged rum…could any gold rum work, since they are effectively aged for a little period of time, or should I be looking for rums that specifically say aged.  I was wondering about this for the Mai Tai too…would Appleton estate special gold work for these two drinks? Or should I suck it up and get the Bacardi Anejo

Robert Hess 12 Oct 2009
12:10 pm

One of the things I love about rum, is the extremely wide variety of flavor profiles that you get from brand to brand, but this also means that it causes a problem when you are trying to totally recreate a drink that somebody else made, but you don’t have that particular rum available.

So yes, you will end up with a (perhaps very slightly) different cocktail if you use a different rum, but that isn’t to say you’ll end up with a bad drink. Heck, you might even end up with something better!

I wouldn’t sweat it if you don’t have the particular brand/type of rum I use in my shows, use what you have on hand and think to yourself about what it taste like, try different brands periodically and see how this changes the flavor profile.

As Gaz always reminds us “nothing is written in stone”.

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