MacKinnon Recipe

Jessica Leibowitz

A highball can be such a simple thing. All you need is a little booze, a little fizz, and some ice to stretch it out. Whiskey and soda, brandy and soda, bourbon and ginger ale--it's the same principle throughout.

But sometimes a highball needs help. You're in the mood for a full-blown cocktail, but you want to make it linger. Or, and this happens often this time of year, you want something long and cold but more adventurous than your basic X+Y highball. Meet the MacKinnon.

This wafted up in Esquire in 1938 and was revived by David Wondrich in Esquire Drinks in 2002. Between the dates, I'm not sure if this item ever surfaced. Pity, that; it's an odd and surprising drink to be sure, but with a great deal of unexpected charm. The base for the drink is Drambuie, the Scottish herbal honey-and-whisky liqueur, but before you write it off as too sweet, look at the citrus and soda--that will tone down the sugar a few notches. Plus, there's a slider of rum to help level out flavor, and to bring the horsepower up to the necessary level.

This won't be an everyday drink, but when you need something surprising and kind of delightful, the MacKinnon is a good bet to get you there.


  • 2 ounces Drambuie
  • 1/2 ounce white rum
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Chilled club soda


  1. Combine everything except club soda in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake well for 10 seconds and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with chilled club soda.