3 cl of rye whiskey
3 cl of bitter
3 cl of sweet vermouth
Many legends about the Old Pal cocktail, whose recipe was first codified by the legendary American bartender Harry MacElhone in 1927. And it seems that the cocktail was “invented” by William “Sparrow” Robinson, an expatriate sports journalist who left the gloomy Prohibition for a bohemian life in Paris.
In reality, it’s a variation of the Boulevardier cocktail, a variant of the Negroni, made, however, with Bourbon whiskey. It is said that the first Old Pal was made with rye whiskey, bitter and dry vermouth, but then the soft flavor of the sweet vermouth prevailed. And also, the doses were different: 1/2 rye whiskey, 1/4 vermouth, and 1/4 bitter.
But after all, this whiskey mania is not surprising. The Americans were stationed in Paris in the 20s and 30s of 1900. All the greats had a great alcoholic tour to escape the draconian restrictions of Prohibition, which lasted from 1920 to 1933. See, Hemingway and Fitzgerald didn’t just go to museums, but they got drunk as if there were no tomorrow. And this so open and convivial climate has made the fortune of bartenders like Harry MacElhone, who would have been unemployed at home.
You can play with this incredible drink and add bitters (chocolate and coffee) to create an intriguing symphony.
Ingredients and doses for making the Old Pal cocktail
How to prepare the Old Pal cocktail
Put ice in a mixing glass, pour the rye, vermouth, and bitter, then stir gently and pour into a glass or cup and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
If you want a more substantial and sumptuous drink, put less vermouth and 1 extra cl of rye whiskey, 4 cl of orange juice, and season with two drops of chocolate bitter.