This evening while sitting around watching the news and all of the political craziness that comes with an election year, we decided that we needed a drink to help make sense of it it all. While it is fun to come up with lots of original cocktails, every now and then it is nice to grab one of our old bar books and pick a recipe out. In this case we decided on a drink that was invented to celebrate the election of a politician from Boston’s notoriously corrupt Ward Eight. It only seemed fitting that we should drink a cocktail that was founded on the nuttiness of election season, the Ward Eight.
Legend has it that the Ward Eight was invented by a bartender at Boston’s famed Locke-Ober restaurant where supporters of Martin Lomasney, the ward boss of Boston’s Eighth ward, frequently held court. Lomasney was a tough, influential politician who had formally headed up an Irish street gang was known for working the system and finding creative ways to get his constituents jobs and influence. One night in 1898, while celebrating Lomasney’s certain victory to the Massachusetts state senate, a supporter asked for a round of drinks to help spread the rosy glow of victory, and the barkeep rolled out a previously unnamed cocktail. When asked what they were drinking, the bartender said it needed a name, and the supporters suggested the drink’s birthplace, Ward Eight.
The Ward Eight is one of those cocktails that being born around 1900 fully embraces the boozy feeling and can pack a real punch. Basically a whiskey sour dressed up with the addition of some fresh squeezed orange juice and grenadine, the drink is pleasantly boozy and tart. A classic study in sweet and sour, the fresh squeezed orange juice and grenadine help temper the sour bite of the lemon and give the drink a rosy glow. For this drink we used one of our favorite local spirits, Brickway’s Whisky, the first whiskey distilled in the city of Omaha since Prohibition. Brickway’s Whisky is a delicious single malt whiskey, distilled in the same manner as the famous scotch whiskys from Scotland, where Brickway’s owner Zac Triemert studied the art of distilling. Brickway’s whisky is smooth and slightly sweet with rich hints of vanilla and caramel with just a hint of oak that works very well with the citrus note from the orange and lemon while still having enough character to give the Ward Eight a backbone. Cheers!
- 2 oz Whiskey
- 1/4 oz lemon juice
- 1/4 oz orange juice
- 1/4 oz grenadine
- 1 dash bitters
- Add all the ingredients to a shaker.
- Fill shaker with ice.
- Shake vigorously and then strain into a chilled coupe.