Old Pal

Old Pal cocktail with a lemon twist garnish

Stir with ice and either strain into a chilled cocktail glass or serve over a large ice cube in an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange or lemon twist.

The Old Pal is a rye whiskey version of the Negroni using dry vermouth instead of sweet. With sweet vermouth it is a drink called the Boulevardier but I prefer this version. Neither the rye nor the Campari dominate and they blend well together. Use a high proof rye (50% abv). We used Rittenhouse Rye, a classic, but there is room for further research in the rye department.

Both the Old Pal and the Boulevardier were created by Harry MacElhone of Harry's New York Bar in Paris. The Old Pal appears in his 1922 book, ABC of Mixing Cocktails, where the "old pal" credited with the recipe is "Sparrow" Robertson, Sporting Editor of the New York Herald, Paris. Harry's original recipe calls for Canadian Whisky but Prohibition likely made good rye hard to come by. It is also an equal parts recipe but we prefer this version from Dave Arnold.