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Ward 8 Cocktail

The Ward 8 cocktail isn’t as famous as its cousin, the Whiskey Sour, but it should be. Simultaneously sweet and spicy, this pre-prohibition potent potable is as easy to sip as it is to craft.

Ward 8 Cocktail with Orange Twist
Image: ©2foodtrippers

Everybody knows the Whiskey Sour. A fixture at every bar from Tulsa to Timbuktu, it perennially ranks as one of the world’s most popular cocktails.

The same can’t be said about the Ward 8 – a factoid that makes us scratch our heads. The two classic cocktails share amazing similarities and are equally easy to craft at home. Plus, in its favor, the Ward 8 has a vividly striking red hue.

Discover more colorful cocktails.

What Is the Ward 8 Cocktail?

Ward 8 Cocktail with Black Background
The Ward 8 cocktail may live under the radar but its wow factor is difficult to ignore. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The Ward 8 cocktail is a pre-prohibition cocktail crafted with four simple ingredients – rye whiskey, grenadine, lemon juice and orange juice.

Although it looks like it’s fruity-tooty thanks to its red cast, the Ward 8 is actually a serious drink with a deep back story.

History of the Ward Eight Cocktail

Ward 8 Cocktail with Green Background
The Ward 8 was named after a Boston politician named Martin Lomasney.  | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Most people don’t think about Boston when they imbibe classic cocktails but that’s the city where the Ward 8 was invented back in 1898. Sorry New Orleans and NYC!

While we don’t know who invented the drink, we can trace the Ward 8’s origins at Boston’s now-closed Locke-Ober. The cocktail was named after a politician named Martin Lomasney in honor of his election to the state legislature. Lomansney represented the eighth ward which was also where the restaurant was located.

Fun Fact
Opened in 1875, Locke-Ober was Boston’s fourth oldest restaurant before it closed in 2012.

Ingredients

Ward 8 Cocktail Ingredients
The Ward 8 cocktail ingredients include rye whiskey, grenadine, a lemon, an orange and ice cubes (not pictured). | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The Ward 8 ingredient list is both simple and short. In fact, you may already have the necessary ingredients in your home.

  • Rye Whiskey
  • Grenadine
  • Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
  • Ice Cubes (for shaking)
  • Orange Twist (for garnish)

Don’t stress if you don’t have all of these ingredients. You should be able to easily buy the rye whiskey and grenadine at your local liquor store and the fruit at any market.

Ward 8 Cocktail and Rye Bottle
Rye whiskey is the sole liquor in the Ward 8 recipe. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

If you need to buy one ingredient, it’s most likely rye whiskey. If that’s the case, we recommend buying either Bulleit and Rittenhouse. They’re our personal favorites and hold a constant place in our liquor cabinet.

We chose to use Bulleit rye whiskey for this Ward 8 recipe. Notable for its spicy yet fruity flavors, Bulleit is produced in Larenceburg, Indiana with 95% rye and 5% malted barley. And, for those keeping tabs, it has a 45% ABV.

We won’t judge you if you choose to use bourbon instead of rye. In fact, some bartenders choose to go that route even if they have both liquors on hand. However, be aware that your finished cocktail won’t have the same spicy kick.

Rye and Grenadine Bottles
Using better grenadine results in a better Ward 8 cocktail. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

If you need to buy a bottle of grenadine, we recommend buying Monin’s version. This French company doesn’t add any artificial colors or flavors to its bright red pomegranate syrup. This approach makes it better than other commercial grenadine syrups. You can buy a bottle of Monin grenadine syrup from Amazon.

Discover our favorite grenadine cocktails.

How to Craft a Ward 8 Cocktail

Ward 8 Cocktail Mise en Place
It’s go time once you gather the Ward 8’s necessary ingredients and tools. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Once you gather the tools and ingredients, the first step is to measure the rye whiskey with a jigger. We use a Japanese jigger to measure liquor for this and other cocktails. It enables us to get accurate measurements and clean pours.

Buy a Japanese jigger from Amazon if you need a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.

Measuring Rye for a Ward 8 Cocktail
Measuring rye whiskey is easy with a Japanese jigger. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Immediately pour the rye whiskey into your favorite shaker. We like to use a Boston shaker for this and other cocktail recipes since it doesn’t leak and is easy to clean.

Pouring Rye into a Ward 8 Cocktail
Pouring the rye directly into the shaker reduces fuss and muss. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Pour the lemon juice and orange juice, both freshly squeezed, into the same shaker.

You can use a jigger to measure the two juices; however, we like to use angled measuring cups instead.

Pouring Liquids into a Ward 8 Cocktail
While it’s not necessary to pour the two juices at the same time, doing so is both efficient and fun. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Measure the grenadine with a measuring spoon and pour it into the shaker too.

Adding Grenadine to a Ward 8 Cocktail
A little grenadine goes a long way in this Ward 8 recipe. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Add ice to the shaker.

Adding Ice to a Ward 8 Cocktail
Fancy ice isn’t necessary when shaking a Ward 8 cocktail. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Shake until the liquids are chilled and combined. This step should take approximately 20 seconds.

Ward 8 Cocktail in Shaker
We stopped to admire this cocktail’s color before we strained it into a coupe glass. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Strain the shaken liquids into a coupe glass.

Pro Tip
Using a chilled cocktail glass will enhance your sipping pleasure.

Straining a Ward 8 Cocktail
Our admiration grew as the cocktail filled the glass. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Garnish with an orange twist.

Ward 8 Cocktail from Above
Voila! This Ward 8 cocktail is ready to sip after just a few minutes work. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Feel free to replace the orange twist with a maraschino cherry or two. If you go this route, we recommend using Luxardo cherries.

Variations

Crafted Ward 8 Cocktail
Will the Ward 8 make your top 10 cocktail list? The best way to find out is to craft one at home. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Once you craft a classic Ward 8 cocktail at home, feel free to modify its recipe to your particular liking. Here are a few alternatives worth trying:

  • Add additional grenadine to craft a sweeter Ward 8 cocktail.
  • Add a dash or two of Angostura bitters to craft a more herbaceous Ward 8 cocktail.
  • Replace the lemon juice with lime juice to craft a more tart Ward 8 cocktail.
  • Replace the rye whiskey with bourbon to craft a smoother Ward 8 cocktail.

Discover 10 essential bar tools for the home mixologist.

Ward 8 Cocktail from Above
It just takes a few minutes to craft a Ward 8 cocktail at home. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Ward 8 cocktail?

A Ward 8 is pre-prohibition cocktail crafted with rye whiskey, grenadine, fresh lemon juice and fresh orange juice.

Where was the Ward 8 cocktail invented?

The Ward 8 was invented in Boston in 1898.

What are the ingredients in a Ward 8 cocktail?

Rye Whiskey, Grenadine, Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice, Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice, Ice Cubes (for shaking) and an Orange Twist (for garnish)

Is the Ward 8 cocktail shaken or stirred?

The Ward 8 is shaken, not stirred.

Did you craft this cocktail? If so, please rate the recipe below.

Ward 8 Cocktail with Orange Twist
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Ward 8 Recipe

Simultaneously sweet and spicy, the Ward 8 cocktail is a pre-prohibition cocktail worth drinking. The key is not to drink too many.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Cocktail
Servings: 1
Calories: 167kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • ½ ounce lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • ½ ounce orange juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
  • orange peel ((garnish)
  • ice cubes ((or shaking)

Instructions

  • Pour liquids into a shaker.
  • Add several ice cubes and shake until liquids are combined and chilled.
  • Strain into a coupe glass.
  • Garnish with an orange twist.

Notes

  • You can replace the orange twist with a maraschino cherry or two.
  • You can replace the coupe glass with a small martini glass.

Estimated Nutrition

Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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About The Authors

About The Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers their unique taste of the world.

Disclosures

Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Funding
We purchased the ingredients and tools used to craft this cocktail.

Original Publication Date: September 24, 2023

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