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Horse’s Neck

The Horse’s Neck is a simple yet elegant drink that has been enjoyed for well over a century, and it’s easy to see why. One of the things that makes the Horse’s Neck so appealing is its simplicity. With just a few ingredients, it’s easy to make at home or order at a bar. And yet, it’s also a versatile drink that can be customized to suit your tastes.

Boozy Refreshing Horse's Neck Cocktail with Bourbon

Some recipes call for a dash of bitters or a splash of citrus juice, while others use different types of spirits or mixers. But no matter how you make it, the Horse’s Neck is a classic cocktail that’s sure to impress.

Whether you’re a seasoned cocktail connoisseur or just looking for a new drink to try, the Horse’s Neck is a must-try. Its balance of sweet and tangy flavors, combined with the refreshing fizz of ginger ale, make it a perfect pairing for a wide range of foods and cuisines. So grab a bar spoon and give it a try – you might just discover your new favorite cocktail.


The Horse’s Neck cocktail has a long and interesting history. It is believed to date back to at least the 1900s, where it was a non-alcoholic mixture of ginger ale, ice, and lemon peel. The drink was a popular choice among the Royal Navy, who consumed it to help combat seasickness. It was also a favorite in upstate New York, where it was often served at social events.

two glasses fresh horse neck cocktail on a wooden table orange brown color with lemon peel and drinking straw

By the 1910s, brandy or bourbon would be added to the Horse’s Neck to create a “horse’s neck with a kick” or a “stiff horse’s neck.” The drink quickly gained popularity and became a staple in many cocktail bars across the United States.

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One of the most popular versions of the Horse’s Neck cocktail is made with Maker’s Mark bourbon, which gives the drink a rich and complex flavor. Maker’s Mark is a premium bourbon that is made using a unique aging process, which involves rotating the barrels during the aging process to ensure that the bourbon is evenly distributed.

How to Make It

Boozy Refreshing Horses Neck Cocktail with Brandy

Horse's Neck

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Making a Horse's Neck cocktail is a simple process that requires only a few ingredients and tools. Here's how to make it:


  • 2 oz bourbon or brandy
  • 3 oz ginger ale
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Lemon peel for garnish


  1. Start by preparing your lemon peel. Use a channel knife to peel your entire lemon, creating a long spiral lemon twist. Twist the lemon peel around your finger or a bar spoon to make it curly, then drop the peel into a highball or rocks glass.
  2. Fill the glass with ice cubes or a Collins ice stick.
  3. Pour in 2 oz of bourbon or brandy.
  4. Top the glass with 3 oz of ginger ale.
  5. Add 2 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  6. Gently stir the drink with a bar spoon.
  7. Garnish the cocktail with the lemon peel.

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If you’re looking to mix things up with your Horse’s Neck cocktail, there are a few variations you can try. Here are some of the most popular:

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Horse’s Neck with a Kick

The Horse’s Neck with a Kick variation adds a bit of heat to the classic cocktail. To make it, start with the classic recipe of cognac, ginger ale, and bitters. Then, add a splash of hot sauce or muddled jalapeño for an extra kick.

Bourbon Horse’s Neck

If you prefer bourbon over cognac, try making a Bourbon Horse’s Neck. Simply swap out the cognac for bourbon in the classic recipe. The result is a slightly sweeter, smoother version of the cocktail.

Horse’s Neck Royale

For a more elegant take on the Horse’s Neck, try the Horse’s Neck Royale. This variation adds a splash of champagne to the classic recipe. The result is a light and bubbly cocktail that’s perfect for celebrations.

Gingerbread Horse’s Neck

If you’re looking for a festive twist on the classic cocktail, try making a Gingerbread Horse’s Neck. To make it, start with the classic recipe of cognac, ginger ale, and bitters. Then, add a splash of gingerbread syrup and garnish with a gingerbread cookie. It’s a delicious and cozy cocktail that’s perfect for the holiday season.

Horse’s Neck Highball

The Horse’s Neck Highball is a simple variation that’s perfect for hot summer days. To make it, simply fill a highball glass with ice and add equal parts cognac and ginger ale. Garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy!

Horse’s Neck
Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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