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Old Pal

If you’re a fan of spirit-forward cocktails, you might want to try the Old Pal. This classic drink is a variation of the Negroni, but instead of gin, it uses rye whiskey. The result is a complex and flavorful cocktail that’s perfect for sipping on a cold evening.

old pal cocktail with campari, sweet vermouth and rye whiskey

The Old Pal is a great choice if you’re looking for a stirred drink that’s not too sweet. The rye whiskey adds a spicy kick, while the Campari and dry vermouth provide a bitter and herbal balance. If you’re a fan of Campari cocktails or just looking to try something new, give the Old Pal a try.

History

The Old Pal cocktail is a classic drink that has been around since the 1920s. It was created by Harry MacElhone, the proprietor of the New York Bar in Paris, France. MacElhone is also credited with inventing other popular cocktails such as the Boulevardier and the White Lady.

The Old Pal is a variation of the Boulevardier, which itself is a variation of the classic Negroni cocktail. The Boulevardier is made with bourbon or rye whiskey, Campari, and sweet vermouth, while the Negroni is made with gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth.

The Old Pal is named after William “Sparrow” Robinson, who was the sports editor of The New York Herald in Paris at the time. The drink was originally made with Canadian Club whiskey, but today it is often made with rye whiskey.

During Prohibition in the United States, many Americans traveled to Paris to enjoy alcohol legally. The New York Bar was a popular destination for these travelers, and it became known as a hub for American expatriates in Paris.

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The Old Pal cocktail was one of the many drinks that were created during this time, and it has since become a classic cocktail that is enjoyed all over the world. It is often compared to other classic cocktails such as the Sidecar and the Bloody Mary.

How to Make It

old pal cocktail with campari, sweet vermouth and rye whiskey

Old Pal

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

Making an Old Pal cocktail is a simple and straightforward process that requires only a few key ingredients and basic bar tools.

Here's how you can make it at home:

Ingredients

  • Rye whiskey
  • Campari
  • Dry vermouth
  • Ice
  • Lemon twist or peel (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add 1 oz of rye whiskey, 1 oz of Campari, and 1 oz of dry vermouth to the mixing glass.
  3. Stir the ingredients until well-chilled, for about 10-15 seconds. Be careful not to over-dilute the drink.
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe glass.
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist or peel.

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Variations

There are many ways to put a spin on the classic Old Pal cocktail. Here are a few variations that you can try:

Mezcal Pal

If you’re a fan of smoky flavors, you’ll love the Mezcal Pal. This variation replaces the Scotch with mezcal, a type of tequila that is made by smoking the agave plant. The result is a cocktail that is rich and complex, with a hint of sweetness from the vermouth and a smoky finish from the mezcal.

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New Pal

The New Pal is a variation that swaps out the Scotch for bourbon. This gives the cocktail a sweeter, smoother flavor that is perfect for those who find the original Old Pal a bit too strong. The New Pal is a great option for those who are new to the world of whiskey cocktails.

Boulevardier

The Boulevardier is a close cousin to the Old Pal, but it uses sweet vermouth instead of dry vermouth. This gives the cocktail a richer, more complex flavor that is perfect for sipping on a cold evening. The Boulevardier is a great option for those who enjoy the flavors of the Old Pal but want something a little bit different.

Negroni

The Negroni is another classic cocktail that shares some of the same ingredients as the Old Pal. It uses gin instead of whiskey, but it also features Campari and sweet vermouth. The Negroni is a great option for those who want to explore the world of bitter cocktails.

Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that is similar to the Old Pal in many ways. It uses whiskey, bitters, and sugar, but it doesn’t feature Campari or vermouth. The Old Fashioned is a great option for those who want a simpler, more straightforward cocktail that still packs a punch.

Old Pal
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