Similar to a Moscow Mule or Dark and Stormy, the Presbyterian is a whiskey-forward cocktail with some ginger flavor for an extra kick. Learn what ingredients you need and how to make one at home below.
There is no definite history of the Presbyterian cocktail, but many drink historians argue that the original iteration was known as the “Mamie Taylor,” named after a famous singer at the time. Apparently, the singer added a bit of ginger, soda, and lime to a glass of scotch whiskey.
As time went on, the cocktail became known as the Presbyterian for some reason or another. Maybe it was to entice pious churchgoers to come and have a drink at the local watering hole, but no one really knows.
What is known, however, is that the Mamie Taylor is likely the origin of the many different “Mule” drinks that we enjoy today, including the very popular Moscow Mule and the Dark and Stormy. Looking at the ingredients list of the Presbyterian, it’s fairly hard to argue against that point.
The combination of whiskey, soda water, and ginger ale or ginger beer is a winning combo, enticing the palate with surprisingly complex flavors. The oaked peat and smokiness of the whiskey play very well with the ginger, and the soda serves to temper the intensity of both.
If you add lime and lemon juice, it becomes even better and falls directly in line with how you would make a traditional Mule cocktail.
However, because of the carbonation present in both the soda and ginger drink, ice tends to melt very quickly in the glass. As such, you’re better off using a large, cylindrical piece of ice that won’t dilute as fast, allowing the flavor to remain for longer.
Depending on who you ask, the Presbyterian cocktail can be made using several different ingredients. However, the concept always remains the same: whiskey and ginger forward with soda to reduce harshness. Below, you’ll find two different ingredient lists that you can choose from.
- Whiskey (scotch, bourbon, or rye) – 2 ounces (60ml)
- Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer – estimated 1.5 ounces (45ml)
- Soda Water – estimated 1.5 ounces (45ml)
- Scotch Whiskey – 2 ounces (60ml)
- Ginger Syrup – 1 dash
- Lemon and Lime Juice – 0.5 ounces (15ml)
- Soda Water – To top
- Lemon twist – Garnish
How to Make a Presbyterian
The process for making both the easy and complex Presbyterians is fairly similar. Go through the following steps to make the perfect cocktail, no matter which version you prefer.
- Add whiskey to a highball glass.
- Add ice to the highball glass.
- Top with equal parts ginger ale/ginger beer and soda water.
- Put one to two dashes of ginger syrup in an empty highball glass.
- Add whiskey and lemon/lime juice to the glass.
- Add ice and top with soda water.
- Express a lemon twist along the rim of the glass and garnish.