Martin M. Lomasney

Mmmmm I’ll Have Another “Ward 8” Please.

A while back I installed an app on my iPhone that has about a million cocktail recipes in it. While I know I’ll never try them all, there are some that I find rather intriguing and will have to add to my list of adult libation staples.

One of the newer drinks that I have become fascinated with is th “Ward 8” cocktail. The Ward 8 originated in Boston in 1898 at the Gilded Age bar Locke-Ober.

According to Wikipedia

“In 1898 Democratic political czar Martin M. Lomasney hoped to capture a seat in the state’s legislature, the General Court of Massachusetts. Lomasney held considerable power in the city for nearly 50 years. The story goes that the drink was created to honor his election, and the city’s Ward 8 which historically delivered him a winning margin. Competing, but unfounded myths abound in print and on the Internet. One story purports that it originated in New York in an area known for political corruption, another that the cocktail is a traditional drink of the Scottish Guards.”

The Locke-Ober was closed in 1919 at the start of prohibition, but re-opened in 1933, So there are several variations of the Ward 8 cocktail. Various recipes call for blended whiskey, bourbon, rye, or even single malt scotch. Some recipes call for lemon juice, lime juice, no juice, grenadine, sour mix, and something called gomme syrup.

When Locke-Ober reopened its bar in 1933 it began using this recipe:

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
  • Maraschino cherry (optional)

Shake the rye whiskey, lemon juice, orange juice, and grenadine with ice; then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry, if desired. Originally the drink was decorated with a small paper Massachusetts flag.