Today we’re going to mix up a classic Negroni variation, the Old Pal cocktail. It’s just another part of our Negroni Week festivities.
The Old Pal is a bit like emerging from a workday at the office that makes you feel as though you fell into a vat down at the rendering works and can return home to an old pal like your faithful dog. The dog would probably improve matters by licking up the grease still dripping off you, but that’s beside the point. The drink is crisp and dry, and that works for us.
The Old Pal cocktail is another member of our two-substitution Negroni variations, but this time we’ll keep the Campari and substitute out the base spirit and the type of vermouth employed. The cocktail itself was created during the 1920s by Harry MacElhone at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. You of course remember Harry from earlier this week when we had the Boulevardier. That one he didn’t invent, but he published it in his book Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails. And somewhere along the lines, despite Mr. Potato Head not yet being born, he did a Mr. Potato head substitution and created the Old Pal. The name itself was dedicated to William “Sparrow” Robinson, the sports editor for The New York Herald in Paris at the time. It’s basically like a Boulevardier, but notably drier. For something in the middle, using both sweet and dry vermouth, try the Rosita cocktail.
So onward to mixing and drinking. And stay tuned for the Scorched Earth if you’re of that mind.
- Nick and Nora or coupe glass
- 1 oz Rye whiskey
- 1 oz Dry vermouth
- 1 oz Campari
- Garnish: orange twist
- While the above formula is the classic recipe this is another cocktail very amenable to adjusting proportions, and in fact your correspondent tends toward the magic ratio of 2:1:1 here, meaning 1.5 oz rye, and 0.75 each dry vermouth and Campari. Your mileage may vary.
- Add ingredients to mixing glass.
- Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
- Add ice and stir until properly chilled.
- Garnish with orange twist.