Ward Eight

One of the most popular of all Prohibition cocktails, it came out of the Dry Years a champion—in 1934, Esquire magazine named it the drink of the year.

  • 2 ounces rye or bourbon whiskey
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
  • Orange slice and/or maraschino cherry garnish (optional)

Preparation Combine whiskey, lemon juice, orange juice, and grenadine in a cocktail shaker that is half filled with ice. Shake well for at least 30 seconds. Strain mixture into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange slice or maraschino cherry if you wish.

Cultural context If Boston has a signature drink, it is the Ward Eight. The widely-accepted version of its origin was that it was created at Boston’s Locke-Ober restaurant in 1898 to celebrate the election victory of Martin Lomasney (a.k.a. the Boston Mahatma, a.k.a. Czar of Ward 8), who was seeking a seat in the Massachusetts state legislature. Lomasney was the local political machine’s power broker in Ward 8 (at Boston’s South End). He was famous for saying, “Never write if you can speak; never speak if you can nod; never nod if you can wink.”