Whiskey Wednesday: The Ward Eight

Image via: www.punchdrink.com

This Whiskey Wednesday, we’re bringing you an old-timer that has truly endured the test of time – the Ward Eight. An interesting variation on the Whiskey Sour (okay, it’s basically just a Whiskey Sour with grenadine), the Ward Eight was invented way back in 1898 by bartender, Tom Hussion.

Tom Hussion was somewhat of a marvel of his time. A bartender so adored that when he was hired by the Locke-Ober Cafe in Boston, his motley crew of loyal customers moved with him. Among these steadfast followers were members of the Hendrick’s Club – a political club run by Martin Lomasney, a Democrat running for representative in the Massachusetts General Court from Ward Eight that year. And so the story goes…

On the night before the election, a few club members were at the Locke-Ober nursing their impatience with some brown water when they decided to ask Tom Hussion a favor: Can you create a new drink to toast Lomansey’s victory? (Pretty cocky if you ask us, he hadn’t even been elected yet for goodness sake). Being the genius bartender he was, Hussion added some grenadine to the always-popular Whiskey Sour. Surprisingly enough, this small addition dramatically changed the character of the drink. And so the Ward Eight was born.

Unfortunately, the newly elected Lomasney was an ardent Prohibitionist and once the Noble Experiment came along, the Locke-Ober and its bartender were forced out of business. But, the Ward Eight proved to be a stubborn son-of-a-bitch and outlasted the Prohibition, Lomasney’s political career, and is still one of the best bourbon cocktails out there to date. It was even deemed one of the ten best cocktails of 1934 by Esquire magazine. The Locke-Ober reopened its doors in the 1950s and has since been the place to go for a well-shaken Ward Eight.

2 oz. Lost Republic bourbon

½ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ oz. freshly squeezed orange juice

1 teaspoon grenadine

1 maraschino cherry


Just remember, the Ward Eight is always shaken, not stirred. You can figure out the rest. Cheers, Pioneers!