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Old Pal

Old Pal


  • 2 tablespoons dry vermouth

Recipe Preparation

  • Combine the first 3 ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and stir until shaker becomes frosty. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with orange twist.

Recipe by Andrew Knowlton,

Nutritional Content

One serving contains: Calories (kcal) 255.8 %Calories from Fat 0.0 Fat (g) 0.0 Saturated Fat (g) 0.0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 16.1 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 11.4 Net Carbs (g) 16.1 Protein (g) 0.0 Sodium (mg) 5.0Reviews Section

Old Pal Cocktail

LAST UPDATED: April 9, 2020 PUBLISHED: April 9, 2020 By Pam Greer 5 Comments As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This Old Pal Cocktail is a classic whiskey cocktail that you just have to try! With only three ingredients - rye whiskey, Campari and Vermouth it's as easy to make as it is to sip!

Once you get into making cocktails, you soon learn that most cocktails are a riff off of a few basic cocktail formulas.

Like this Old Pal Cocktail.

It's basically a Negroni made with rye whiskey instead of gin and dry vermouth instead of sweet. Or you could say it's Boulevardier made with rye whiskey instead of bourbon and dry vermouth instead of sweet.

It first showed up in print in 1922 in Harry McElhone's The ABC of Mixing Cocktails. The Negroni is first mentioned in 1919 and is said to have originated when Count Negroni ordered an Americano (sweet vermouth, Campari and club soda) with gin instead of the club soda.

Count Negroni sounds like my kind of count.

Classic Drinks: The Old Pal and a New Friend

Often overshadowed by its more popular brother, the Boulevardier, this simple cocktail featuring whiskey, Campari, and dry vermouth is worth getting to know a little better.

Harry MacElhone is credited as the first to publish the Old Pal. Born in Ireland, but tending bar in New York, Harry returned to Europe when the war broke out. In 1922, he started working at the New York Bar in Paris, and within a year he had taken over and changed the name to Harry's New York Bar. Throughout the years, Harry played host to a number of famous guests, including Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel.

MacElhone also wrote two popular cocktail books. The first, Harry's ABC of Mixing Cocktails, was published in 1919 and was revised annually for a number of years. It's actually still in print. Many attribute the first appearance of Old Pal to the 1922 edition of this book. But I'm not so sure.

The 2011 edition on my shelf does indeed include the Old Pal, with the recipe calling for equal parts Canadian whisky, Campari and dry vermouth. The book credits the drink to a sports writer by the name of "Sparrow" Robinson, a man who was known to call even those he'd just met, "old pal".

Only one problem: the book dates the drink to 1929, and the introduction by Harry's great-grandson, Franz-Arthur MacElhone, claims that Sparrow first came to Harry's bar in 1925.

The Old Pal comes up in Harry MacElhone's next book, Barflies and Cocktails, published in 1927. While not among the main recipes, our pal can be found in the 'Cocktails Round Town' section in the back. Written by MacElhone's friend, a publisher by the name of Arthur Moss, this epilogue features recipes from some of the bar's most notable patrons (and also includes what is believed to be the first mention of the Boulevardier). In it Moss states:

I remember way back in 1878, on the 30th of February to be exact, when the Writer was discussing this subject with my old pal "Sparrow" Robertson and he said to yours truly, "get away with that stuff, my old pal, here's the drink I invented when I fired the pistol the first time at the old Powderhall foot races and you can't go wrong if you put a bet down on 1/3 Canadian Club, 1/3 Eyetalian Vermouth, and 1/3 Campari," and then he told the Writer that he would dedicate this cocktail to me and call it, My Old Pal."

So now what? Is it French (dry) or "Eyetalian" (sweet) vermouth? Was it 1922, 1927 or 1878? Is his name Robinson or Robertson? And when did February have 30 days in it.

After exhaustively searching for copies of the 1922 edition of Harry's ABC and even awkwardly trying to get in touch with Isabelle MacElhone, current owner of Harry's Bar, I was left scratching my head. Lucky for me, cocktail historian David Wondrich came to the rescue.

Wondrich just happens to own both the 1919 and 1929 editions of Harry's ABC of Mixing Cocktails and confirms that while not in the 1919 edition, Old Pal is definitely in the 1929 edition, and it calls for dry, not Italian sweet vermouth.

During our exchange, Wondrich also brought up an important point in dating this drink. The main portion of the 1927 edition of Barflies and Cocktails was an exact reprint of the then-current edition of Harry's ABC. Since Old Pal was only included in the appendix written by Arthur Moss, the drink couldn't have been in the most recent edition of Harry's ABC, which means it probably wasn't in the 1922 edition.

It's likely Old Pal first appeared in the appendix of Barflies and Cocktails in 1927. It's possible that the 'Eyetalian' reference was a joke, but if not, this means that the original Old Pal was made with sweet, not dry vermouth. By 1929 the vermouth was swapped to the French style (dry) used in all subsequent recipes. And perhaps 1929 was the year Old Pal first appeared in Harry's ABC.

So where the heck did 1922 come from anyway? It could be because many often mistakenly say that 1922 was the first edition of Harry's ABC, since that was his first year at the bar in Paris. Perhaps readers of later editions were assuming that it had appeared in the first edition. And, as we all know, statements on the internet can spread like wildfire, whether they are true or not.

Whew, after all that, it's time for a drink.

The Classic:

While Arthur Moss's note in Barflies and Cocktails calls for Canadian Club in the Old Pal, most recipes surfacing after Prohibition ditch the Canadian whisky in favor of equal parts American rye, Campari, and dry vermouth. Compared to the Boulevardier, which uses bourbon and sweet vermouth, Old Pal is a bit drier and lighter, with a nice peppery spice from the rye.

It's a magical drink, scented with lemon and full of bitter orange and quinine flavors. The dry vermouth helps lengthen the drink and tone down the more-dominant Campari and whiskey. One warning: if this is one of your first experiences with Campari, Old Pal may be a bit much for you.

The Variation:

I'll be honest: it took me a long time to "develop my palate" enough to appreciate the Old Pal. It's also been hit or miss among friends as well, which left me wondering: How can I make something Old Pal-esque that might appeal to a broader audience?

Here's what I came up with: Keep the rye, but use something lower proof like Old Overholt or Templeton (both are 80 proof). Swap in Campari's kid brother, Aperol, and ditch the dry vermouth for delicious Cocchi Americano. I call this one New Friend because I'm sure you two will get along swimmingly.

This one still has scent of dry citrus and spice, but the total affect is a bit less intense. The Aperol brings juicy accents of orange and rhubarb, while the Cocchi Americano slips in to balance it all out and beef up the bitters section of this trio.

The New Negronis

As Gary Regan writes in his excellent new recipe book, The Negroni, "it's one of the simplest and most elegant drink formulas around: combine one part gin, one part sweet vermouth, and one part Campari, then stir and serve over ice." For many, the Negroni craze ended last summer, while others insist the gin-vermouth-Campari version is the only way to go. After traveling far and wide to suss out the best recipes in the world, Regan found a group of Negroni recipes from cocktail lovers across the country guaranteed to leave your mouth-watering. They're "utterly delicious" and nothing alike, except for their Italian foundation (Regan thinks). Here are five new recipes to make you fall in love with the cocktail again.

1. The Unusual Negroni

From Charlotte Voisey, mixologist with William Grant & Sons Distillers, USA

"I like a delicate touch, especially when it comes to Negronis," says Charlotte Voisey, mixologist with William Grant & Sons Distillers. "This variation is a light alternative, great for first timers."


Garnish: 1 small grapefruit slice or 1 grapefruit twist

Stir all the ingredients with ice in a rocks glass, then garnish with the grapefruit slice. Alternatively, stir all the ingredients with ice in a mixing glass, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with the grapefruit twist.

2. The Negroni Popsicle

From Jake Godby, chef and owner, Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream, San Francisco

What could be more refreshing than walking around on a hot summer's day with one of these to keep your mouth watering, huh? Makes about 12 popsicles, depending on the size of your mold.


21&frasl2 cups fresh pink grapefruit juice

Combine the water and sugar in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Let cool to room temperature, then pour into ice-pop molds and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

3. The Knickroni

From Frederic Yarm, Cocktail Virgin Slut blog, Somerville, Massachusetts

Frederic Yarm, a concept cocktailian, explained this drink's origins thusly: "Ever since John Gertsen, who was at No. 9 Park in Boston at the time, told me about his intrigue with the Knickebein, Leo Engel's nineteenth century pousse-café with an unbroken egg yolk in the middle, I have taken to the drink as a good rite of passage. With the autumnal leaf change coming on, I was thinking about red and yellow drinks, and the vision of a strange merger of a Negroni and a Knickebein occurred. The idea of changing around Leo's recipe was spawned a while ago from the fact that his version's liqueur choices don't hold up to the modern palate, but the Negroni seemed fitting for the fall color theme. I was quite pleased with the results."


1 small or medium egg, separated, with the yolk unbroken

Garnish: 1 dash Regans' Orange Bitters No. 6

Stir the vermouth and Campari together in a 2-ounce sherry glass. Gently layer the unbroken egg yolk on top, then carefully layer the gin atop the yolk. Beat the egg white until stiff with a whisk or in a cobbler shaker with a balled-up Hawthorne spring, then cover the gin layer with the egg white. Garnish with the bitters.

Grand Mint Julep

If you're don't have the time or patience to mix multiple ingredients, try this two ingredient recipe from Grand Marnier, featuring their classic orange-flavored liqueur.



  • Slap mint leaves to release their natural oils
  • Place leaves at the bottom of a rocks glass or julep cup
  • Add Grand Marnier and gently muddle (use the handle of a wooden spoon if you don't have a muddler)
  • Top with crushed ice
  • Garnish with mint leaves

The taste of bourbon is a bit too austere for some. Fret not there are some wonderful cocktails that can soften it up a bit. One such example is the Minneapolis Hustler. This cocktail has much in common with a classic cocktail from years past known as the Oriental Cocktail.

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English Pale Ale Recipes

English Pale Ale is a classic beer style and a personal favorite of mine. This week we take a look at how to brew this classic style at home including the history of the style, formulation of recipes and brewing of English Pale Ale.

The History of English Pale Ale

English Pale Ale shares much in common with classic English Bitters. The defining example of the style is arguably Bass Ale from Bass Brewery in Burton on Trent, England. The Bass brewery was established by William Bass in 1777 as one of the first breweries in Burton on Trent.

Pale ale and bitters both are derived from English “real ales” which were widely produced in England in the 18th and 19th century, and originally served with little to no carbonation from hand pumped cellar kegs.

Pale ale can also trace its origins to the start of the industrial revolution in England. The availability of both coal fuel and high quality steel allowed the production of pale colored malts in the early 1700’s. Previously only brown and dark malts with smoky aroma were available due to the use of wood in malting.

The English Pale Ale Style

English Pale Ale has a medium high to moderate hoppy flavor and aroma. Often a malt or caramel flavor and aroma is present, with a slight alcoholic warmth. The hops should balance the caramel and malt flavor at a minimum, though many examples have a slightly hoppy balance.

The body of a Pale Ale is medium to full, and carbonation is generally low except for some bottled commercial or export ales. The finish is generally dry with no secondary malt flavors, and no diceytl. Fruity esters, often a byproduct of English ale yeast, is often present.

Original gravity is generally between 1.048 and 1.062, with 30-50 IBUs of bitterness. Color is golden to deep copper (6-18 SRM). Alcohol by volume is a healthy 4.6-6.2%.

Brewing an English Pale Ale

The base malt for English Pale Ale is english pale malt. The classic type is English two row barley malt with low nitrogen content, traditionally a bit darker than classic pale malt due to the use of higher kilning temperatures. Pale malt composes about 90% of the total grain bill. For extract brewers, start with a pale base extract and add the appropriate color steeped caramel malt to achieve your desired color.

Crystal and caramel malts are used in most pale ales, both to add color and body. Crystal generally makes up 5-10% of the total grain bill and is selected in a color to balance the overall target color.

Maltose syrup is used in many commercial pale ales, but is hard to find for use in home brewing. Corn or cane sugar can be used in small quantities (generally less than 10%) to give a similar effect.

Wheat, cara-pils, or flaked barley are occasionally used in pale ales to add body. Generally only a few percent are added, as any larger amount will result in a cloudy finish to the beer. Chocolate and black malts are used very rarely in some recipes, but I recommend not including them in your pale ale.

BC Goldings and Fuggles hops are the favorite varieties for Pale ales. Target, Northdown and Challenger are occasionally substituted. My personal preference is BC Goldings. Often three hop additions are used – one for boiling/bitterness, an aroma addition at the end of the boil and finally dry hops for added aroma after fermentation.

A single step infusion mash is sufficient for mashing a pale ale, as the highly modified English malt will convert easily. A medium to high body mash profile (153-157 F) will give you an authentic rich bodied beer.

For Burton style English Pale Ales, the water profile is extremely high in Calcium Carbonate and Bicarbonate. Burton water has 295 ppm Ca, 725 ppm Sulfate and 300 ppm Bicarbonate. This exceptionally hard water accentuates the bitterness in the hops giving a sharp finish to the beer. However, achieving the appropriate water balance can be difficult for homebrewers. Usually a small amount of Gypsum (CaSO4) added to the brewing water is sufficient to give a slightly sharper finish.

English Pale Ale yeast is used for traditional Burton ales like Bass, and the major liquid yeast manufacturers even carry a special strain for Burton ales. Other english ale yeasts are also popular with homebrewers for all types of pale ales. Finally, many homebrewers use American ale yeast for its clean finish and neutral flavor.

Pale ale should be fermented and aged at traditional ale temperatures (generally 62-68F), lightly carbonated and served slightly warm if you are a traditional ale fan. American brewers may prefer higher carbonation and a colder serving temperature.

Pale Ale Recipes

Here are some recipes from our BeerSmith Recipe Archive:

We have hundreds of other recipes and recipe packs available on our BeerSmith recipe site.

Pale ale is flavorful, robust, and smooth to drink. I hope you enjoy your home brewed pale ale! Thank you for joining us on the BeerSmith Home Brewing Blog. If you enjoyed this week’s article, consider subscribing for regular weekly delivery via email or RSS.

Cocktails that complete me: Old Pal and Algonquin

Last week, I officially launched my campaign to fill in the holes of my cocktail repertoire, beginning with the El Diablo, one of the 17 classic drinks that I had yet to try from the original list of 100 published by Dirty Kitchen Adventures.

The first one turned out to be pretty good, despite El Diablo's odd mix of tequila, lime, creme de cassis and ginger beer. This week, I am tackling two cocktails that call for rye whiskey and dry vermouth -- though the similarities end there.

The first, Old Pal, is yet another twist on my old favorite, the Negroni (gin, sweet vermouth, Campari). It's quite similar to the excellent variation, the Boulevardier (bourbon, sweet vermouth, Campari). The Old Pal's twist is replacing the gin/bourbon with rye and subbing out the sweet vermouth with dry vermouth. The Campari stays in the picture, of course.

Old Pal is widely credited to the 1922 edition of "Harry's ABC's of Cocktails" (Souvenir Press, 2011) by the head bartender at Harry's New York Bar in Paris. It's one of first Campari recipes published in English. This version is a tweak of Harry's recipe, with more whiskey in the mix. Either way, it's inspired, and perfectly robust for the winter. I really enjoyed it.

The second recipe comes from the same era, but from New York instead of Paris. The Algonquin was a favorite, of course, of the famed Algonquin Round Table, the "vicious circle" of Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Harold Ross, George S. Kaufman and other writers and critics. When I first read the Algonquin's ingredients -- rye whiskey, dry vermouth, and pineapple juice. honestly, my first thought was, ugh.

But then I opened a bottle of Michter's rye, and my first whiff of the whiskey was, strangely, that of pineapple. In fact, this concoction is genius, and I think it would be a great way to bring rye-squeamish souls to the spirit. I had a fresh pineapple on hand, so I juiced it in the blender. Beautiful. But I think it will work well enough with canned pineapple juice, too.

People don't really consume the literary output of the Algonquin Round Table writers as they once did, but I would encourage you to give their cocktail a try.

This is a variation on the Boulevardier (which calls for bourbon), which is itself a variation on the Negroni (which calls for gin see related recipes). Note that this cocktail calls for dry -- and not sweet -- vermouth, like the other drinks.

Adapted from a recipe by Seattle cocktail blogger Paul Clarke, on SeriousEats.

1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
3/4 ounce dry vermouth
3/4 ounce Campari (may substitute Gran Classico Bitter or Luxardo)

Combine the rye whiskey, vermouth and Campari in a mixing glass, then fill halfway with ice. Stir vigorously, then strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass.

This drink dates to the famed Algonquin Round Table of New York writers in the 1920s such as Robert Benchley and Dorothy Parker.

Adapted from "Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum Cocktail to the Zombie," by Ted Haigh (Quarry Books, 2004).

1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
3/4 ounce pineapple juice, preferably fresh
3/4 ounce dry vermouth

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the rye whiskey, pineapple juice and vermouth. Shake well, then strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass.


Learn about the most important Pre-Prohibition, Prohibition Era, and Modern Classic cocktails from around the world. Each drink has its own history, ingredient formulation, and service style, along with a field of variations that allow you to adjust it to your personal palate.

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Your feelings that "MFP is no longer actively maintaining the site" and has "suspended expenditure on development" are unfounded and ridiculous.

MFP is supposedly working on a way to restore searching for Recipes and displaying them in different sort orders. In the meantime, use the Add Food to Meal function to search for your Recipe. Enter as many keywords as you can remember to narrow your search.

For instance, if I search for "sesame stir fry," one of the search results is one of my Recipes as displayed in the screen shot below. On the Web version, the food item will not have an asterisk, which most likely means that it is one of my Recipes and not another MFP user-entered item.

And I just saw another glitch. I entered the above Recipe in the Old Recipe Calculator with xCal in the Title. Then when I edited it with the Recipe Importer editor, I edited the xCal to 197Cal, which displays properly in my list of Recipes and when it is added to my Food Diary. However, in the search display, it is displaying the first-time saved instance of the Recipe. Got to love MFP (maybe not). Oh well, off to submit a help ticket.

Watch the video: OLD PAL BAR - Самый гостеприимный бар Днепра. SVOI#9 (January 2022).