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Horse's Neck Cocktail Recipe

May 19, 2018 | Post By Danny Mahoney
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In almost all cases with cocktails, there are cocktails that grow so popular that people seem obligated to offer a non-alcoholic version, since the drink is so popular. In the case of the Horse’s Neck, this actually happened backwards.

Image of Horse's Neck   Drink

The cocktail was originally non-alcoholic, and then grew to become a favorite cocktail of the early 1900s. It is a cocktail that existed before Prohibition, and has subsided in popularity after the 1950s. One characteristic of the horse’s neck cocktail is that it is noted for its beauty and design, rather than for its flavor or complexity. It should also be noted that it experienced a bit of a revival in the 1960s in the wardrooms of the Royal Navy. It is also unique in that its “garnish” is actually an integral part of the cocktail.


  • 2 ounces of bourbon
  • 3 ounces of ginger ale
  • 2 to 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Lemon spiral
  • Ice


  1. Drape the lemon spiral over the rim of a Collins glass, so that it twists inside of the glass.
  2. Secure one end of the peel over the lip of the glass.
  3. Fill the glass with ice.
  4. Pour in the bourbon, and top the cocktail off with ginger ale.
  5. Add the bitters.
  6. Stir.


  • Collins glass

For those who don’t know, the original version of the Horse’s Neck existed in 1890, and actually contained no alcohol. It was a non-alcoholic mixture of ginger ale, ice, and a lemon peel. It should also be noted that brandy could also be used instead of bourbon, for brandy lovers. The drink has been referenced in various noir films in the 1950s, which showed that it was still embedded in popular culture for decades after its introduction. The non-alcoholic version still happened to permeate through upstate New York for a while, up until the 1960s, but has since phased out. It is also officially recognized by the International Bartenders Association.



Photo of Danny Mahoney

Danny is a Melburnian liquor enthusiast and ex bartender turned web developer. Although an avid whiskey drinker he likes to practice the arts of cocktail making and mixing drinks. Danny believes there are always new concoctions just waiting to be explored and enjoyed.


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