Oddly, this drink began as a non-alcoholic concoction of ginger ale and lemon peel back in the 1890s. The alcoholic version only became popular some thirty years later, and was originally called a “stiff” Horse’s Neck. Its distinguishing feature is a long and narrow strip of lemon peel that curls over the edge of the glass. As such, this drink is one of the very few that’s named after the shape of its garnish.
The ideal is to carve the entire peel off a lemon in one long strip. This makes it long enough to reach right down to the bottom of the glass and still curve nicely over the top. You’ll then get a nice lemony flavour in the drink and the signature “neck” effect with the garnish.
In the southern states, the Horse’s Neck is made with bourbon, and for an extra burst of flavour ginger beer is substitute for the ginger ale. The all Canadian version is a Rye & Ginger, made with Crown Royal and Canada Dry ginger ale. The original, however, was made with brandy and that’s the version recognised by the International Bar Tender’s Association.
Here’s how to make a Horse’s Neck:
- 45ml Brandy
- 135ml Ginger ale
- Dash of Angostura Bitters
- Long strip of lemon zest to garnish
- Fill a highball glass with ice
- Add the brandy and ginger ale
- Stir gently
- Add a dash of Angostura Bitters
- Garnish with the distinctive strip of lemon zest
- Highball glass