Horse's Neck

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For other uses, see Horseneck.
Horse's Neck
IBA Official Cocktail
Horse's Neck cocktail.jpg
Type Mixed drink
Primary alcohol by volume
Served On the rocks; poured over ice
Standard garnish

Long spiral of lemon zest

Standard drinkware
Highball Glass (Tumbler).svg
Highball glass
IBA specified ingredients*
Preparation Pour brandy and ginger ale directly into highball glass with ice cubes. Stir gently. Garnish with lemon zest. If desired, add dashes of Angostura Bitter.
* Horse's Neck recipe at International Bartenders Association

A Horse's Neck is an American cocktail recognised by the IBA. It is made with brandy (or sometimes bourbon) and ginger ale, with a long spiral of lemon peel (zest) draped over the edge of an 'old-fashioned' or highball glass. When made with Ale-8-One and Maker's Mark this drink is commonly referred to as a Kentucky Gentleman. A similar Canadian drink, the Rye & Ginger, is made with Canadian whisky and ginger ale.

Dating back to the 1890s, it was a non-alcoholic mixture of ginger ale, ice and lemon peel. By the 1910s, brandy, or bourbon would be added for a 'Horse's Neck with a Kick' or ~ Stiff. The non-alcoholic version was still served in upstate New York in the late fifties or early sixties, but eventually it was phased out.

The drink is mentioned in Caught in a Cabaret, a 1914 silent film starring Charlie Chaplin.

In the 1935 Fred Astaire movie Top Hat, Helen Broderick orders "un altro Horse’s Neck" in a stylized Venetian canal cocktail lounge.

Horse's Neck is mentioned in the 1934 Lloyd Corrigan movie By Your Leave, and also in the 1942 ZaSu Pitts' comedy So's Your Aunt Emma!

The non-alcoholic version of the drink is referenced in the 1950 Humphrey Bogart film noir In A Lonely Place, in which Martha Stewart—playing the hat-check girl—states that adding bitters to ginger ale is called a “Horse’s Neck”.

A "Horse's Neck" is prescribed in Noël Coward's 1951 play Relative Values as a hangover cure. It is described as a glass of brandy and some ginger-ale, and is to be sipped after taking three aspirin.[1]

Horse's Neck became popular in the wardrooms of the Royal Navy in the 1960s, displacing Pink Gin as the officers' signature drink. An early reference to this is made in the 1957 film Yangtse Incident, in which a Naval Officer is shown drinking a Horse's Neck in 1949. At naval cocktail parties (CTPs), it used to be served by the Mess Stewards ready-mixed in glass jugs, alongside similar jugs of mixed gin and tonic, with the request "H-N or G&T, Sir?"

Ian Fleming, in the 1966 book Octopussy, describes the Horse's Neck as "the drunkard's drink"; he was also quite partial to them himself.

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  1. ^ Coward, Noël (1952). Relative Values - a Light Comedy. Samuel French.