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|IBA Official Cocktail|
|Primary alcohol by volume|
|Served||On the rocks; poured over ice|
|Standard drinkware||Old Fashioned glass|
|IBA specified ingredients*|
|Preparation||Pour brandy and ginger ale directly into old fashioned 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.
Mentioned in the 1934 movie "By Your Leave"
The non-alcoholic version of the drink is mentioned 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”.
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 is sometimes 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?" It is also mentioned in the 1942 Zasu Pitts' comedy, "So's Your Aunt Emma!"
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.
- Robert Cross, The Classic 1000 Cocktails (1996), ISBN 0-572-02161-5
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