In 1898 Democratic political czar Martin M. Lomasney hoped to capture a seat in the state's legislature, the General Court of Massachusetts. Lomasney held considerable power in the city for nearly 50 years. The story goes that the drink was created to honor his election, and the city's Ward 8 which historically delivered him a winning margin. Competing, but unfounded myths abound in print and on the Internet. One story reports that it originated in New York in an area known for political corruption, another that the cocktail is a traditional drink of the Scots Guards.
Ingredients and preparation
Like the story of its creation, there are several variations of the Ward 8 cocktail. Various recipes call for blended whiskey, bourbon, rye, and even single malt scotch. Some recipes call for lemon juice, lime juice, no juice, grenadine, sour mix, and gomme syrup.
Following the end of prohibition, Locke-Ober reopened its bar using this recipe:
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon grenadine
- Maraschino cherry (optional)
Shake the rye whiskey, lemon juice, orange juice, and grenadine with ice; then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry, if desired. Originally the drink was decorated with a small paper Massachusetts flag.
- William Grimes (2001). Straight Up Or on the Rocks: The Story of the American Cocktail. p. 135.
- Hamilton, William L. (2004). Shaken and Stirred. Harper Collins. ISBN 0-06-074044-2.
- Haigh, Ted (2004). Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum Cocktail to the Zombie. Quarry Books. ISBN 978-1-59253-068-7.
- "Martin Lomasney and the Ward Eight". The City Record and Boston News-Letter. 2007-03-15.