Ward 8 (cocktail)

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Ward 8
Base spirit
Standard garnishmaraschino cherry
Standard drinkware
Cocktail glass
Commonly used ingredients

The Ward 8 or Ward Eight is a cocktail originating in 1898 in Boston, Massachusetts, at the bar of the Gilded Age restaurant Locke-Ober.[1]

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.[2] In 1915 the Santa Clara Company registered "Ward 8" as a trademark with the United States Patent Office claiming use since November 1912 [3] and published a notice that they would prosecute any infringement.[4] During prohibition the Daily Boston Globe reported that the drink was believed to have originated at the "old" and abandoned Quincy House.[5] 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[edit]

Notice from the Santa Clara Company. The Boston Globe, 1914.

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. The Santa Clara Company trademark described their product as "Compounds of Whisky, Grenadine-Syrup, Rock-Candy Syrup, and Lime-Juice."[3]

Following the end of prohibition, Locke-Ober reopened its bar using this recipe:

Shake the rye whiskey, lemon juice, orange juice and grenadine with ice; then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.[6] Garnish with a maraschino cherry, if desired. Originally the drink was decorated with a small paper Massachusetts flag.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Weisstuch, Liza (2006-11-02). "The Cocktail at 200". The Boston Globe.
  2. ^ Apple Jr., R.W. (2002-02-20). "Male Bastion, 108, Saved By a Boss Named Lydia". The New York Times.
  3. ^ a b Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office. Washington: Government Printing Office. February 1915. Retrieved 2015-03-05.
  4. ^ "Notice to the public and to all dealers in liquors". The Boston Globe. 1914-12-20.
  5. ^ "Old Quincy House Bar Brings But $42.50 Despite Touching Plea Of Auctioneer". Daily Boston Globe. 1929-09-21. Behind this old bar the Ward 8 cocktail, famous throughout the land, is believed to have been originated.
  6. ^ William Grimes (2001). Straight Up Or on the Rocks: The Story of the American Cocktail. p. 135.
Additional sources

External links[edit]