There are two stories of the Ward Eight's genesis. Both stories agree that the Ward Eight was first served by the bar at Locke-Ober restaurant in the late 1800s and the election of Martin Lomansey to represent Boston's Ward Eight played a role in its creation. There is disagreement as to whether the cocktail was used as an inducement to get Lomansey into office or was created to celebrate his election. (Regardless, he did win his seat in office.)
The presence of orange juice in the drink is also debated. Oranges would have been a luxury item in late-1800s Boston. Some recipes leave it out. I have also seen recipes that call for club soda: definitely a late (and unnecessary in my opinion) addition to the recipe. Locke-Ober is a grande dame of Boston's restaurant scene. I am definitely going to stop by to see if they still make Ward Eights (my money's on "no they don't").
Ward Eight Cocktail
Shake together in an iced shaker:
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- 1/2 - 1 ounce orange juice
- 1/4 - 1/2 ounce grenadine (I used the greater amount and still needed to add a little simple syrup to my drink. My lemons were so tart!)