Party drinking: Ward 8

For my friend’s birthday party a couple of weekends ago, I wanted to take a special cocktail. One that I’ve been wanting to try at home is the Ward 8–which is rye, lemon and orange juices, and grenadine–but Jen’s allergic to orange juice, so I’ve never mixed it up here. However, I thought it might go over well at a party.

Rather than trucking oranges and lemons, though, I decided to premix the juices and grenadine the morning of the party, mix, and bottle them. For the grenadine, I used Paul Clarke‘s recipe from Imbibe magazine. I used equal parts Pom and superfine sugar (half a cup each), which I shook together in bottle. I added an ounce of pomegranate molasses (which we found at Whole Foods) and shook it some more. (Paul, by the way, has a couple of other variants on grenadine recipes on his blog, if you want other ideas.)

Ward 8 recipes come in varying proportions depending on the taste of the mixer. I looked at a number of recipes and decided on these proportions:

Ward 8

  • 2 oz. rye whiskey
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ oz. fresh orange juice
  • ¼ oz. grenadine

Technique: Shake over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

To scale this up to party measurements, I had to do a little math. Since I was planning to add the rye and ice at the party and then shake, I didn’t add any water to the mix. (If you’re fully premixing a cocktail to prechill and then serve later–that is, if you’re mixing up the base spirit and all the modifiers and you’re not planning to shake it over ice just before serving–it’s good to add water since you won’t have the water you’d get from the ice.)

A 750-ml bottle of spirit equals just over 25 ounces, and I was using an 8-4-3-1 ratio of rye-lemon-orange-grenadine. I ignored an ounce from the rye and came up with these proportions:

Ward 8, party style

  • 24 oz. rye
  • 12 oz. lemon juice
  • 9 oz. orange juice
  • 3 oz. grenadine

Technique: Shake the last three ingredients in a 24-oz. bottle.

When ready to serve, pour equal parts rye and juice-grenadine mix into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass.

2 thoughts on “Party drinking: Ward 8

  1. My latest favorite! This is really a cocktail that more people need to know about. I’ve been making them with Fee Brother’s American Beauty grenadine, which supposedly is most like homemade, and blood orange juice. What rye did you use? I’ve been mostly using Rittenhouse B-in-B.

  2. Phil, I usually use the Rittenhouse B-in-B, and I believe that’s what I had at the party. When I can’t get that, I use Wild Turkey 101. The higher-end ryes I usually save for sipping.

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