This Old Pal Cocktail is a classic whiskey cocktail that you just have to try! With only three ingredients – rye whiskey, Campari and Vermouth it’s as easy to make as it is to sip!
Once you get into making cocktails, you soon learn that most cocktails are a riff off of a few basic cocktail formulas.
Like this Old Pal Cocktail.
It’s basically a Negroni made with rye whiskey instead of gin and dry vermouth instead of sweet. Or you could say it’s Boulevardier made with rye whiskey instead of bourbon and dry vermouth instead of sweet.
It first showed up in print in 1922 in Harry McElhone’s The ABC of Mixing Cocktails. The Negroni is first mentioned in 1919 and is said to have originated when Count Negroni ordered an Americano (sweet vermouth, Campari and club soda) with gin instead of the club soda.
Count Negroni sounds like my kind of count.
Rye Whiskey – adds a spiciness to the cocktail.
Campari – brings in some bitterness.
Vermouth – the dry vermouth (not sweet) brings a brightness to the cocktail. If you’re interested in learning more about the types of Vermouth – this article – Types of Vermouth and How To Use Them – is an interesting read.
Orange twist – I like to use an orange twist for the garnish, though some people prefer a lemon. I think the orange pairs nicely with the spicy rye whiskey.
With any of these equal 3 parts ingredient cocktails, feel free to play around with the proportions. You can make it with equal portions of each ingredient or you can make a component more forward or less forward.
In our recipe, we make it a little more whiskey forward by using more whiskey and less vermouth and Campari.
Step by Step Directions
Add ice to a mixing glass and pour in 1 1/2 ounces of Rye Whiskey. Then pour in 3/4 ounce of Dolin Dry Vermouth.
Pour 3/4 ounce of Campari into the glass.
Stir for about 30 seconds to properly chill the cocktail.
Fill a rocks glass with large ice cubes (or alternatively serve in a Nick and Nora glass.)
Twist the orange peel over the glass to express the oils and then drop it in the glass.
How easy was that? I don’t know what I love more – how easy this was to make, how gorgeous the color is or how delicious it is!
I know sometimes creating cocktails feels like you need to have a ton of bottles in your cabinet, but with the 3 bottles for this cocktail, you can go on to make so many more!
With your rye whiskey, you can go on to make a pretty and refreshing New York Whiskey Sour.
Guess who just realized that she doesn’t have any other cocktails using Dry Vermouth?!! Will be correcting that ASAP!
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Old Pal Cocktail
- 1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
- 3/4 ounce vermouth dry
- 3/4 ounce Campari
- orange twist for garnish
- Add ice cubes to a mixing glass.
- Pour in the whiskey, vermouth and Campari.
- Stir for about 30 seconds.
- Add ice to a rocks glass and strain the cocktail over the ice.
- Twist the orange peel over the drink to express the oils and then drop in the glass.