2 oz. Bourbon or Brandy
3-4 oz. Ginger ale
1-2 dashes of Bitters
Lemon peel (use a channel knife or vegetable peeler and cut as long of a strip of peel from your lemon as possible before you start mixing)
Place one end of your peel in the bottom of a Collin's glass. While holding the other end add a couple cubes of ice. Now spiral your peel a little in the glass and add more ice to hold it in place, leave a portion of the peel hanging over the rim of the glass. (that's how the name came about)
Next add your bourbon, bitters and ginger ale, and give it a gentle stir with your bar spoon.
Huzzah! You now have a pretty enough drink to serve anytime.
Thus it was, and even still is, important that a bar offer up something for those who cannot, or will not drink spirits.
Yet, around 1910 the plain old Horse's Neck grew up, and started to be served with a "kick", which consisted of adding either brandy or whiskey and some bitters. I can see a dapper young man of the age ordering one up with a small whisper to the barman "give it a kick" so as to avoid the rueful looks of his more sober counterparts. Why whisper? well because the anti-drinking campaigns that led to prohibition were under way by then, dividing the country, and forcing people to chose either the Dry or Wet side of the issue. Not a happy time.
One hundred and twenty three years later this cocktail has begun to reappear in lounges and bars. I have heard of it being served in Manhattan, Boston, and San Francisco, but don't get your taste buds all set to go just anywhere to order these fine drinks. There are far too many establishments who either don't know about it or don't care to make them as there is a little effort involved. So here is my recipe for you to try at home and serve your guests.
Like all old recipes there are a thousand variations of the Horse's Neck out there to be had. Many claim that one has to use Jameson's Irish whiskey, and others say the bitters is optional. I even saw one that used lemon wheels in the glass with ice and ginger beer. I prefer to create my cocktails as close to their original recipe as humanly possible without harming myself or my guests in the process. Thus, in my Horse's Neck, bitters are required not optional, and American whiskey or brandy are the base spirit, as the drink itself is the product of our shores.