Ward Eight Cocktail

Ward Eight Cocktail

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
167 Calories
0g Fat
10g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 167
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 7mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 26mg 128%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 120mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Ward Eight is a classic whiskey sour with a hint of grenadine, which adds a touch of sweetness. It's assumed that the Ward Eight was created in 1898 at Boston's Locke-Ober and named for the city's 8th ward. Bartender Tom Hussion supposedly devised it when his boss Martin Lomasney was running for election in the district. There are a few more stories that differ in who, when, and where, but one thing is agreed upon: it was created around the turn of the 20th Century in Boston.

There are countless variations of this recipe. It seems that over the last century, every bartender and drinker came up with their own mix by adding, subtracting, and adjusting ingredients as they saw fit. It's difficult to track down the original recipe, though the essentials are usually the same: whiskey, citrus, and grenadine. There's the option of serving the drink on the rocks in a collins glass or up in a cocktail or wine glass.

No matter how you make or serve it, the drink offers a little of every taste sensation in a single glass and it is a tantalizing mix.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ward Eight Cocktail ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a cocktail shaker, add the whiskey, lemon and orange juices, and grenadine. Fill with ice.

    cocktail shaker filled with ice, and whiskey, lemon and orange juices, and grenadine in shot glasses

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Shake well.

    shaking a cocktail shaker with cocktail ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or a collins glass filled with ice.

    Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or a collins glass filled with ice

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Garnish with a cherry and orange slice. Serve and enjoy.

    Ward Eight Cocktail, Garnish with a cherry and orange slice

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  • Rye whiskey will add a robust quality to the drink that is very nice. Most likely, this was the original whiskey of choice, though many drinkers prefer to pour a nice bourbon.

Recipe Variations

  • Use as little as 1/2 ounce each of lemon and orange juices.
  • Some drinkers also prefer to cut the orange juice in half, which lets the lemon take center stage.
  • Make the drink sweeter by adding 1/4 ounce or more grenadine to suit your taste.
  • You might also like to add a splash of soda water. Keep it clean with seltzer or club soda and avoid any sodas that are sweetened.
  • Adding a couple of dashes of bitters is also rather common.
  • One tasty variation skips the orange juice, opting for simple syrup instead. Keep the pour equal to the lemon juice. This mix is best with just a dash of grenadine or it becomes too sweet.
  • Some recipes call for sour mix. This is essentially citrus and simple syrup in one convenient bottle, so you can pour a single ingredient to replace the two.

How Strong Is a Ward Eight Cocktail?

For a cocktail of this style, the Ward Eight is surprisingly light when compared to whiskey favorites like the Manhattan and old-fashioned. On average, it will mix up to 16 percent ABV (32 proof), which is almost half the strength of those others.