Pre-prohibition cocktails and modern twists on classics

Old Pal

Old Pal


1oz Rye

1oz Dry Vermouth

1oz Campari

Lemon Twist


Add liquids to a mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Serve in a chilled coupe. Garnish with a lemon twist.


Dry and bitter with citrus undertones, this cocktail seems to hold up better with a 90 proof rye. The original recipe calls for equal parts rye, dry vermouth and Campari, but many make it with 2:1:1 ratio of rye:vermouth:Campari.

The Old Pal has a similar taste to the Boulevardier, but noticeably drier from the choice of vermouth. While a decent one to try, most prefer the Boulevardier.


Another one credited to Harry McElhone, the Old Pal is one of the two first published cocktails to use Campari. The Old Pal was first published in McElhone’s Barflies and Cocktails (1927), the same book as the Boulevardier. In fact they are very similar drinks, that vary solely by vermouth (dry vs. sweet) and twist (lemon vs. orange).


Swap the Dolin Dry for Dolin Blanc to give this drink a sweeter taste, further blurring the distinction between the Old Pal and Boulevardier.

5 Responses to “Old Pal”

  1. Lucien Gaudin | The Straight Up

    […] and Martini, but more “orangey.” If you are at all a fan of the Negroni, Boulevardier, Old Pal, or like Martini’s and Campari, you owe it to yourself to try Lucien Gaudin. It’s […]

  2. Cocktails Simplified – Whiskey | The Straight Up

    […] For our final example, we will add one more very useful ingredient, Dry Vermouth. Again dry vermouth will come in handy for making other cocktails as well (ever had a Martini?). If you swap out the sweet vermouth in the Boulevardier for dry vermouth (and stick with Rye), you will have an Old Pal. […]

  3. New Friend | The Straight Up

    […] I love it now, it took me a long time to “develop my palate” enough to appreciate the Old Pal. It’s also been hit or miss among friends as well, which left me wondering: How can I make […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: