October 24th, 2006
A vote for the Ward Eight
If you’re planning on turning to alcohol to help decision-making in the voting booth this Election Day, go out and order yourself a cocktail that was invented in Boston for just that reason: the Ward Eight (whiskey, lemon juice and a bit of sugar and grenadine). If you want to be really authentic, you can order this cocktail at Locke-Ober (3 Winter Place near Downtown Crossing), where it was invented circa 1898. According to cocktail historians Gary and Mardee Regan, the Ward Eight was created the day, ahem, before the election to celebrate the apparently forgone victory of influential Boston pol Martin M. Lomasney, aka “the Czar of Ward Eight,” in the race for the state legislature. The earliest recipe for the drink calls for a splash of OJ, but most cocktail enthusiasts think that’s a bad idea and stick to the less sweet, simpler version. Anthony Giglio wrote an intriguing Boston Magazine article earlier this year about the “great Ward Eight debate” that a group of local bartenders and cocktail aficionados had about the origins of the drink.
The Ward Eight is extra tasty with real grenadine syrup (made from pomegranate juice, sugar and a dash of orange flower water), which you can find at some of Boston’s best bars, including B-Side Lounge, Eastern Standard, Green Street and No. 9 Park.