The bartender took last week off but he has come back this week with a boot scootin' cocktail capable of whetting any cowboy's whistle. Take it away, RJH.
When you begin to lose inspiration in your cocktail making and you find yourself tapping your fingers on your home bar racking your brain for a new and unusual cocktail, you can count on Midweek Libations to satisfy your needs.
Today we venture out west for a boot scootin’ beverage that is sure to please. Cowboy traditions are not generally associated with good cocktail mixology but they can still be a source of inspiration. In the larger towns and cities of the Southwest there are plenty of cowboy hats and even more boots in evidence, but that doesn’t necessarily make the wearers cowboys! But that’s just fine because these drugstore cowboys are more likely to sniff out a quality watering hole that no real cowboy would be seen dead frequenting.
The Horse’s Neck is an unusual and refreshing cocktail and has similarities to the well known “7 and 7” (which is merely a weak imitation of this drink). Dating back to the 1890s, this prohibition-era drink was originally a non-alcoholic beverage (shock) combining ginger ale, ice and lemon peel. That is until some clever cowpoke had the inspiration to add liquor to it. By the 1910s, brandy or bourbon would be added for a "Horse's Neck with a Kick". Eventually, the non-alcoholic version was phased out. The name of the cocktail is probably derived from the shape of the long piece of citrus peel that is used as garnish.
With a channel knife or vegetable peeler remove a spiral of peel from a fresh lemon. Start at the base and peel around the fruit until you get a long coiled piece of peel. Place the lemon peel spiral in a highball glass so that one end hooks over the rim of the glass and hangs down the outside. Half fill the glass with fresh cracked ice. Pour 2 generous measures of blended whisky, bourbon or rye over the ice and add a few dashes of Angostura Bitters. Top up with ginger beer or a good quality ginger ale. Some people also like to add just a dash of fresh lemon juice to the mix. Add a straw and you’re ready to go. YeeHaw!