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The Ward 8 is the classic whiskey cocktail you need! A riff on the whiskey sour, it features rye, orange and grenadine.

Ward 8

Here’s a classic whiskey cocktail that flies under the radar: the Ward 8! This riff on the whiskey sour needs reviving, in our opinion. Where the whiskey sour can be on the sweet side, the Ward 8 is perfectly balanced and tart. It features rye whiskey, but it’s not overpowering: there’s just a hint of spice on the finish. Add sweet orange juice and bright red grenadine for sweetness and color, and it’s a super balanced and intriguing drink! It’s one of our favorite undiscovered whiskey drinks! Here’s how to make it.

What’s a Ward 8 cocktail?

The Ward 8 cocktail is a rye whiskey cocktail invented in 1898 in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s a spin on the whiskey sour, using rye whiskey, lemon, orange and grenadine. What’s with the name? The cocktail was created to celebrate a man named Martin Lomasney’s election to state legislature, and the city’s Ward 8 district helped clinch the win. Today Martin is all but forgotten, but the drink made in his honor remains!

The Ward 8 is not a popular classic whiskey drink, but we think it deserves a revival. It’s more intriguing than a whiskey sour, with a tart flavor from two citrus juices and the pomegranate zing of grenadine. In fact, I’m not a huge rye whiskey fan but I love this drink! Here’s what you need to make it:

  • Rye whiskey
  • Lemon juice
  • Orange juice
  • Grenadine
Ward 8 cocktail

What rye whiskey to use

Rye whiskey is a type of whiskey made with a majority of the grain rye. This can be either American rye whiskey, made of at least 51% rye mash, or Canadian whisky, which may or may not contain rye. Rye whiskey is known for its strong, spicy flavor, versus bourbon whiskey which is much sweeter.

  • What are some good brands of rye whiskey? We recommend Bulleit, Woodford Reserve, Knob Creek, and High West. Crown Royal is Canadian Rye Whisky.
  • Can you make the Ward 8 with bourbon? Absolutely! It doesn’t have near the spicy finish of rye whiskey, but a bourbon Ward 8 is delicious too. It’s like a whole new drink!

More about grenadine

Grenadine is another key component to the Ward 8. This bright red syrup brings a hint of rosy color to the drink, though it’s not so much to make it a pink drink! Here’s what to know about this popular syrup:

  • Grenadine is a sweet tart syrup used in cocktails that’s bright red in color. It’s made out of pomegranate juice.
  • Where to find grenadine? It’s easy to find at most liquor stores or online.
  • What about all natural grenadine? If you can find it, all natural grenadine is made without artificial sweeteners and colors. But some of the all natural versions have a muddy color. The best option is to make grenadine at home! Homemade grenadine with fresh pomegranate seeds has a great bright color and fresh, beautiful flavor.
  • What drinks is grenadine used in? It’s most famous in grenadine cocktails like the non-alcoholic Shirley Temple and the vibrant Tequila Sunrise and Singapore Sling.
Ward 8

How to make a Ward 8 cocktail: shake and strain!

The Ward 8 is easy to make, once you’ve compiled the rye whiskey, grenadine, orange and lemon juice! All you’ll need is a cocktail shaker.

  • Shake: Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Fill it with ice and then shake until very cold. (Don’t have a cocktail shakerUse a mason jar with a cover instead.)
  • Strain: Strain the drink into a cocktail glass. (Don’t have a cocktail strainer? Use a fine mesh strainer instead.)
  • Garnish: If you’d like, an orange slice and a cocktail cherry looks festive!

And that’s it! Let us know if you try the Ward 8 cocktail. It’s tart, refreshing, and a great

More rye whiskey cocktails

Love rye? Here are a few more rye whiskey cocktails you’ll love after you make the Ward 8:

Rye whiskey cocktails

When to serve a Ward 8

The Ward 8 is a classy cocktail that works for anytime! It’s great for sipping as a:

  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Summer patio drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Ward 8 cocktail

Ward 8 Cocktail

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


The Ward 8 is the classic whiskey cocktail you need! A riff on the whiskey sour, it features rye, orange and grenadine. 


  • 2 ½ ounces* rye whiskey
  • ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
  • For the garnish: Orange wedge, cocktail cherry or Luxardo cherry


  1. Place the rye whiskey, lemon juice, orange juice, and grenadine in a cocktail shaker. Add 2 handfuls of ice and shake until cold.
  2. Strain the drink into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange wedge and cocktail cherry if desired.


*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Ward 8, Ward 8 cocktail

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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  1. I love to find new cocktails that are fresh, fruity, and not too sweet. This one is wonderful. Tart and citrusey with a touch of peppery spice from the rye whiskey. And it’s a lovely coral pink color. Thank you for a new suggestion!

  2. Hello there! Thank you for the recipe. It tastes great. I love the glasses too. Where can I find them, please? ;)