This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy.

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

Ward 8
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!

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 shaker? Use 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
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Ward 8 cocktail

Ward 8 Cocktail

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

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


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

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


  1. Chantal Nevo says:

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

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      These were from crate and barrel.

  2. Brett Saladino says:

    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!

  3. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!