Horse’s Neck Cocktail – Bourbon Time!

Horse's Neck Cocktail

Am I too late to post a New Year’s Resolution? It involves this Horse’s Neck Cocktail.

Please don’t hold my resolution tardiness against me — I not resolving to be more timely in 2012 so there! No, I know better than to do something as futile as that. When it comes to resolutions I prefer to be more pragmatic. I’m sensible!

I’ve never been New Year’s Resolution type.  I find the whole exercise much too depressing when I already know I won’t  hang onto them very long. Its a set up for failure. Why do we find the need to make them so challenging?

My attitude began to change a couple of years ago when I learned the secret to resolution success: make easier resolutions.  I no longer make these impossible “lose 20 pounds” resolutions and no more “don’t spend any more than $100 a month on clothes” resolutions for me either.

Why should we resolve to “run a mile on the treadmill every night after work for an entire year “when we can just as easily resolve to “eat one cupcake a week?”

Clearly, a high resolution success rate is all about setting realistic, easy to achieve goals.  If Tony Robbins is right and we have all the personal power to be a successful goal-smashing machines, then I’m quite certain the one key factor affecting our success rate is simply to choose realistic goals.

You’re welcome.  It is so damn obvious I feel sort of foolish that it took me decades to figure it out.

Do you think I should be a motivational speaker?

I’m sure about now you are thinking, “Hey, Sis Boom, so what did you resolve for yourself this New Year?”

Fair enough:

 I hereby resolve to drink more cocktails in 2012.  

There.  See how easy it that is?  I bet you are feeling silly for resolving to save more money.  I’m quite sure I can handle this one.  Feel free to use my resolution if you have not yet thought of anything for yourself.

Yes, I am resolving to practice more mixology in 2012.  What?  Were you assuming I was pledging to consume a higher quantity of alcohol?   Nope.  I’m talking quality, people.   2011 was a lazy year for me when it came to getting creative at the bar and mixing up the drinks.  Unfortunately, more often than not when I felt the desire (um, need) to imbibe I would simply pop the cork off a bottle of chardonnay and call it a night.    What a waste.

It is pretty damn easy to bust out the mixing glass and conjure up a decent cocktail so there is no good excuse for defaulting to a glass of wine every night.   This cocktail, The Horse’s Neck, is as easy it as it gets.  In fact, you have probably been drinking it for years.   Or something close to it.   Sort of.

There is no better marriage between liquor and mixer than there is when bourbon weds a good ginger ale.  Yeah, gin and tonic is god but if you have ever had a bourbon and ginger you know what I am saying.   And if you have experienced this mixture you nearly had a Horse’s Neck for all you have to do to take the ordinary mixed drink and elevate it to cocktail status is add bitters and a distinctive garnish.

The long, winding coil of a garnish is what supposedly gives this cocktail its name.   Originally intended to be a non alcoholic drink akin to a Shirley Temple, someone finally came to their senses around 1910 and poured some bourbon in it.   Perhaps they resolved in 1910 to drink more bourbon?

I hope all your resolutions for 2012 are as easy to achieve.

 Horse’s Neck Cocktail

Horse's Neck Cocktail
The Horse’s Neck Cocktail.

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Yield: 1 Cocktail

The Horse’s Neck Cocktail.

This is what you will need:

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ginger ale

This is how you make it:

  1. Carefully peel the zest from the lemon in one continuous spiral with a channel knife. Coil the zest around a barspoon or chopstick to encourage a bouncy spiral.
  2. Place the lemon zest in the bottom of a chilled highball glass, hanging the end of the coiled garnish over the side of the glass. Fill the glass with ice.
  3. Add the bourbon and bitters and top off with ginger ale.

About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don't know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]" means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small 'boom' in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a "food blog" or even myself a "food blogger".

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  1. Thanks for the tutorial on the curly lemon zest! I had a Kir made with White Burgundy that had an orange zest curly-cue & I was wondering how they’d done that. I loved the fragrance of orange every time I took a sip.

    Cheer, Trevor!

  2. $100 A MONTH ON CLOTHES???? I so would have never been able to stick to that resolution.

    Drink more cocktails – I’m with you on that 🙂 Just came back from Las Vegas with a list of mixology from Jean George, Julian Serrano, etc – that I’m on the verge of perfecting at home…

    If you are ever in Palm Springs and need a cocktail drinking partner let me know…

    • My aunt owns a condo (and home) in Palm Springs which I visit from time to time.

      Is your invitation sincere? It has been a couple of years since your original post.

      San Diego, CA.

  3. We really must be soul mates because you may have noticed that we made the exact same resolution this year! I also resolved to eat more pizza and take longer naps and really I feel like a huge success so far. Next year I will resolve to gain weight! Can’t lose. This is one of my favorite types of drinks and you get extra bonus points for pouring it into a nice tall glass. Glug, glug!

  4. What gorgeous pictures! I’m afraid I’m one of the wine-at-night club and rarely have, or even think to have, a mixed drink. But your pics make this look so good I might just change my ways… beautiful!

    P.S. I’m in TOTAL agreement about the resolutions. I’ve already broken 4 of my 5. When will I learn?

  5. I like the way you think. Thank you for saving me from many more years of futile goals. I’ve just devised my new resolution: this year, I will try new bread recipes, instead of relying on the one peasant loaf that I make on a weekly basis.

  6. You couldn’t be more true about new years resolutions. Mine is driving the toll road less, but let’s be honest its already been a challenge. Thanks for making me laugh today sis. Boom.

  7. What a fantastic resolution! Now I want to do the same!

  8. Oh, I am so with you! Drink more cocktails. And if they involve bourbon, so much the better! You always have great ideas. Love it!!

  9. I love this resolution! I know it sounds trite, but I really look forward to seeing what cocktails you come up with – there are so many underused or undiscovered cocktails! I can’t wait!

  10. Hilarious, as usual. And informative, also as usual. You would make a fortune as a motivational speaker. Or a bartender. I resolve to read your blog each week in 2012 🙂 Happy New Year ~

  11. Always happy to be a good influence on my friends! LOL! You won’t regret buying the book, but you may get a little frustrated with some of the instructions. I’ve loved everything I’ve made so far.

    The great thing about baked goods is you can always find someone to take the extras off your hands.

    Enjoy the long weekend!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I made this last night and, from the first sip, found it delicious but also calling for an extra element. I floated a dusting of ground ginger on top and that did it: the fresh lemon danced with the bourbon; the bitters brought an herbal darkness; the ginger provided heat and a long, clean finish.

    Thank you for the inspiration. Come for the wonderful words, stay for the booze!


  13. Gorgeous drink!

    I just saw your crackers on RecipeNewZ! Thank you so much for joining! Cheers 🙂


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