Horse’s Neck Cocktail

May 3, 2020 - As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The Horse’s Neck is a simple, tasty, and classic drink. Defined by the long swishing lemon peel garnish, this drink is as much about how it looks as how it tastes. Oh, and it tastes great! Today we are going to put together a delicious Horse’s Neck cocktail and enjoy this drink that just screams to be enjoyed on a nice outdoor day. 

A single Horse's Neck Cocktail on a serving plate with a lemon and bonsai tree in the background.

Horse’s Neck Cocktail Summary

This is really a simple drink. A shot of brandy with a fill of ginger ale in an ice-filled glass. That’s it! This easy drink, however, is as much defined by the garnish as the ingredients. To really enjoy a real Horse’s Neck, you can’t forget to add the extra-long flowing lemon peel twist to the drink. This is a little tricky to get down, but I will share the secret.

Lemon Garnish

The long lemon garnish is a fun part of this drink, so I want to make sure you can get it right. There are two small tricks for getting a good garnish of the Horse’s Neck Drink. 

First, you need the right tool. We own a zester that has a channel knife [AFFILIATE LINK] and this has really made a big difference being able to get great lemon garnish, but also in making the unique garnish for this drink.

Second, placing the garnish in the glass can be a little tricky. This drink is served in an highball glass and to place the lemon peel well, it should be the first ingredient you add. Even before ice, you should be placing your lemon garnish.

The trick is to spiral the long lemon peel around the drink and hold one end of it draped over the edge while you are adding ice. This will allow the lemon peel to get wedged into a more permanent place when ice is added. While adding the ingredients of the drink, I make sure to that the one end is still pulled over the edge. 

With those two tricks, you should be able to place your Horse’s Neck with no problem.

Brandy and Ginger Ale in This Drink

Of course, the quality of ingredients you use for this drink are going to make a difference in the final taste. That said, ginger ale is typically full of sugar and is a soda. I would reserve any top-shelf brandy for sipping and use your mid-tier brandy for a drink like this.

We keep a big bottle of E&J around for any daily brandy usage. I think that is completely an appropriate brand for a cocktail like this, however, maybe you have a brandy you like better. If you have a local distiller that serves a great brandy, use that!

Horse’s Neck and Ginger Ale

We like ginger in our house, so we typically have a Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer around. We previously wrote about the Moscow Mule and even wrote about the difference between Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer. Use what you have. Some ginger ale is better than others, so I would recommend using a local maker if you have any, but Schwepp’s or Canada Dry are perfectly good ginger ales.

Horse’s Neck History

The one really interesting thing I found about this drink is that it likely started off as a non-alcoholoic cocktail. The first mention I could find of the drink was from 1895 in a Book called Modern American Drinks and it did not call for any alcohol. I found a few other mentions over the next twenty years of history, but none of them called for alcohol. I even saw one book mention this as a ‘temperance drink’. We will have no temperance in these parts. 😉

By the 1930s, I started to see mentions of adding a spirit to the drink, but the non-alcoholic version still was common. History has this cocktail with an origin as a non-cocktail. That changed as time went on and today the Horse’s Neck is primarily served as an adult beverage.

Horse’s Neck Tips

  • Use a channel knife [AFFILIATE LINK] in a zester to get the long lemon garnish.
  • Place the lemon garnish in the drink before adding ice and hold the other end over the edge to get a desired spiral look. 
  • I call for brandy, but you can use whiskey in a pinch. 

Products Used In This Recipe

One full Horse's Neck cocktail on a brown plate and on a textured table with two whole lemons showing to the side.

Did you Make this Drink?

I am so glad you tried it! It is a fun little drink that has a unique presentation. Better than being fun, it is tasty, right? Let me know how it went in the comments section below and if you really liked it, it would awesome if you shared our Horse’s Neck recipe on Facebook or Pinterest. When you share my recipes, it really helps me out! Enjoy your cocktail and have a great day!

Print

Horse’s Neck Cocktail

A single Horse's Neck Cocktail on a serving plate with a lemon and bonsai tree in the background.

A simple, pretty brandy cocktail that is defined just as much by the garnish as the ingredients. Don’t let the ingredients fool you, though, as the Horse’s Neck is a super tasty drink. 

  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Method: Pour
  • Cuisine: American
Scale

Ingredients

  • Lemon Peel, long spiral
  • 2 ounces Brandy
  • Ginger Ale

Instructions

  1. Add Lemon peel to empty highball glass and drape one end over lip.
  2. Fill glass with ice while trying to maintain look of lemon peel spiraling up the glass and holding one end at top of glass
  3. Add brandy
  4. Top glass off with ginger ale 

Notes

  • Use a channel knife [AFFILIATE LINK] in a zester to get the long lemon garnish.
  • Place the lemon garnish in the drink before adding ice and hold the other end over the edge to get a desired spiral look. 
  • I call for brandy, but you can use whiskey in a pinch.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Drink
  • Calories: 203 Calories
  • Sugar: 19 g
  • Sodium: 25 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: Horse’s Neck

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