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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 will put together a delicious Horse’s Neck cocktail and enjoy this drink that just screams to be enjoyed on a lovely outdoor day.

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

🏇 What makes this recipe special?

The Horse’s Neck cocktail is super simple, but it really does stand out. The long lemon garnish makes the drink a bit of a spectacle. Besides, it tastes great.

While it is great any time of the year, it is a perfect summertime drink for sipping in the backyard or by the pool. Some other great summertime drinks are this Aperol Americano cocktail recipe or maybe this Raspberry Gin Smash cocktail. 

🍋 Ingredients

Three ingredients, and that is it! This is a light brandy drink with ginger spice and some lemon peel for flavor and appearance.

Of course, the quality of ingredients you use for this drink will 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 an appropriate brand for a cocktail like this; however, maybe you have a brandy you like better. Use that if you have a local distiller that serves a great brandy!

We previously wrote about the Moscow Mule and like all of our recipes, if you can’t use what I am using, try to use what you have. Some ginger ale is better than others. I would recommend using a local maker if you have any, but Schweppes or Canada Dry are excellent ginger ales.

These are the ingredients in this cocktail:

  • Lemon
  • Brandy
  • Ginger Ale

See the recipe card for quantities.

🍲 Instructions

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 with a channel knife [AFFILIATE LINK]. This has really made a big difference in getting great lemon garnish and creating the unique garnish for this drink.

Second, placing the garnish in the glass can be a little tricky. This drink is served in a 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 adding ice. This will allow the lemon peel to get wedged into a more permanent place when ice is added. While adding the drink’s ingredients, I make sure 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.

🤷 Substitutions and variations

While a simple cocktail, a few substitutions would make sense in a drink like this. 

  • Brandy – I think rum or vodka would be great replacements for brandy with a cocktail like this. Whiskey would be great. 
  • Orange – Instead of a lemon, you could use an orange. 
  • Soda – Instead of ginger ale, you could use a club soda, Sprite, or 7-up. 

🎓 History tidbit

The one fascinating thing I found about this drink is that it likely started off as a non-alcoholic 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 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 standard. 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.


How did the horse’s neck drink get its name?

the drink is named after the long lemon garnish. I am not sure how the lemon peel resembles a horse’s neck, but perhaps the horse’s main.

What is a great brandy for this cocktail?

E&J is a great brandy for this cocktail.

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

📝 Tips and tricks

  • 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, rum, or vodka in a pinch. 

🛠 Products used in this recipe

😋 Did you make this recipe?

That is awesome, and thank you so much for giving it a try. If you could leave a rating in the comment area below, it would be greatly appreciated. This lets me know how I am doing and also helps others decide if they want to make this food processor ground beef recipe. Most of all, thanks for visiting Ramshackle Pantry.

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

Horse’s Neck Cocktail

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • 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
Save Recipe


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. 



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


  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 


  • 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.


  • 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

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  1. Easy and fun cocktail. I hadn’t made this before, but it is fun and the garnish helps to make it a little extra special.