I casted about for not one but two cocktails to make this Friday, owing to the fact that election week so disoriented us that we scarcely knew what day it was and I forgot record The Friday Cocktail Hour. And what with the ridiculousness carrying on at the end of this week, I figured we could use a couple of stiff ones.

I’d always wanted to try an Old Pal, a rye whiskey based cocktail credited to Harry MacElhone, in the 1920s at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, and is in the Boulevardier/Negroni family, using dry vermouth instead of the sweet, along with Campari, all in equal parts.

Wanting a second cocktail similar but using a different spirit, I came across a Cardinale, which simply used gin instead of whiskey. Perfect, I thought. I love the various cocktails that come from swapping one spirit for another.
And so I made the Old Pal, a splendid drink, using the awesome Michter’s rye. I then. proceeded to complete the Cardinale, and, well, no. It was all wrong. Having never tried it before I didn’t quite know what to do, though, what with the wife recording and all, so I carried on as if it were a perfectly fine cocktail.

Let me tell you folks, it is not. There is something just not right about this conglomeration of ingredients and I can only recommend you replace the dry vermouth in your Cardinale for sweet vermouth to create a splendid Negroni.
The poem today, in honor of Veteran’s Day this week, 11/11, and the WWI Armistice signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, ending the greatest destruction of human lives the world had ever seen. It is “Flanders Fields,” by John McCrea who wrote it in 1915.

The world is much with us, still, this week, and I wish you all happy and healthy and safe cocktail hour!
(Music in the video, btw, is “The Jazz Piano” from bensound.com)

The Old Pal

A rye whiskey cocktail
Course Cocktail
Cuisine American
Servings 1


  • 1 ounce rye whiskey
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 lemon twist


  • Combine the fluids ingredients in a glass. Add ice. Stir to chill. Strain into a chilled coup. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Keyword Campari, dry vermouth, old pal cocktail, rye