How to Make a Horse's Neck Cocktail

Categories: Last Call

JK Grence

This weekend is one of the more popular drinking holidays of the year, the Kentucky Derby. On Saturday, folks everywhere will hoist mint juleps, preferably in silver cups.

See Also: How to Make the Best Mint Julep, Ever

Of course, it seems like there's always someone who's not too keen on the mint julep. What to do for them? I have a drink with an excellent thematic connection: the Horse's Neck.

See also: Bill Samuels' Perfect Mint Julep

The Horse's Neck is a little bit of an oddball in the cocktail world because it's named for its garnish, a very long swath of lemon peel with the end hanging over the rim of the glass. Squint a little and it resembles a horse's neck poking up and out. At least, so the story goes.

The funny thing about the Horse's Neck is that when it was first served in the late 19th Century, it was a nonalcoholic drink, simply ginger ale with a dash or two of bitters and the iconic lemon garnish. A couple of decades later, people were asking for their Horse's Neck "with a kick", adding a shot of brandy or bourbon. By the middle of the 20th Century, the virgin version fell by the wayside and you didn't have to request the kick anymore.

Making the long strip of lemon zest is a little bit more challenging than making your average lemon twist, but is easy to pick up. It's made easier with the use of a channel knife, a little gizmo you may already have lurking in the back of your gadget drawer.

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