A Horses neck is a mixed drink which now consists of American Whisky (Bourbon or American Rye), and Ginger Ale, garnished with the signature "Horse's Neck" Lemon Peel Spiral. This puts the drink in the Buck Cocktails category. Originally the Horse's Neck consisted of just ginger ale and the lemon peel.
The signature "Horse's Neck" Lemon Peel Spiral consists of the complete peel of one lemon pared from the fruit in one continous strip.
A Horse's Neck can also be made with brandy (cognac), though this was originally called a "Horses Collar".
"Fort Wayne Journal", 1st September 1895
"Horse's neck" is not an attractive name and from a point of art the beverage is not pretty, but it is extraordinarily palatable. Use tall, thin glasses instead of a pitcher. "Horse's Neck" consists of lemon peel and ginger ale, the theory being that the ginger ale draws out the bitterness in the lemon peel. A lemon is carefully peeled so that it coms [sic] off in one continual spiral, from top to bottom. The glass is then filled with cracked ice, the ginger ale poured in and allowed to stand for several minutes. Straws should invariably be used in serving this drink. Ginger ale alone is extremely palatable, but keep the bottles on ice several hours. The glasses should be half filled with cracked ice.
"The Centralia Enterprise And Tribune", 4th December 1897
"The Horse's Neck is a thirst satisfier that is sublime in its simplicity, being made of shaved ice and ginger ale, served in a long glass. A dash of whisky is said not to interfere with the agreeable taste of this drink."
"The Mansfield News", 25th August 1900
"A "horse's neck" is an Atlantic City commonity, and few barkeepers in Baltimore can make one. They were first invented by a bartender at a popular resort there just as the proprietor was about to discharge him. So great did the demand for "horse necks" become that the man kept his job and prospered. This drink is very long and cool. It is composed of a bottle of imported ginger ale, whisky to suit the taste, and plenty of ice. A "horse collar" is similar, only brandy is used in making it instead of whisky."
"Vintage Cocktails" by Susan Waggoner and Robert Markel, 1999
Horse's Neck - The original version of this highball, circa 1910, called for bourbon and ginger ale. Later guides often feature a choice of spirits, including blended whiskey and brandy. No matter what spirit you use, the WOW of this drink comes from the continuous, spiral-cut peel of an entire lemon streaming from the rim of the glass to the very bottom.
From "Mr. Boston Official Bartender's and Party Guide"
Horse's Neck (with a Kick)
- 2 oz Blended whiskey
- Ginger ale
Peel rind of whole lemon in a spiral fashion and put into Collins glass with one end hanging over the rim. Fill glass with ice cubes. Add blended whiskey. Then fill with ginger ale and stir well.
From "The New New York Bartender's Guide" by Sally Ann Berk
- 4 parts Blended whiskey
- Ginger ale
- 3 dashes Angostura bitters
- Rind of one lemon, peeled in a spiral
Put the lemon spiral in a chilled Collins glass and hang one end over the rim. Fill with ice cubes and add whiskey and bitters. Fill with ginger ale and stir well.