Drink Recipes

How to Make an Old Pal Cocktail

Looking to make a classic cocktail that tastes great? The ‘Old Pal’ cocktail is a simple cocktail that will impress anyone you serve it to. By combining three different liquors; Rye Whiskey, Dry Vermouth, and Campari; a powerful cocktail is produced. If you are a fan of drier cocktails or Campari then this cocktail is for you. This specific recipe is perfect for beginners who are looking to expand their alcohol preferences.

Here’s What You’re Going to Need

To make this cocktail you’re going to need a few things. First, you will need a mixing glass to combine the three liquors and ice cubes. Then you will need a chilled stemmed cocktail glass to pour the mixture into. Finally, for the finishing touch, you will garnish the glass with some lemon.

an old pal cocktail in a chilled cocktail glass on top of a hardwood table.

Equipment Needed:

  • Mixing Glass
  • Stemmed Cocktail Glass
  • Jigger or Shot Glass

Ingredients Needed:

  • Rye Whiskey
  • Dry Vermouth
  • Campari
  • 1 slice of lemon

Old Pal Cocktail Recipe

an old pal cocktail recipe that is garnished with a lemon.

Old Pal Cocktail

A tasty cocktail made with Rye Whiskey, French Vermouth, and Campari.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: old pal, old pal cocktail, old pal cocktail recipe
Servings: 1 Serving
Calories: 169kcal
Cost: 3.50


  • Mixing Glass
  • Chilled Stemmed Cocktail Glass
  • Jigger


  • 1 Ounce Rye Whiskey
  • 1 Ounce Dry Vermouth
  • 1 Ounce Campari
  • 1 Wedged Lemon to garnish with


  • Add all the ingredients to the mixing glass. Then fill the glass with ice cubes and stir.
    a bartender is pouring ice into a shaker over top of a table
  • Next strain the mixture into a chilled stemmed cocktail glass.
  • Finally, garnish with some lemon.
  • Cheers!



Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Sugar: 1g
Tried this recipe?Mention @TheDailyDrink.ca or tag #thedailydrink!

History of Old Pal Cocktail

The Old Pal is said to have originated in Paris at a bar called “Harry’s New York Bar”. It was created by the owner of the bar ‘Harry MacElhone’. Harry created the cocktail recipe during prohibition and named it after his friend William “Sparrow” Robinson. William was a sportswriter for the New York Herald Tribune’s Paris office. He was known for referring to everyone as ‘Old Pal’.

an old pal cocktail being garnished with a spray of lemon.

This mysterious cocktail has little information known about it. It’s very similar to the more famous drink, the ‘Boulevardier‘, which is made using bourbon whiskey and sweet vermouth instead. These two drinks are practically the same and for good reason. Their origins both trace back to the same place and owner – Harry MacElhone.

Recipe Notes & F.A.Q’s

Is there a different type of liquor I can use?

Yes, you can alter this recipe to fit your personal preferences. The main changes people make to the drink are substituting the type of Whiskey. Instead of Rye, they use Bourbon and/or they use Sweet Vermouth instead of Dry. The ending result is an overall sweeter taste.

Where can I get this?

You can purchase the liquors at a licensed store near you.

Do I need to use a chilled cocktail glass?

The short answer is no. But this is recommended to keep the mixture cool and allows it to have a much smoother taste.

Recipe Size Conversion

Do you want to make this cocktail for a party or event? We have you covered. This calculator will tell you how many millilitres you need for every ingredient. All you need to do is type the number of drinks that you would like to make in total.

Some Other Ways This Drink is Made

In this ‘Old Pal’ recipe video, they alter the recipe and changed the garnish to a slice of an orange instead of lemon. This is all preference and you can use whatever you desire.

In this video tutorial, they altered the recipe to have more emphasis on the Whiskey compared to the other two liquors. This will slightly change the overall taste to be more bitter.

Some other great drink recipes to try:

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