The History Of The Ward Eight (Ward 8) Cocktail.
The Ward Eight cocktail was invented by Charlie Carter while working at the Locke-Ober in Boston Massachusetts. To Celebrate his win in 1896 (most Ward Eight recipes online say 1898 but he was elected to that position in 1896) to the Eighth Ward district of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Martin Lomasney, hosted a party at the Locke-Ober and asked the barman to make several unique drinks. The party would vote on the drinks and select the best one.
“A good many years back, Martin Lomasney delivered the eighth ward for a certain gentleman who, to show his gratitude, threw a party at his club. Charlie Carter was mixing drinks at the club at the time. The host asked Charlie to mix up several different kinds of drinks for his guest, so that they might select the one they liked best. … All were of one mind on the selection. … When it came to a name, they again left it to Charlie, so he promptly christened the newcome the “Ward Eight” and Ward Eight it has been ever since, a favorite drink in Boston and also in Waterbury when you have charlie mix one up for you.” – 1936 Waterbury Democrat
The oldest recipe for the Ward Eight I can find comes from the 1926 Book “The Cocktail Book A Sideboard Manual for Gentlemen” by L.C. Page. The recipe here is that recipe, and both the Old Waldorf-Astoria and Savoy Cocktail books seem to mirror this recipe. The only difference being the L.C. Page recipe adds soda water and the Waldorf-Astoria and Savoy do not.
What Does The Ward Eight Taste Like?
The Ward Eight from L.C. Page’s book is a fantastic cocktail, and it tastes like a pomegranate soda. It’s a nice balance of sweet and sour with the refreshing effervescent of soda water. The Old Waldorf-Astoria and Savoy recipes do not add soda water, and while their recipes are still good, they don’t quite hit the mark as the L.C. Page recipe does.
- 1896 A Souvenir of Massachusetts Legislators – Boston, MA
- 1926 The Cocktail Book A Sideboard Manual for Gentlemen – Page
- Oct 2, 1936 The Waterbury Democrat – Waterbury, Connecticut