Old Pal

A Negroni with rye instead of gin.


  • Served in cocktail
  • 28% ABV


Harry MacElhone



Rye 2.0cl 0.67oz
Campari 2.0cl 0.67oz
Vermouth dry x 2.0cl 0.67oz
Use ounces
Use centiliters


  1. Shake all ingredients over ice.
  2. Strain into a cocktail glass.


The Old Pal cocktail is first found in the epilogue of Harry MacElhone’s Barflies and Cocktails from 1927 and later in his 1929 reprint of Harry’s ABCs of Mixing Cocktails.

While he may not as well-known as Jerry Thomas and his books not as popular as others such as The Savoy Cocktail Book, Harry MacElhone left the Plaza Hotel in New York during Prohibition and set up shop in Paris, serving as head bartender and owner of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris from 1923 until his death in 1958.

His books predate The Savoy Cocktail Book and are responsible for introducing a great number of popular drinks such as the Sidecar, Boulevardier, Scofflaw, and more.

In Barflies and Cocktails, Arthur Moss, a friend of Harry MacElhone, credits the Old Pal to a conversation from 1878 with an old pal of his, the sports writer “Sparrow” Robertson. Oddly though, the original reference from 1927 states the recipe as “1/3 Canadian Club, 1/3 Eyetalian Vermouth, and 1/3 Campari”, bringing it very close in line with the previously mentioned Boulevardier or a Negroni, but a mere two years later it was formalized as using dry vermouth.

Some further reading:


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