The Cocktail College Podcast: The Old Pal

“Cocktail College” is brought to you by George Dickel. Let me tell you a little story, listener. From the very beginning, as one of the oldest distilleries in Tennessee, George Dickel was determined to do things differently — rethink American whiskey using fresh spring water as well as tried-and-true distillation techniques. And here’s why I’m excited to partner with Dickel today: Whether you’re talking Tennessee whiskey or Bourbon, Dickel actually puts both of those different types of spirits out there. You can argue the differences between yourselves. And, when it comes to sipping, we’re talking high age statements with some of the best value you can find in American whiskey. Seriously, we’ve been fans here at Vinepair for years. We’ve championed Dickel for years, which is why it’s so awesome to be partnering today. But this is a cocktail podcast, so let’s talk about mixing options. I like to turn to the Dickel Bourbon, which feels just at home in those classic cocktails that we always cover here, as well as those modern classics we like to get into as well. Listener, head to to get inspired and start mixing with our old pal, George Dickel. Cheers.

Many rank as second-tier classics in the vast kingdom of cocktails, and today’s drink firmly fits into that category. The beverage in question? The Old Pal, an estranged relative of the Negroni and Boulevardier. Despite having nothing to do with the city of Philadelphia, one could argue that the Old Pal is the Philly of cocktails: Philly’s a decent-sized city, it’s got plenty of history, and it ultimately lives in the shadow of the Big Apple. The same goes for the Old Pal — it’s got a fantastic backstory, tons to dig into from a technical perspective, and is a delicious (though overlooked) drink.

To help us get acquainted with this sleeper hit, we’re joined today by Diageo Hospitality Partnership national educator Rachel Kling. In this episode, we dive deep into the Old Pal’s history, discuss its potential for riffs and modern classics, and learn about a very exciting modern interpretation of a very traditional rye. Tune in for more.

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Rachel Kling’s Old Pal Recipe


  • 1 ounce George Dickel x Leopold Bros. Collaboration Blend Rye
  • ¾ ounce Contratto Bianco Vermouth
  • ¾ ounce Aperol
  • Garnish: grapefruit twist


  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Stir until very chilled (at least 30 seconds).
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Old Pal Recipe (Classic)


  • 1 ounce rye whiskey
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • Garnish: lemon twist


  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Stir until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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Tim McKirdy
Rachel Kling