The Story Behind The Old Pal

The Old Pal has a history just as rich as its flavor. Scottish bartender Harry MacElhone first published the cocktail’s recipe in 1922 during his time working at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, which he purchased a year later. He named his creation after William “Sparrow” Robinson, sports editor of The New York Herald in Paris, who called his friends “old pals.”

A variation on the classic Boulevardier, the cocktail offers decadent, peppery aromas and boozy, botanical flavors. With only three ingredients — whiskey, dry vermouth, and Campari — this drink is easy to shake up for pals both old and new.


  • 1 ounce bourbon or rye
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • Garnish: orange peel


  1. Add bourbon, vermouth, and Campari to a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Stir until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with orange peel.

Rate This Recipe:

(48 votes)

Yield: 1
Calories: 175
Updated: 2022-06-01

The Old Pal Recipe