The Horse’s Neck is named specifically for its garnish, the long citrus spirals which are laid in the glass to represent a “neck” hanging over the edge. Supposedly, when placed properly, it looks as if a horse is sticking its neck out of your cocktail.
For certain, a Horse’s Neck is THE drink to be relaxing with while watching any of the three Rock Hudson-Doris Day “battle of the sexes” flicks from the 1960s, but none more so than Lover Come Back which features Day and Hudson as rival Madison Avenue advertising execs. And if I am ever lucky enough to be reincarnated as a 1960s Madison Avenue advertising exec, this is the drink I will use to liquor up my potential clients, flatter the hell out of the boss, and celebrate landing the big new panty hose account the whole town’s been buzzing about. Hopefully, I’ll be doing it at a bar called Floyd’s or Charlie’s with crushed red velvet walls and an organ version of “The Girl from Ipanema” lingering in the background.
Yeah, that is definitely the way I’ll go.
Bourbon is very much a “mom and dad” drink in my head, and my mom and dad never even drank it. Thank television. How many times did Darren’s boss from Bewitched swallow down a bourbon after seeing a pink pony magically appear before his eyes only to watch it vanish moments later, signaling the cue for bourbon number two, “and make it a double, Louise!” So in my head, bourbon is and always will be what grown-ups drink when they socialize.
Now that I think of it, Darren on Bewtiched was a 1960s advertising exec as well. Based on my apparent obsession with the era and the profession, you’d think I’d be a bigger fan of Mad Men, but it just ain’t so. I downloaded the first season from iTunes, and got through about six episodes. Not bad, but it just didn’t grab me. I’d watch it with the sound off any day, though. Those suits! That furniture! Pregnant women somking! Kids wrapping their faces up in plastic dry cleaning bags! Good times!
- 1-2 spirals of orange peel
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 4 ounces cold ginger ale
Fill your glass with ice, add bourbon and ginger, then stir. Garnish the side of the glass with the orange peel spirals.
My general rule about a cocktail is that it needs to taste something like liquor so I don’t forget that one too many will send me face first into the nearest potted plant. The Horse’s Neck is walking a fine line in that respect. The sweetness of the ginger ale takes a lot of the sting out of the bourbon and creates a nice uplifting fizz under your nose. You could polish off eight or nine of these at the pool one summer afternoon before you realized you were no longer able to feel your lower extremities. The mountain of ice and slow sipping will help to ward that fate off, so take your time.