The Ward Eight, as drinks historian David Wondrich has written, is one of the City of Boston's few contributions to the classic-cocktail pantheon. It came into being sometime around the turn of the 20th century and riffs on a Whiskey Sour with the inclusion of a special, somewhat mysterious ingredient: grenadine.
Whereas a straight Whiskey Sour includes lemon juice and simple syrup (the combination of which, in equal parts, is the "sour") and whiskey, a Ward Eight expands on that basic build with a hit of orange juice, Angostura bitters, and grenadine. The latter functions like the simple syrup in a Whiskey Sour and contributes sweetness, but the beauty of grenadine, especially one that's homemade with care, is that it also delivers rich-yet-tart, dark-fruit-driven complexity.
The Ward Eight, as a result, is juicy, fresh, and approachable — a dynamic cocktail that retains a spirit-forward character, but isn't boozy. It's a drink Boston should be proud to call its own.
2 ounces straight rye whiskey, such as Knob Creek
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce orange juice
1/4 ounce grenadine
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Add the ingredients to a Boston shaker or cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain the contents into a chilled cocktail glass.