2,5 cl Canadian Club
2,5 cl Campari
2,5 cl French Vermouth
Harry McElhone in his 1922 Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails first published the Old Pal. But in the appendix of McElhone’s 1927 Barflies and Cocktails, the subsequent amusing retelling can be read:
"I remember way back in 1878, on the 30th of February to be exact, when the Writer was discussing this subject with my old pal “Sparrow” Robertson and he said to yours truly, “get away with that stuff, my old pal, here’s the drink I invented when I fired the pistol the first time at the old Powder hall foot races and you can’t go wrong if you put a bet down on 1/3 Canadian Club, 1/3 Eyetalian (!) Vermouth, and 1/3 Campari”, and then he told the Writer that he would dedicate this cocktail to me and call it, my Old Pal."
The recipe for Old Pal has evolved somewhere along the line, and dry, French, vermouth came into place, to substitute the initial Italian – red – vermouth. Bourbon is seen more often to replace the Canadian whiskey and a 2:1:1 formula does appeal more to the present palate than the original recipe does.