Hello again faithful HHC readers. Holding the title of the drink of the week this week is the Presbyterian. A classic Scotch cocktail, this simple drink is easy to make and even easier to enjoy. Perfect for warm summer days out on a picnic blanket, tennis matches and any party where people are wearing khaki shorts. 

Too WASP-y for your blood? No worries! The supermarket-friendly ingredients mean you can easily enjoy this light cocktail at home with no khaki in sight.

The Presbyterian is very simple. Usually, in a Collins glass, the scotch is added to the ice and the rest of the glass filled with equal parts ginger ale and club soda. 

Some recipes substitute ginger beer for ginger ale, some mess around with ginger ale to soda ratios and some leave out the club soda all together. 

If scotch isn’t your spirit of choice you can substitute a good bourbon and still enjoy this tasty drink like it was intended.

A Brief History:



Most cocktail historians agree the Presbyterian was created in the late 1890’s. It was around that time, upstanding Presbyterian’s wouldn’t want to drink alcohol; however, they didn’t want to stand out as different either.

To combat this social awkwardness, they would order a mixture of soda or tonic with ginger ale. This mixture was visually identical to the most popular drink of the time, a 7&7. 

The light tasty nature of this drink caught on, even if it’s non-alcoholic nature didn’t. Eventually, someone got the bright idea to add booze to it and boom the Presbyterian was born.

Due to some murky history, there is some debate as to whether brandy or rye was the original hootch that popularized this drink. Eventually scotch became the base spirit of choice giving us the Presbyterian we know today. 

Being such a simple cocktail, with endless variations, Presbyterian can actually stand as a word for any spirit cocktails with just carbonated mixers.

Ever heard of a Vodka press? You might think someone was pressing vodka or the common misconception about pressing soda gun buttons. The vodka “press” is actually a vodka “pres” Vodka and 7 up with soda water.  (It’s also a great alternative to boring old vodka soda’s).

Random Fact:

When a barman couldn’t fulfill the order of famed Opera singe Mayme Taylor he added lime juice to a Presbyterian. Her love of the drink led to it being named after her, the “Mamie Taylor”

Next time you’re in the grocery store and looking for easy ingredients to make a simple drink (or trying to sneaky drink with people thinking you’ve just got an iced-tea) remember the refreshing Presbyterian. 

Tell us in the comments if you have recipe variations you like! Keep checking in over the next few days as we wrap up whiskey month here on the 5 o’clock blog. Thanks for reading and as always...

Cheers from,

Happy Hour City!