The Ohio cocktail is as far as anyone can tell, a classic cocktail of German birth. It began appearing in German cocktail books in the 1910s and, if you know where to look, you can still see it served in German cocktail bars today. There is, however, no standard recipe. Two takes on the cocktail persist—one made with Cognac, Curaçao, bitters and a float of Champagne; and the other with Western whiskey (sometimes rye, sometimes Canadian), sweet vermouth, sometimes Curaçao and, again, a topping of Champagne. The latter can be considered basically a Manhattan royale.
Buck and Breck, a famed speakeasy in Berlin, remains faithful to the old drink, which was popular in the first half of the 20th century, but fell on hard times in recent decades. Buck prefers the whiskey version, and makes the recipe its own with a touch of China-China bitter liqueur to accent the orange notes of the Curaçao. The julep-like presentation, in a silver cup filled with ice, is unorthodox.