The whisky sour is a great way to enjoy a fine whisky. A popular drink on most bar menus, it forms the base of the entire family of sour cocktails.
As a cocktail historian, David Wondrich, once put it, whisky sour "is the fried-egg sandwich of American mixology: simple, dull, reliable in a pinch."
Classic, with no-frills, this delicious mix highlights the dark liquor’s best features with fresh-squeezed citrus.
Refreshing and uplifting, this sour delight is indeed a study in simplicity – of whisky, sugar and lemon.
Read on to know more about this drink which you can sip on all year long!
The traditional whisky sour is a mixed drink containing whisky, lemon juice, sugar, and optionally, a dash of egg white.
The earliest printed recipe for the drink appeared in Jerry Thomas’ 1862 book The Bartenders Guide.
The recipe goes like this,
1 tsp powdered sugar, dissolved into seltzer
Juice of half a small lemon
1 wine-glass of Bourbon or rye whiskey
The earliest version of the sour was said to be when Vice Admiral Edward Vernon of England began mixing a few ingredients together to help his crew of sailors combat sea-sickness, malnutrition, and scurvy. While the British used gin and brandy, Americans favoured whiskey to make this classic concoction.
Shaken and served either straight up or over ice, with the addition of egg white, it is sometimes called a Boston Sour.
Top a classic whisky sour with some red wine and you’ll get the delicious pre-Prohibition tipple – the New York Sour.
The Ward Eight cocktail, thought to have been invented at Boston’s Locke-Ober Café in 1898 with bourbon or rye, lemon and orange juices, and grenadine syrup is also a relative of the whiskey sour.
Each year on August 25th, people across the USA celebrate National Whisky Sour Day to revisit the classic cocktail. This drink surely has a fandom of its own, doesn’t it?
It is also the official drink of the illustrious Jefferson Literary and Debating Society at the University of Virginia which produced the likes of the great Edgar Allen Poe.
Here’s how you can make your own whisky sour!
60 ml Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch Whisky
22 ml lemon juice
22 ml 1:1 simple syrup (sugar + water)
2 dashes aromatic bitters
Egg white (optional)
Maraschino cherry, orange slice or lemon wedge for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all the ingredients. Shake hard for about 7-10 seconds (double if using egg white). Strain and serve two.
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