Thursday, September 11, 2014

Still Sour After All These Years

As threatened, here is the first of the my-favorite-things posts, a Whiskey Sour. I’m making this drink with brown sugar lately—I dunno, it seems cozier that way. And I’ve been using an extra half ounce of whiskey just because it suddenly seems a little light without it. Somewhere there’s a compromise between snap and punch, and I go back and forth. The Whiskey Sour is very accommodating.

Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour
  • 2 – 2 1/2 oz whiskey (rye is nice)
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp brown sugar
Stir sugar in lemon juice to dissolve a bit. Add spirits and ice; shake well. Strain into a chilled glass with a short stem.

This is a 19th-century drink, and one that hasn’t changed much. Happily, it’s one that seems to transcend its abuses too, for the most part, though context is everything. Once upon a time, I knew a mad old roué of the Raoul Duke type, friend of a roommate, who mixed up Whiskey Sours at home in pint glasses with packaged sour mix and plenty of ice. When you got to the end of one, there was another. While I tended to view his cocktailing (and everything else) with a skeptical eye, the bottomless bucket o’ sour was a thing of wonder.

The above recipe works fine as a rocks drink in an Old Fashioned glass. Go with the heavier and sweeter proportions suggested. And some sort of garnish is nice for a sense of occasion, but totally dispensable.
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