Re-Remembering the Whiskey SourNovember 13, 2012
Like almost all of my first cocktail experiences, my very first run in with a whiskey sour took place on Caroline Street in Saratoga Springs, NY. The details are fuzzy, but somewhere between “man, I can’t believe that fake ID worked” and “man, I can’t deal with all these under-age pains in the asses”, I decided I should step up my gin and tonic game and become a whiskey sour guy. It only took a few of these absurdly sweet and sour concoctions and the hangover headaches that followed to realize that this wasn’t the wisest of decisions. So I quit drinking for the remainder of my college years to focus on meditation and studying…I mean…
But all joking aside, it wasn’t until recently that I’ve revisited the whiskey sour, which at it’s core is (should be) rooted in simplicity and should never contain the fluorescent “ecto-cooler” crap many bars call sour mix. Much like I’ve mentioned before about the beauty of a perfect margarita, the thought of buying a pre-mix should never pop into your head. The irony of course here is that in both cases (whiskey sour and margarita) these relatively cheap (not as cheap as you think though) gallons of crap attempt to replace two comically simple ingredients (citrus and sugar) with artificial bullshit. Even when the store-bought mixes contain natural ingredients, the outcome tends to be nasty. Forget the mixers, because all you need is citrus and sugar!
Even still, the whiskey sour is barely something I have made for myself. But when our friends adopted us during Sandy and offered us cocktails in exchange for handing out their “trick or treat” candy, it was obviously a no-brainer (despite getting a few concerned looks from Park Slope parents). Turned out to be even more of a no-brainer when I tasted Dan’s version of a whiskey sour using lemon juice, bourbon, and maple syrup. Gotta love a guy that uses maple syrup in cocktails!
But I myself, did not have maple syrup last night when I got home from another long day. In need of one perfect drink to end the night on a relaxing note, the bottle of honey and the leftover lemons I had been using to finish a butternut squash soup caught my attention. And just like that, within seconds, this perfect whiskey sour was ready and delicious. I myself prefer to mix this sucker up at room temperature even though you’ll see a lot of recipes or examples at bars where the sour is served either over ice or at least mixed over ice. Because the acidity and extra sweetness balance the bourbon so nicely, I prefer to taste it all at room temperature. As for the bourbon, that’s up to you. But I have to tell you, Jefferson’s has quickly become my go to for cocktails and straight up drinking alike. It’s a really beautiful bourbon!
The Whiskey Sour
3 oz Bourbon
Juice of half a lemon
1 1/2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice and honey until the honey has completely dissolved. Pour into your favorite whiskey glass and add the bourbon. Stir gently and garnish with a lemon sliver.