The Whiskey Sour

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I consider the Whiskey Sour the jewel in the sour crown. Gold, trimmed with white, and set with a deep, blood-hued ruby cherry.

I’m going to get dangerously close to a recipe here. Have mercy.

This drink has an unclear history but, as I’ve previously quipped, the sour itself is ancient history in cocktail terms. The variations are the historiography of recent times.

Remember the 4:2:1 ratio I’ve suggested, then get willing to bend the rules. Don’t be without a jigger, but put the IBA out of mind. You’re going to need a hefty Bourbon, but it needn’t be anything too pricey. Bulleit clocks in at a robust 45% ABV, and makes a fine drink.

Ice up that mixing glass, then double down on the whiskey, throw in half as much lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed, and half again on the sugar syrup. I’ll then give a cheeky splash more sweetness, because I’m like that.

Now egg white. I’m told you can get ready-made white in a carton or some such abomination. Don’t mess around; don’t dash. Crack a real one, separate, and put the whole white in. Do you want silk? That’s how you get silk. Attack with the Angostura until it’s a murder scene, then whack on the silver shaker, oscillate, and when you’re done, strain into a rocked-up tumbler.

Finally, take a Maraschino cherry and dump it right against the side of the glass for a streak of deep red that settles on the bottom for later retrieval. The powers that be demand some fancy citrus/cherry cocktail stick garnish. Enjoy that if you’re out; eschew it in the home bar. If you must, I’m a fan of fanning some juicy orange; leave lemon alone – it’s already in the drink.

You’ll be left with a gilt glass of smooth, sweet, sour, Southern wonder, wearing a fluffy, pristine white ruff, save for the incriminating cherry stains. Splash the bitters on top a bit more if you like, to show you had a good time – white formalwear should never survive the night unbesmirched.

That’s the louche Whiskey Sour of a true lush – and the only one you’ve any business drinking. Pulchritudinous on paper. Rakish in reality; aggressive in appearance, but inimitably agreeable when imbibing. Here’s one I made earlier.