DOTW: Whiskey Sour

Posted by Anita on 10.12.07 7:09 AM

(c)2007 AEC ** ALL rights reservedI distinctly recall the first time I drank a Whiskey Sour. Our friends Jason and Maggie, eking their way through grad school, lived in East Palo Alto (pre Four Seasons, pre Ikea). Their apartment sat tucked behind a bungalow facing the 101 frontage road. The neighbor who lived in said bungalow was an affable fellow named Drew, a long-haired techie, musician, and tinkerer. The bungalow inevitably became the scene of numerous jam sessions: late-night sing-alongs fueled by a potent mixture of whiskey, powdered sugar, ice, and the juice of the Meyer lemons that grew right outside Drew’s kitchen window… all whizzed up in the blender. (Hey, we were young.)

Like the Cape Codder and the Gin & Tonic, the Whiskey Sour is one of those highly adaptable libations that can be successfully concocted nearly anywhere. The lemon juice puts it a bit beyond the reach of the average hotel minibar, but anyone with access to an airport lounge, a rural grocer, or a even a half-decent convenience store can enjoy a respectable version without much fuss.

Depending on your personal palate and your choice of whiskey — in deference both to old memories and my mom’s limited provisions, we brought out the Beam — do vary the amount of simple syrup. Canadian, bourbon, blended, even rye… they’re all fair game here. Our bottom-shelf version, complete with a WalMart nuclear cherry on top, was perfectly fine; I can hardly wait to mix one up with the good stuff when I get home.

(c)2007 AEC ** ALL rights reserved(c)2007 AEC ** ALL rights reserved(c)2007 AEC ** ALL rights reserved(c)2007 AEC ** ALL rights reserved(c)2007 AEC ** ALL rights reserved

Whiskey Sour
1-1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
2 to 2-1/2 oz whiskey
1/2 to 1-1/2 oz simple syrup
lemon wedge and cherry for garnish

Shake the juice, whiskey, and syrup with ice; strain into a chilled sour glass or rocks glass. Garnish with the lemon wedge and cherry.

Drink of the Week, drinks, recipes



Comment by Laura

One of my favorite drinks! It’s always fun to see the old classics profiled here – excellent job!

Posted on 10.12.07 at 7:42AM

Comment by Toni (Mom)

Hey, the Walmart cherry doesn’t even show in the photo!!

Miss you…

Posted on 10.12.07 at 9:55AM

Comment by Anita

Laura: Thanks! We like making them, too.

Mom: I think you need to clean your glasses: It’s right there in the upper right corner of the big photo. :D

Posted on 10.12.07 at 10:32AM

Comment by murray stenson

A slight variation is the Greenwich Sour. No garnish, just float a layer of red wine on top of the sour in a cocktail glass. Visually stunning with an adult Sangria flavor profile.

Posted on 10.12.07 at 3:17PM

Comment by Anita

Ooh, yeah. You made me one of those last time we were up — how could I forget that? Definitely tasty!

Posted on 10.12.07 at 3:29PM

Comment by Steve

What is “simple syrup”? Thanks!

Posted on 10.15.07 at 1:46PM

Comment by Anita

Hi Steve –

Sorry, I meant to link off to an explanation for that. Most of our readers know, but I know that many folks don’t!

Simple syrup is basically a plain sugar syrup — usually equal parts granulated white sugar and water by volume (you’ll sometimes see this written as 1:1 simple syrup), but sometimes more or less sugar, depending on the application.

To make it, simply measure equal quantities of sugar and water into a saucepan and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool to room temperature before using in your favorite drinks.

It keeps pretty well in the freezer.

Posted on 10.15.07 at 3:48PM

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