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Whiskey Cocktails: The Manhattan, Old-Fashioned, Sazerac and Mint Julep

Jack Bettridge
Posted: August 9, 2013

(continued from page 3)

Whiskey Sour

Just like movie and book storylines, cocktails can be boiled down to a few basic scenarios. The characters (read: ingredients) may change, but the plot stays the same.

One that gets used over and over (perhaps because it's so good) is called the Sour. And it goes like this: spirit meets citrus juice, they fall in love and live happily ever after.

The list of titles goes on and on: from Daiquiris and Fizzes to Greyhounds and Screwdrivers. The Whiskey Sour is one of the earliest—and best. Some recipes, dating to the 1870s, call for lime juice, but really lemon is perfect for tarting up whiskey, and that's the modern standard.

whiskey sour cocktail.
Some would attack the Sour as rather wimpy (in The Seven Year Itch, Richard Sherman suggests it's a breakfast drink). But when Raymond Chandler puts one in the hands of heavy Moose Malloy (the name explains it all) in Farewell, My Lovely, the hard-bitten private dick Philip Marlowe doesn't flinch.


The reason we don't use crushed ice—as in a slushy—is that it melts too quickly and ruins the proportions. The reason we don't use pre-made, powdered mixes is that they suck.

1/2 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 ounces Bourbon, Tennessee or straight rye whiskey
1 tablespoon egg white (optional)
1 maraschino cherry
1 lemon slice

Combine syrup, lemon juice and whiskey over ice in a shaker glass. Shake for 15 seconds. To achieve a fizzy froth, add the egg white and shake until your arms tire, then shake some more. Pour in a cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry and lemon slice.

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