Whiskey sour recipes to celebrate National Whiskey Sour Day

Categories: Cocktails

A 150-year-old classic
Like an easy lady, the whiskey sour has a tarnished reputation, similar to the tequila sunrise's. Being made for years with sour mix that tastes like bathroom cleaner will do that to a drink. Since today is National Whiskey Sour Day, it's a perfect opportunity to make the drink properly. The whiskey sour has been seen in cocktail books dating back to the 1860s, alongside many other classics, so it deserves a little respect. In many vintage whiskey sour recipes, the old-timers typically used a little egg white in the cocktail before shaking, which creates a creamy froth. For safety reasons, many skip this step. We'll leave that one up to you.

Calling a drink a sour means a specific proportion of base, citrus, and sweet. The sweet can be many things: simple syrup, grenadine, or juice, for example. So a margarita could be called a tequila sour, or a sidecar a brandy sour. Thus we included a recipe for the cocktail called Ward Eight, since it could also be considered a whiskey sour--although a sweeter version that is quite rosy hued. It is said that the Ward Eight was originally garnished with a tiny Massachusetts flag, as it is named after a district in that state. The cocktail was created on election night in 1898 to toast a political candidate running for office in that ward.

Whiskey Sour

1 1/2 - 2 oz. bourbon or rye (depending on desired strength)
1/2 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
dash of bitters
1/2 tsp. very fresh egg white (optional)
cherry or lemon garnish

Shake all ingredients. If using egg white, shake until a froth forms, about 1 to 2 minutes. Strain into chilled glass and garnish.

Ward Eight

1 1/2 -2 oz. bourbon or rye
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 tsp. grenadine
splash of port
cherry, lemon or orange garnish

Shake all ingredients except port. Strain into your glass, add port and garnish.

Note: You can adjust proportions of citrus, sweet, and spirits to your taste.

Michelle Leon
The whiskey sour and Ward Eight.

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