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The 1960s called. They want to make you a whiskey sour.

The 1960s called. They want to make you a whiskey sour.


I grew up in the 1960s and I can remember my parents having parties at the house where they served cocktails. My dad was a Dewars and water guy and my mom liked screwdrivers, but they had a friend who loved a a good whiskey sour. Much like the Daiquiri, the whiskey sour is one of those drinks that is available as a mix, but my dad never believed in that. He’d whip up something from scratch, although I have to say that I don’t remember him ever shaking anything. And the whole question of using egg whites was never an issue for him  Why waste a raw egg on a drink when you could wake up in the morning and drink it Rocky Balboa style??

The original recipe for a whiskey sour was first recorded in 1862 in a book called The Bartender’s Guide, but some version of the cocktail is said to have been around for at least 100 years prior to that when sailors were drinking it to ward off scurvy on long sea voyages. Like some of the other classic cocktails, the whiskey sour has been making a reappearance on many bar menus and has become one of those drinks that home bartenders also take pride in making well. The use of an egg white is still up for debate; you certainly don’t have to use one if you’re opposed to it, or you can use less (anywhere from a 1/2 ounce on up). You can also consider a vegan substitute like chick pea liquid, but use a full ounce of that if you’re going to give it a try. Either way we’ll need to first dry shake the ingredients without ice to get the the drink good and foamy. Then we can add the ice and shake again to bring the temperature down.

The Whiskey Sour

2 oz Buffalo Trace bourbon*
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz egg white**
1 dash Angostura or other aromatic bitters
Orange strip and Italian cherries as a garnish

Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and dry shake for 15 seconds or so. Add the ice (1 large cube and 2 small if you can) and shake for another 15 seconds or until well chilled. Strain into an old-fashioned glass or a goblet over 1 large ice cube. Garnish with the orange and cherries. Using an eye dropper, place small drops of the bitters in the egg white to finish off the top of the drink. Toast the 1960s and enjoy!

*Of course! What else for me? Feel free to substitute your favorite.

**Use up to the full egg white, or 1 oz of a vegan substitute, or omit it entirely.

Vintage glass a recent thrift store find. I’m always on the lookout.

On tomorrow’s barlogue I’ll be changing things up a bit and covering Gorshin Trading Post & Supplies right here in Haddonfield. They carry excellent cocktail making supplies! Check back to read more.


The Old-Fashioned: Finding the perfect balance…

The Old-Fashioned: Finding the perfect balance…


Knowing how to make a good Old-Fashioned for someone who truly loves them is a very satisfying thing. At first glance it seems like it’s a relatively simple drink that should be easy to prepare. After all, it consists of only four things: bourbon, bitters, water, and sugar. Yet when done right, the flavors blend together and compliment one another so well that it’s almost like some kind of magic has happened. I start by being very careful with my ingredients, choosing a really good bourbon, well crafted bitters, real demerara sugar cubes, and an Italian maraschino cherry (as a garnish). I like to try different bourbons and bitters together to see how everyone reacts to the new combinations, and I would encourage you to do the same. That’s where this becomes really fun! As important as the ingredients are, the way in which you make the drink is just as essential. I try to think of it as a kind of ritual, making every effort to do it the same way every time. It’s a built drink (as we talked about yesterday) so it’s going to be made in the same glass in which it’ll be served.

2 oz Bourbon*
2 dashes of Aromatic bitters**
1 demerara sugar cube
1 splash of water
1 or 2 Italian maraschino cherries***
2 orange peel strips

Place the sugar cube in the bottom of an Old-Fashioned glass. Add two dashes of bitters and a splash of water. Muddle together until the sugar cube is almost completely dissolved. Swirl the glass a bit. Add ice (preferably one large cube) and then the bourbon. Stir the drink gently, just enough to get it chilled. Take one of the orange strips, hold it over the drink horizontally (white side toward you, orange side toward the glass) and squeeze the strip in half. You’ll see the oils hit the top of the drink. I like to add the cherries and the other orange strip right to the glass, but you can also put them on a cocktail pick if you prefer. As you’re making the drink notice how the different aromas hit your nose. First it’s the spice of the bitters, then the warmth of the Bourbon, the sweetness of the cherries, and finally the tang of the orange. Finding the right balance between all of these is where the magic takes place!

*Choose your favorite bourbon. Mine is Buffalo Trace!
**Try Fee Brothers, Scrappy’s, Bittermilk, Hella Bitters or any other hand-crafted bitters.
***I love Amarena cherries, available at Whole Foods in the cheese department.

Vintage glassware from Jinxed in Philadelphia.

If you’re already an Old-Fashioned fan, tell me what some of your favorite ingredients are!