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.