Once again we find ourselves intrigued by the topic of Mixology Monday. This time it is “Like that. You’ll love this” hosted at the eGullet spirits forum. As the keen reader will know, drink recomendation is near and dear to our heart. We even cooked up an iPhone app to help with that, but this topic is intriguing from both a taste and an academic point of view.
If you like a Lemon Drop (and we do!), then you’ll love a Whiskey Sour. In many ways the only change is spirit, but what a difference that makes. Some other details change too, like the garnish. And the glass. And the fact that it’s served on the rocks.
If we are playing compare and contrast, it may seem like crazy talk to try and move a Lemon Drop vodka drinker to a whiskey. Sure, one normally, one goes through all the clear spirits before playing with the aged rums, tequilas, and finally the whiskeys. But with this a great drink for people to get over their fear of brown spirits.
The Whiskey Sour, often mocked for being an old man’s drink, has lots going for it. It’s a bit manly, but also well behaved. It can be sipped slowly while waiting for friends to show up. The sweetness can be varied without disastrous effects (it’s certainly more forgiving than a Lemon Drop), the lemon helps excite the taste, and the whiskey immediately shows what a difference a spirit can make to a drinks character.
And that’s kind of the point of the whole exercise. Gaining an interest in spirits and their unique tastes go a long way to encouraging some cocktail exploration.
For the record, a Whiskey Sour is:
2 ounces of blended whiskey or rye
2 ounces of lemon juice (sometimes less if we are feeling surly)
half ounce of simple syrup.
Shaken and served in an ice filled tumbler or strained into a sour glass.
We made tonight’s drink from rye. Why? It must be a phase we are going through – a lack-of-blended-whiskey-at-home phase, perhaps. We were never going to use bourbon though. As Mark Kingswell said in Cocktail Culture:
It’s too sweet, it’s made from corn mash, it’s from the South: three sterling reasons to stay clear.
Truth be told, these are reason we cite about our Manhattans. Which we hope we can eventually encourage our would-be vodka drinker will enjoy. After they’ve had an Old Fashioned of course. Which would be the next step on from a Whiskey Sour. Maybe our reputation as a “cocktail pusher” is well deserved after all…
Big thanks to Chris at eGullet’s Spirits & Cocktails Forum for hosting. What a great theme.
As for recommendations, have a look at What Cocktail? for the iPhone. It’s all about helping people explore different drinks based moods, time of day, and season. Some times it’s nice not having to choose.