People tend to turn their nose up when they hear a cocktail has egg white in it. But, be it the threat of becoming ill or simply the texture of raw egg, if you’re among those people, it’s high time you stopped worrying and tried one of the oddest and most idiosyncratic drinks on the cocktail menu: the Whiskey Sour.
Even stranger than its ingredients is the story behind this outsider of the cocktail scene. Back in the 1700s, when the Royal Navy discovered that a lemon or lime a day kept the scurvy away, they began to mix it with their grog – beer and rum – to get such a bitter drink down. As you can expect, it still didn’t taste great, but this drink earned the name ‘sour’, and set the lemon rolling on the drink we know today.
Over time, the drink made it off the waves, replaced grog with whisky and added sugar to soften the citrus taste even further. Even Ernest Hemingway – whose favourite cocktail differs depending on which history, or bar, you ask – was said to favour a Whiskey Sour, and often drank them until dawn in the Dingo Bar in 1920s Paris alongside fellow literary genius F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Today, the Whiskey Sour endures as one of the most innovative uses of bourbon. Although not as popular as the Old Fashioned or Manhattan, it has its place amongst the big-hitting beverages, and should be one you know how to make.
Begin by filling a shaker with roughly cubed ice, and pour in 2 measures of bourbon whisky – any of these will do – followed by a measure of lemon juice, half a measure of sugar syrup and half a measure of – don’t back out now – egg white. Shake hard for a good twenty seconds to ensure the cocktail is highly chilled, and then strain into a glass.
Finish by garnishing with the signature cherry and orange slice, and then drink up like Hemingway. Trust us, there’s nothing sweeter than a Sour…