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The perfect Sour?

2 14

RikS started a discussion

Greetings all! Been a while, glad to see you’re all still here - work has been a bit mad of recent but I’m happy to see all the familiar names. :)

So, the other day I shook (shaked?) up a whisky sour. Very basic recipe of 5cl whisky, 3cl lemon juice, 2cl syrup (I used maple), and one egg-white [so it may actually have been a Boston Sour?]. Simple, but still delicious. So, then it struck me - with the world’s best whisky connosoirs in the forum, why not ask for the “ulimate tweaks and details” for a whisky sour! Advise? Experiences?

All the very best to you all from a grey London!

15 days ago

14 replies

@OdysseusUnbound

I’m a fan of most iterations of the sour…and I’ve even come around to the use of an egg white. I’ve found that my favourite spurs are made with peated malt whisky such as Talisker or Kilchoman. I also add a drop or two of each Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters.

15 days ago 4Who liked this?

RikS replied

@OdysseusUnbound that's interesting. I have tried with a non-peaty SM, and with Rye (liked that one) - but never with a peated one. Nor, bourbon, yet. Thank you! Some to go then, and now out to buy some bitters.

15 days ago 3Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@RikS Rittenhouse Rye BiB works beautifully, but Lot 40 didn’t impress me in a sour. Elijah Craig Small batch is a decent bourbon option. My favourite Wild Turkey bourbons don’t seem to work as well in a sour. Now an Old Fashioned made with WT Rare Breed? Perfection; *chef’s kiss

15 days ago 4Who liked this?

@TracerBullet
TracerBullet replied

I like to use JW Double Black. I feel the scotch holds up better in a Whisky Sour and the Double Black adds that bit of smoke, which I personally love. YMMV As stated above, rye works well too. Especially a nice spicy one.

15 days ago 4Who liked this?

@YakLord
YakLord replied

Honestly, the whiskies I've found worked best in sours are what we'd usually classify as bottom shelf stuff: Seagram's VO, or in a New York Sour, Canadian Club Premium.

15 days ago 4Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@YakLord honesty is highly desirable.

And isn't that a blessing that we can make good cocktails with inexpensive ingredients?

15 days ago 4Who liked this?

RikS replied

@OdysseusUnbound I guess one of the 'tricks' may be that it needs a whisky with enough oomph in character, be that smokey, rye-y, or otherwise, to create a balance to the sour/sweetness of the lemon and syrup...? Not that I'm much of a mixologist, but that intuitively seems to make some sense....

15 days ago 4Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@RikS oh yes! The whiski has to be able to hold its own in a balance of several strong flavours. US rye whiskey came back from near extinction about 15 years ago because US bartenders realized that if you used a 50% ABV rye, it would make great cocktails. Rittenhouse BIB Rye and Wild Turkey 101 Rye were what brought rye whiskey back to the American public...through the enthusiasm of bartenders who were making cocktails with them.

15 days ago 4Who liked this?

RikS replied

@Victor Dear Victor, you recommended me Rittenhouse quite a while back - and it quickly became a rye favourite here (and the fact that it's fantastically well priced doesn't hurt either!).

15 days ago 3Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@RikS among the big US producers Heaven Hill, which makes Rittenhouse Rye, is usually the most price competitive. That has been true for many years.

I am always delighted when anyone takes a shine to rye whiski.

It's a great shame that the best US ryes have generally become rare and expensive. I remember a guy on Connosr in about 2011 saying, "Oh, I just buy the Van Winkle 13 yo Rye for about $ 40." Not for long, he didn't. Average world asking price now? $ 2,470.

14 days ago 2Who liked this?

RikS replied

@Victor I tried to do a sour with the 13 Van Winkle I had at home, but didn't manage to get the balance right... Had to pour four of them into the sink before I got it right on the 6th attempt (no 5 was actually balanced, but accidentally put the yolk on with the white, so that went into the sink too). In the end: 6cl Van Winkle 13 3.5cl lemon juice 2cl Canadian maple syrup 3.25 drops Angustura bitter 1 candid cherry

14 days ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@RikS that is sad. Better sipper does not equal better cocktail ingredient. Each of those Van Winkle rye shots you threw down the sink would likely cost someone $ 150+ at a bar now.

14 days ago 3Who liked this?

@TracerBullet
TracerBullet replied

@RikS Next time, pour them my way. I've not had the pleasure (yet) to try a 13 Van Winkle!

14 days ago 1Who liked this?

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@Victor@OdysseusUnbound

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