It’s National Whiskey Sour Day, allegedly. Honestly, I do not understand all of these days, weeks and years of recognition. I mean, I get it. I know politicians. I’ve been party to the odd proclamation here and there, but it seems we should have a little restraint. Still, the big wigs from the Whiskey Sour lobby have to do something to justify their salaries, so kudos to them. I am sure this accomplishment was quite the feather in their caps. The problem is I have done a couple of whiskey sours, already, and even though I love them, I am trying to keep it fresh here. Luckily, a little research turned up the perfect variation, so, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the New York Sour.
For those playing along at home, we did the standard Whiskey Sour way back in April and then did a fun variation with the Dead Men of Whiskey Sour in July, so if you need a refresher, those are great drinks to start with. This one comes to us from the 1890’s when the good folks in Boston began adding egg whites to their sours and New Yorkers decided that wine and whiskey should be a thing. There are some arguments as to whether the New York Sour should have egg whites added or not. I am not sure where we should come down on this historically, but as a practical matter we made it both ways and it is way better with the egg whites. The mouth feel is better, the foam is prettier and you get better layers, so this is now the way we do things around here. Hey, at least we experimented. A lot of folks these days make their policies based on other folks whims, with no regard to the scientific method at all. I am not, necessarily judging them, I am just saying we do it better. Like, a lot better.
Grab your tins and pop in 2 ounces of whiskey, I went with New York’s own Hudson Baby Bourbon, with that awesome corn-forward flavor. Add 3/4 of an ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice, 3/4 of an ounce of simple syrup, 1/2 an ounce of egg white or aquafaba and 2 drops of Crude Bitters Smoke and Salt. Toss some of that artisanal ice in your tins and shake to the beat of Ace Frehley’s finest moment, “New York Groove”. When your tins are good and cold, strain from the big one to the little one and toss the ice, before going again with a dry shake to get the foam built up. Shake it “stronger and harder than a bad girls dream”, can you believe that’s a Huey Lewis lyric? Seriously, they slipped that into “Power of Love”. Yeah, right there in the middle of Back to the Future. Sorry, I got distracted, back to your drink prep, already in progress. Pour that beautiful liquid into something wide-mouthed and delicate. Using the back of your bar spoon to break the pour, float 1/4 ounce of red wine in this one, I used Aldi’s finest Winking Owl California Red and garnish with a thinly sliced lemon wheel.
I expected this one to be a bit of a gimmick, a pretty variation with little substance. I was wrong. This is stupid good. I don’t know how this one slipped under the radar. Make it, try it, enjoy it with a Sabrett and a knish. I am definitely into this New York Groove.
That’s why we try things, right? Here I was making fun of the good folks of the Whiskey Sour lobby, those brave few who work tirelessly to make sure that this class of drinks gets the recognition it so richly deserves. I made light of their contribution to society, but if not for their tireless efforts, I would never have made this variation and learned that whiskey and wine can be excellent together, especially if you toss some sugar, lemon juice and egg whites in there. I salute these patron saints of the sour, who work in the shadows, making deals, smoothing the way, bribing legislators (allegedly), so that we may enjoy the freedoms of National Whiskey Sour Day. Raise your glasses to these heroes of the foamy libation and stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.