Photo: Cobalt123, Flickr
Perhaps the most famous of the sour cocktails -- which at their essence combine liquor with sugar and lemon juice -- whiskey sour is a classic cocktail dating back to 1862, when it first appeared in print in Jerry Thomas's Bartenders Guide. Although such retro drinks were once considered passé, as bartenders across the country revisit the classic sips, the whiskey sour is quickly coming back into style -- the Cocktail Chronicles argue, "While the drink is like a stale Sinatra song, constantly buzzing in the air of a million old dives, the whiskey sour still has a lot to its credit: It's quite easy to make, and it's a reliable fallback for those times when you're in the mood for a drink but can't think of anything else to mix, or when the only things in the house are whiskey, lemons and sugar."
Although these days most bars use commercially prepared sour mixes, you'll find extra fresh tartness by concocting the drink from scratch. Follow the directions below for the original whiskey sour recipe, borrowed from the original Bartenders Guide:
Using a small bar glass, dissolve one heaping teaspoonful of powdered sugar in a drop of seltzer water. Add the juice of half a lemon and a wine glass full of rye or bourbon whiskey and shake all ingredients together with shaved ice. Strain into a claret glass and ornament with fresh berries.
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