Food & Drink » Remix

Our take on the whiskey sour adds a little bit of spice to make everything nice

The Whiskey Sour

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The whiskey sour gets very little respect. Plenty of love, mind you, but not much respect.

I've seen it described as "the comfy T-shirt of cocktails," "the fried egg of cocktails," "the basic bitch of cocktails." So, OK, it's not a complicated drink, but most people like it well enough. I feel bad for the poor thing! So I decided to give it a remix and try to make it more of a bad bitch than a basic one. Unlike Taylor Swift's recent attempt to do the same thing, I think this one worked pretty well.

First I decided that spicy is always more exciting than sour, but I didn't want to go so spicy as to alienate drinkers. (Ahem, Tay-tay ... this may be where you went wrong. Moderation in all things, babe.)

So out came the Ancho Reyes, a beautiful little liqueur that enhances almost any base spirit you add it to – tequila and whiskey, sure, but also rum, vodka, even gin if you're careful. It's got a smoky spiciness, just like the smoked, dried chilis it's infused with.

After a first try with whiskey, I decided to use rye instead – Old Overholt has a spicy heat of its own that works well here. And a bit of preserved ginger plays along with the heat while also adding sweetness – I used Morris Kitchen, a small-batch syrup from Brooklyn, but you could make your own.

So there it is, a whiskey sour with a spicy new reputation, no snakes in sight. Look what you made me do!

classic:

2 ounces whiskey

1/2 ounce lemon juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup

orange wheel

maraschino cherry

Combine whiskey, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Cover and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass over ice; garnish with orange slice and cherry.

remixed:

2 ounces rye whiskey

1/2 ounce Ancho Reyes

1/4 ounce lemon juice

1/4 ounce simple syrup

1/2 teaspoon preserved ginger syrup

lemon peel and Luxardo cherry

Combine all liquids in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Cover and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass; garnish with lemon peel and cherry.

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