A whiskey sour, a real whiskey sour, features a frothy egg white, shaken into a cloud-like meringue to make this classic cocktail seem creamy as well as sweet-tart.
Farm-fresh eggs are best. And Simon Moorby, bar manager and head bartender at Hogwash Whiskey Den in Spokane, has a hook-up.
If you don’t, that’s OK, too. They’re usually available at local farmers markets.
Or, in the interest of making the best whiskey sours, consider befriending someone who keeps backyard chickens. Or, maybe even keeping your own.
If the raw-egg factor freaks you out, consider buying pasteurized egg whites. It won’t be the same. But it will be fine.
There is a rule you don’t want to break, however.
Always make a whiskey sour – or any sour, for that matter – with fresh citrus.
A sour is almost any spirit, plus sugar and lemon or lime juice. You can use scotch or rye or bourbon. But don’t even think about using a pre-made mix.
Add a dash of grenadine to your whiskey sour – and a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice – and it becomes a Ward Eight, a drink that dates to 1898 Boston. The whiskey sour goes back even earlier, to at least the 1870s.
It’s a simple but elegant and magical blend, especially if you make it the traditional way – with that velvety, shaken egg white.
“Basically, it’s for aesthetics,” Moorby said. “It gives it a creamy appearance and texture. It’s like drinking a cloud when done properly.”
Here’s how to do it properly.
From Simon Moorby of Hogwash Whiskey Den in Spokane
1 egg white
3/4 ounce simple syrup
Juice from 1 lemon
2 ounces bourbon
1 dash Angostura bitters, for garnish
Add egg white, simple syrup and lemon juice to a shaker, and shake without ice – known as a dry shake – to create a frothy meringue. (A steel spring helps emulsify the concoction, so if you have one, toss that in, too. Otherwise, just shake like crazy for about 2 minutes.) Add bourbon. Add ice. Strain into a coupe. Garnish with bitters. (If you have latte-art skills, you can put them to use to create a design on top.) Then, voila! “You’re drinking a cloud,” Moorby said.
Note: This recipe contains raw or undercooked eggs. The Food and Drug Administration advises that eating raw or undercooked eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness.
7 Questions and a Drink with Simon Moorby of Hogwash Whiskey Den
What’s your favorite year-round sipper? I like tiki, to be honest. Not just as a creative format, but it’s very transportive. You can drink tiki in the middle of winter and all of a sudden you’re at that dessert island, even just for a moment.
If your bartending shift had a theme song, what would it be and why? Anything off of Tom Waits’ “Rain Dogs” album.
What drink would you be perfectly happy never making again and why? A Kangeroo Kicker. It’s a vodka martini. I could go on and on about it. It’s because it’s not gin.
What would you be doing if you weren’t bartending? I would love to be a taxidermist.
If you could have a drink anywhere in the world right now, where and what would it be and why? A cappuccino at a sidewalk cafe in Paris with a certain somebody. We’ll leave it at that. She knows who she is.
What’s the best break-up drink? It’s a beer and a shot, hands-down.