A few years ago, at an establishment that is sadly no more, I began getting exposed to truly old-fashioned mixed drinks. The establishment was themed around prohibition, and the bar tender took great pride is using not just the finest ingredients but the recipes and techniques in use before Prohibition.
Recently, I’ve been researching on my own as I want to explore the world of the original mixed drinks; and, to adapt where needed for my ketogenic lifestyle. That I end up putting my own little twist on things is a given.
The original mixed drinks were not simply alcohol delivery vehicles designed to hide the taste of the alcohol and get someone drunk fast (which is, sadly IMO, a hallmark of far too many modern mixed drinks). They were designed to complement the flavors of the components even as they merged into something unique.
I’ve been playing around with several, and am now happy with my recipe for a good whiskey sour. All I will say of the bourbon used is that one should use something with bite and flavor — I don’t recommend smooth and mild for this drink.
Start by making a simple syrup out of raw honey. One part raw (crystalized even) honey to one part water. Simmer over low heat until melted and everything is hanging together. Chill before use and keep refrigerated. It will keep for 4-6 weeks they say. Since I’ve made small amounts, none has lasted long enough to test shelf life.
Then, use a fork (or whisk) to beat some egg white. You don’t need a huge amount, but I like to use 1-3T. Yes, you read that right, beaten egg white. It has a bit of richness and a touch of texture to the drink.
The recipe is simple:
In a cocktail shaker, mix:
4 measures of bourbon
1 measure honey simple syrup
.5 (or a bit more) measure of key lime juice
Dash (or three) of orange bitters
1-3T beaten egg whites
Add an ice cube or two and shake for 20-30 seconds and pour into glasses. Makes enough for two nice drinks. To garnish, I use some good maraschino cherries that I’ve been soaking in bourbon for about six weeks or longer. Yes, good ones are expensive, but worth it. If you ever find the real deal out of Croatia, grab them…