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How Mixology Gives The Whisky Sour Its Most Exciting Makeovers

Whisky Sour

The Whisky Sour is undeniably the simplest highlight at any bar. Yet complexity exists within its simplicity. Its charm shines in its perfect balance, and its evolution over time, thanks to imaginative bartenders, has made it unique. It seems simple, but don’t be deceived.
 
The quintessential Whisky Sour encapsulates art: the snugness of the whisky, the tang of the­ lemon, and a delicate swe­etness for a smooth finish.
 
A Whirlwind Tour in a Glass
 
The Whisky Sour isn't the type to just lay low and be monotonous. Take the Eastern Sour, which swaps out the sugar for orgeat, a sweet syrup made from almonds, and throws in a splash of orange juice.

Eastern Sour
 
Then you have the Boston Sour, which adds an egg white to the mix, creating a firm froth on top of the drink. In Latin America, they throw in vibrant fruits like guava or passion fruit, giving it a zesty, summer-y profile.
 
And then there's the New York Sour, which takes the original recipe and boldly tops it with a float of red wine. This addition adds an edge that makes the drink a whole different animal.
 
Contemporary Cocktail Culture
 
Modern interpretations speak of the Whisky Sour's remarkable adaptability. Take Jeremy Oertel's Betty Carter, for instance. Here, the classic sour takes a luxurious turn, enriched by the addition of PX sherry. Then there's Natasha David's Mountain Man, a spirited twist that infuses the classic with a bold, spicy kick. Here, the addition of peach and a hint of spice creates a playful experience.
 
Winter’s Companion, Summer’s Sidekick
 
The Whisky Sour changes with the seasons too. When autumn rolls around, whisky aficionados find themselves craving a Spiced Apple Whisky Sour. Here’s how to make one: Simmer apple cider with a hint of cinnamon and star anise, creating a spiced syrup that's rich and warming. In your shaker, combine 50 ml of Black Dog whisky with 20 ml of your spiced apple syrup and 25 ml of lemon juice. Give it a good shake with ice, and there you have it—a cocktail that blends the warmth of spices with the sharpness of lemon.

whiskey sour
 
For a summer version, incorporate muddled strawberries or elderflower into your drink for a refreshing, picnic-worthy treat.
 
Modern Mixology
 
Contemporary cocktail culture has taken the Whisky Sour and put a twist—or, should we say, twists—on it. As culinary techniques become more prevalent in cocktail crafting, the Whisky Sour has also seen gourmet versions emerge. The Sous-vide Sour, for example, involves infusing the whisky with citrus zests and spices in a sous-vide before mixing, resulting in a deeply integrated flavour profile. Some mixologists are even ageing their concoctions in oak barrels, giving the drinks a certain charm and vintage feel.
 
The journey of Whiskey Sour is far from over, with bartenders already taste-testing its next few iterations.

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