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Tag Archives: old fashioned

Germantown, WI – December 18, 2011

Well, another 3 hours of watching the futility known as Cleveland Browns football.  The game started well enough with an opening touchdown drive that featured the bruising, no nonsense running of Petyon Hillis.  I actually felt like the Browns offense may have found a groove today between Hillis and his punishing running style and the athletic Seneca Wallace at quarterback getting the ball downfield to the Brown’s receivers. 

After that opening drive I decided to have a cocktail, and even though I want to feature gin over the next couple of weeks, I was inspired to have rye whiskey by watching Hillis.  Rye seems to match Peyton’s straight forward style of play.  Here’s what I came up with.

  Peyton Hillis

  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup
  • 1 dash of orange bitters
  • 1 lemon slice

In a rocks glass muddle the lemon slice with the bar syrup and bitters.  Add 5-6 ice cubes and the vermouth and rye and stir.  Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Mmm, I do always like the combination of orange bitters and rye, and I did again in this cocktail.  It is a takeoff on a traditional old fashioned, using lemon for a brighter taste than the orange in an old fashioned. 

Unfortunately, as I sipped my new cocktail creation I was again treated to the sight of the Browns unable to maintain their edge and losing yet again.  At least the cocktail was good!


Day 219, Cocktail 217

Wow, I’m glad to finally be back.  A nasty headcold knocked me flat on Wednesday and Thursday.  I finally got my feet back under me on Friday.  I hope this is the only one of the winter!  So let’s get back to it.

After having the Ward 8, a cousin of the Whiskey Sour,  last Monday, I realized I hadn’t really explored sours since starting this blog.  Most bars that you go to will be able to immediately make you a whiskey sour or one of its many variants.  Unfortunately, most will use a bottled mix.  This is unfortunate since all it takes to make a sour is lemons and bar syrup.  Yep, it’s that simple.  Oh, and actually, they’re not really sour either.  More on that in a moment. 

Sours, in general, have been around since the 1700’s when English sailors took to adding rum to lime and other citrus juices.  This mix was done to preserve the lime juice, a necessity to avoid scurvy on long voyages.  By the 1860’s recipes for whiskey sours had been published.  Because there are so many different sources, I find it difficult to say just where the drink got its start.  Suffice it to say that it has been a bar staple for 150 years, particularly in its whiskey form.

I started my journey into sours with the classic whiskey sour.  Most recipes call for bourbon, however, I used rye and really liked it.  Rye, to me, is the quintessential American whiskey and seems to work just a tad bit better with the lemon juice than bourbon.  Don’t get me wrong, making a whiskey sour with good bourbon is also a wonderous thing…I just prefer the rye by a nose.

  Whiskey Sour

  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz bar syrup

Combine the ingredients with ice in a mixing glass.  Shake to mix and pour, ice and all, into a rocks glass.  Garnish with any a lemon or orange slice and cherry.

Alternatively, you can strain the mixed sour into a chilled cocktail glass and enjoy up.  However, as with an Old Fashioned, I prefer to have this on the rocks.  It’s also important to use freshly squeezed lemon juice.  The difference in taste is noticeable.  With fresh lemon juice you will have a much brighter flavor to your cocktail.

I like this drink – alot!  The lemon and rye – I used Jim Beam rye – work wonderfully together and the froth you get from shaking gives the cocktail a festive look out of the shaker.  The simple syrup cuts the tartness of the lemon juice.  While not quite sweet, this drink is not sour at all.  Mix one up and let me know what you think!