As I was cleaning out my home office, preparing to make a major move this August, I came across an old – like, 2012 old – copy of Esquire. And, in that magazine, I dogeared a page that had instructions on how to make delicious cocktails galore.
It’s no secret that, historically speaking, writers, authors, playwrights and other creatives love a good, stiff cocktail. Those range from Shakespeare, who was probably drunk on honey wine constantly, to the great Fitzgerald, who, as you know, came into his infamy in the 1920s… that should speak volumes on its own, no? “Write drunk and edit sober” they say.
And, I agree.
So, the article, originally written by David Wondrich in his column, “Drinking,” pieced together the perfect formula for a combination of sour drinks. That formula states that 3/4 oz citrus juice (personally, I say that lemon is the best…) + 1 tsp super-fine sugar + 2 oz almost any liquor equates to “the basic sour formula.”
Wondrich states, “…A drink with superfine sugar stirred into lemon juice is clean and vibrant. A modern drink with, say, three quarters of an ounce each of citrus juice and syrup has a slick, almost plastic texture. Score one for the wisdom of ancients.”
Do you agree or disagree with Wondrich’s statements? Personally, I can live off a good sour, sporting a good, old fashioned cigar jacket and sucking on a fat Cuban in the midst of a fancily decorated library.
And, with that being said, here are the recipes you’ve been waiting for, again, courtesy of Esquire:
Basic Whiskey Sour
-Stir 1 level tsp superfine sugar and 3/4 oz lemon juice together in a cocktail shaker. (It’s easier to dissolve the sugar without the booze.)*
-Add 2 oz American whiskey of any kind.
-Fill shaker with ice, shake like a jackhammer operator, and strain into chilled cocktail coupe. Drink. Repeat.
*If this is too tart for your taste, better to pull the citrus back to 1/2 oz than increase the sugar. That stuff will kill you.
New York Sour
-Stir 1 level tsp superfine sugar and 3/4 oz lemon juice together in a cocktail shaker.
-Add 2 oz straight rye whiskey.
-Fill shaker with ice, shake well, and strain into chilled coupe.
-Carefully float 1/2 oz cabernet sauvignon or other dry red wine over the top by pouring it slowly out of a small container over the back of a bar spoon.
What’s your cocktail of choice when you hit the page with ink? Let me know in the comment section below, you devilishly amazing writer, you.