Our story with this classic, though often berated, cocktail is one of a long, torrid, and recently difficult affair. We had our first whiskey sour in college, and though we had heard people refer to it as “your grandmother’s drink of choice,” we swore by its refreshing taste and simplicity.
When Central Michel Richard’s Justin Guthrie told us he’d be making a whiskey sour, our hearts leapt—and then sunk. Recently, the cocktail had turned on us. Our latest encounter with it had ended in physical distress: Our throats got irritated from the burn of way too much sour mix. The experience was so bad, we decided we needed a break.
Sour mix, Guthrie explains, is exactly why whiskey sours get a bad reputation. Most bartenders, perhaps seeking to save time, use bottled sour mix instead of the original recipe’s fresh lemon juice. The result, for Guthrie, is a drastic loss of quality.
At Central, where he’s in charge of the drinks program, Guthrie follows the original recipe, which, in addition to fresh lemon juice, calls for an egg white. The egg white is supposed to complement the lemon and sugar, adding both body and structure.
Watch Guthrie preparing a proper whiskey sour below and get the recipe. Also, stop by Central to try out some of his seasonal classic cocktails with a twist, including the Blackberry Bourbon Cobbler!
Oh, and you’ll be happy to know that after tasting Guthrie’s whiskey sour, our love for the cocktail has been rekindled full force.
Justin Guthrie, Central Michel Richard
¾ ounce lemon juice
2 ounces whiskey
1 ounce simple syrup
1 egg white
Orange wedge and cherry and for garnish