Cocktail of the Month: Whiskey Sour
By December 7, 2016 0 1258•
America has spoken. More than 18 months of name-calling and nastiness has come to an end. Or has it?
One candidate was elected by a significant majority of voters while another garnered the necessary electoral college votes. No matter who you supported, November’s election seems to have left a sour taste in everyone’s mouth.
For many disillusioned people, the best way to cope is with a stiff drink. Since you already have an acerbic flavor lurking on your taste buds, may I recommend a whiskey sour?
Whiskey is a great choice to drown your sorrows, burst your bubble, cheer or jeer the next commander-in-chief. Bourbon is a patriotic option since it’s produced in the U.S. of A. (unlike Donald Trump’s cologne, picture frames, eyeglasses, hotel toiletries, pens, home accessories, components for his furniture line and most of his clothing, which are manufactured overseas, says the Washington Post). Most bourbon is distilled in Kentucky, so by sipping on a domestic spirit, you’re creating job security.
The obvious spirit of choice for some would be Trump Vodka, but it ceased production in 2011 amid deplorable sales and several lawsuits, Bloomberg reported. Bottles can be found on eBay, but it isn’t a way to put America first, since, according to the Post, it was distilled in the Netherlands.
Whiskey is considered a winter drink by many due to its perceived warming quality. The truth is that all liquors can trick your body into feeling toasty. Alcohol may make your skin warm to the touch, but the effect is deceiving. A little alcohol dilates your blood vessels, moving warm blood closer to your skin.
However, pumping more blood near the surface causes the loss of core body heat.
With the December holidays approaching, I find the full, lemony flavor of a whiskey sour complements the typical array of cookies, cakes and pies. Better yet, forego the sweets and make the cocktail your treat. There are far fewer calories in one whiskey sour than in many holiday desserts. This way, you won’t have to worry about people sending nasty 2 a.m. tweets criticizing your weight gain.
Served in a fancy glass and garnished with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry, a whiskey sour looks more festive than a Starbucks cup. And this classic cocktail is as timeless as the holidays themselves. The first written mention came in the seminal 1862 book “Bar-tender’s Guide: How To Mix Drinks” by Jerry Thomas. With the movement back to simple and classic cocktails, the whiskey sour is starting to get a second look by bartenders.
With a plethora of whiskey bars in the capital city, there are many places to find a superb one. First of all, check out D.C. cocktail master Derek Brown’s Southern Efficiency in Shaw. Here, the focus is American whiskey and Southern nibbles. Since the cocktails at all of Brown’s bars are stupendous, you can bet the whiskey sour here will be as yummy as a taco truck on every corner.
One of the best whiskey sours I’ve sampled was mixed at Georgetown’s tony Bourbon Steak lounge (almost as tasty as their Wagyu steak, still available prior to the promised 35-percent import tariff).
Yelp users rave about the whiskey sours at Capital Hill’s Barrel, where whiskey is listed as “brown water” on the menu. While the mention is humorous now, it may not be so funny after Myron Ebell takes over the EPA.
As protests continue and recounts are requested, the post-election havoc is poised to continue through the holidays. Even worse are the social gatherings with family and friends who hold incompatible political views. Instead of avoiding these events, brighten your spirits — and those with opposing beliefs — with some whiskey. A handy holiday rule: Don’t be sour, drink one!
Adapted from Jerry Thomas’s recipe
A large teaspoon of powdered white sugar
The juice of half a small lemon
One wine glass of bourbon
Dissolve the sugar in a little seltzer or club soda. Fill a glass with shaved ice. Shake and strain all the ingredients into the glass. Garnish with an orange wedge and a cherry.