Cocktail of the Month: An Emancipation Day Sour

In 2023, taxpayers will have an extra three days to file their returns. This is because the standard deadline of April 15, falls on a Saturday and the first weekday after that, Monday, April 17, is the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C.   

So, residents of states with voting rights can thank the Capital city for an extra 24-hour grace period. In the U.S., Emancipation Day is only celebrated in the District of Columbia. Other countries, like Canada and several Caribbean nations also have Emancipation holidays but on different dates.   

However, there is one holiday on April 17, that can be celebrated across the globe – Malbec World Day. While its origins trace back to France, this red wine is most famously associated with Argentina where it has become a “national variety.” Its recognition as a nationwide symbol rivals that of World Cup MVP Lionel Messi.  

According to, Malbec World Day or “Malbec Mundo,” was celebrated for the first time in 2011. Malbec first arrived in South America in 1853, when Argentina’s president, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, asked a French soil expert to bring new grape varietals to his country. In that same year, on April 17, the first agronomy school was founded in Argentina for the study of European grapes.  

The country’s arid and dry climate have allowed this varietal to thrive from North to South and Argentina is now home to nearly 70 percent of the Malbec vineyards of the world. Known for its versatility, Malbec can range from full-bodied and powerful to fruity and easy-drinking. Its complex character makes it an intriguing choice for red-wine cocktails.  

Some common red wine potables that would lend themselves well to Malbec are spritzers, mulled wine, sangria and calimotxo.  

One classic wine-tipple that’s been making the rounds recently on Instagram and has been in-vogue in hip cocktail bars is the New York Sour. Basically, a classic whiskey sour with a float of red wine on top, this cocktail is not only photogenic, it’s got an intriguing flavor that backs up its style with substance. Malbec is an ideal vino to craft this drink because its aromatically spiced flavor pairs well with the smoky-sweet bourbon and its bold nuance works nicely with the lemon twang. 

Like Malbec, the New York Sour was imported from outside the Big Apple. According to Difford’s Guide, it’s “thought to have been first made in the 1880s by a bartender in Chicago. This drink was originally called the Continental Sour and the Southern Whiskey Sour before becoming known as a New York Sour after a bartender started serving it Manhattan and made it popular.”  

This fashionable darling of a drink has made its way to the District’s happening cocktail scene. Reviewers on Google mention it by name at the Mirror, Founding Farmers, The Eastern and barmini by José Andrés. No doubt, Georgetown favorites like L’Annexe and Bourbon Steak will be able to serve up top notch versions. 

So, when April 17 rolls around, whether you’ve filed early, requested an extension or are pulling an all-nighter, remember to lift a Malbec-filled glass and say, “No more taxation without representation!”  

Recipe: New York Sour   

  1. Add whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup into a shaker with ice.  
  1. Shake hard until well-chilled.  
  1. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.  
  1. Slowly pour the red wine over the back of a bar spoon so that the wine floats on top of the drink.  





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