*The Sour Family*

Learning to Drink By Family - The Sour

Yikes! That definitely might be the type of face you’d make when you try something uncomfortably sour. Well let’s be honest, nobody can make that face. It looks like he’s trying to eat his nose off. Regardless, it is definitely NOT the face you would make upon tasting a well-balanced Sour Family Cocktail!

In a cocktail yoga class, this bad boy is definitely the most flexible of drinks. You can slap all kinds of different spirits and modifiers to create concoctions beyond your wildest dreams. Let’s start with a breakdown of the drink in its simplest form:

- 2 oz. of a Spirit

- 3/4 oz. Lemon

- 3/4 oz. of a Sweetener (Simple Syrup, Honey, etc.)

- To make it a Traditional Sour, add egg white (Whip first)

- Shake and strain into a sour glass and add the garnish

Yeah… that’s reaaaaaaaaaal nice. The options are virtually endless. Now I know what you’re probably thinking, “Egg whites? In my cocktail? Thanks for the salmonella asshole.” I promise you, by using the freshest, highest-quality ingredients you will not get any diseases. Not to mention, those 2oz of alcohol and citric acids from the Lemon kill 99.9% of bacteria anyway. Now if you knock down one too many of these and catch something from a random hood rat you took home from the bar; also not our fault. Anyway, back to egg whites. So when you use egg whites in a sour, it becomes a “Traditional” sour. So if you see the word traditional in a sour recipe, get ready for some egg white action.

On to the purpose of the whip, also known as a “dry shake.” So when you are performing a whip, add your ingredients into your shaker, including the egg whites, and before you add ice, give that thing a helluva shake! This dry shake creates something called an emulsion. Technically, emulsification is the process by which physical agitation of the egg white causes protein structures to unfold and allow oxygen molecules to fill the space between the proteins. The proteins eventually re-bond near the surface of the cocktail and as the liquid settles small air pockets give the cocktail it’s signature frothy and rich texture. However, it very difficult for the protein structures to unfold and allow emulsion to occur when the ingredients are cold, so do not forget to whip the sour into shape before adding ice. For more on emulsification see Herald McGee’s On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen (pg. 100).

Once whipped, add your ice (Kold draft or Tovolo if you have any) and shake again to lower the temperature of the cocktail. Your ingredients are already mixed, so you are merely chilling your cocktail, so no need to over shake. Strain the ingredients into your pre-chilled sour glass and garnish with your favorite topper… Do not forget to serve with a smile!

Alright, enough egg talk. Let’s move on to some recipes! Here’s an old favorite at El Dorado that I’m sure you’ve tried, and if you haven’t, you better order it on your next visit. It will make your day! I give you the Gold Rush:

- 2 oz. Bourbon

- 3/4 oz. Lemon

- 3/4 oz. Honey

- Shake and Strain

- We here at El Dorado prefer to strain this cocktail over rocks into an Old Fashioned glass. But if you’d prefer the Sour glass that’s perfectly acceptable.

Definitely one of my favorite cocktails, the Gold Rush is a people pleaser. Now let’s try an egg white cocktail. Huzzah! Let’s do the Bermuda Sour from our good friend Sam Ross of Milk and Honey, NY. Thanks Sam!

- 2 oz. Rum – Goslings

- 3/4 oz. Lemon

- 3/4 oz. Simple Syrup (1:1 Sugar to Water)

- Egg Whites

- Orange Wedge (Give it a short muddle if you’d like and are using smaller ice cubes)

- Whip (Dry Shake), Shake, and Strain into a sour glass

- Garnish with a dash of Angostura Bitters

When adding your egg white you can either use one egg, crack it and ease the egg whites into your shaker (my preferred method) or use about 1/2 oz. of pasteurized egg whites (available at any grocery store or market). Using an actual egg definitely adds to the experience, but is more time consuming for you speedy bartender extraordinaires.

That’s all she… he… me... I… wrote! Until next time, cheers!

Learning to Drink by Family Volume 4

Author: Steven Tuttle (El Dorado Cocktail Lounge)

Editor: Justin F. Fortier (El Dorado Cocktail Lounge, The Industry Research Group)
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