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Wednesday 25 August 2010

Time To Get Soured Up....

Somewhere on the internet, there must be a calendar, which is solely dedicated to the celebration of significant dates for drinks. If there isn't, i'll offer to create one!!

What I mean is that pretty much every week, there's a new National 'insert drink name here' Day or an important birthday, which gets PR teams around the globe in a frenzy, with 5 good reasons why you should be celebrating with a bottle of their spirit. At Caskstrength, we recently celebrated National Absinthe Day (even though it appeared it was just in the USA), Black Tot Day, the tragic loss of rum from our Naval Fleets and even International Pisco Fortnight.

Ok, we made the last one up, but yesterday another one landed in our inbox, which on face value looked like cynical ploy to part with your hard earned cash to celebrate another spirit.
But wait! We actually took notice of this one. Partly because it involves whisky and partly because it involves caskstrength's favourite cocktail of the moment- the Whisk(e)y Sour.

Quite who defined the 25th August as 'National Whiskey Sour Day' is anyone's guess. The people behind Michael Collins Irish Whiskey were the ones blowing the party streamers and it all sounds pretty made up, but then again, who cares! Nearly every day for the last 2 weeks has been National Whisky Sour Day in Caskstrength Towers - a small surplus of both blended whiskies and single malts had been accumulating on the sideboard and Mrs Caskstrength was starting to get a little antsy. What better way than to have a 'Sour Off'

Recipe No. 1 Classic Whisky Sour, using Johnnie Walker Black Label

2 measures Johnnie Walker Black Label
1 measure freshly squeezed lemon Juice
1/2 measure of plain sugar syrup (home made)
1/2 fresh egg white

Add all ingredients into a Boston Shaker and shake vigorously until frothy. Strain over ice into a chilled tumbler glass. Add 6 drops Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters (or Angostura) onto the foamy top. This allows a wonderful permeation of aromatic flavour throughout the drink...(many thanks to Mark Jenner at the Coburg for this great tip)

Garnish with a twist of Lemon peel and if so desired, a cocktail cherry. Whisky Exchange do Griottes, which are superb and far cheaper than Griottines (amazing flavour for a cocktail cherry, but 3 times the price!)

I don't think you can really go wrong with this recipe. The addition of the egg white into the cocktail shaker gives a fabulous creamy froth. I have taken to part whisking the egg white first, then adding into the shaker, but it's really however you prefer it. A simple, yet wonderfully refreshingly rich/aromatic and sharp drink indeed. The Johnnie Walker doesn't overpower the other flavours, giving a slightly smoky note, with some rich butteriness to boot.

Recipe No.2 Whisky Sour, using Smokehead

measures Smokehead
1 measure freshly squeezed lemon Juice
1/2 measure of honey syrup (home made)
1/2 fresh egg white
several dashes of Angostura Bitters
As the whisky is quite dominant, you don't need as much, but this offers a slightly different take on the classic. Worth trying with the honey syrup too.

Recipe No. 3 Whisky Sour, using a sherried Speyside - the wonderful Glenrothes 1985

2 measures The Glenrothes 1985
1 measure freshly squeezed lemon Juice
1/2 measure of dark orange marmalade syrup (home made)
1/2 fresh egg white
3 dashes of Fee Brothers Whisky Barrel Aged Bitters

Garnish with a slice of slightly burnt orange zest. The wonderful orange aromas blend extremely well with the fruity, bittersweet Glenrothes and the whisky barrel bitters give a really spicy, woody note.

Happy National Whisky Sour Day!!
Looking forward to 'International Manhattan Month'....