I used drink these a lot in college, back when drinking involved hole in the wall bars in Boston – in the times not only prior to the modern speakeasy, but before Ferris Bueller’s wife ordered her first cosmo. Drinks came in three varieties – beer, shots of straight liquor, or poured drinks that involved combining hooch with either electric yellow “sour mix” or something squirted out of a bar gun. These were not cocktails so much as alcohol delivery devices.
Which is a real shame, as the era of the artificial sour mix often has scared people off from some simple, but classic and tasty cocktails. Sours are one of the core types of mixed drinks, from which we get, for example, the Daiquiri, the Sidecar and the Margarita. Booze, fresh citrus and sugar – you can’t get any simpler than that. From that formula, you can easily riff in various directions to add some complexity to your sour. One common modifier to this classic formula is the use of a raw egg white. The egg white doesn’t add any flavors, but it does substantially alter the mouthfeel, giving the drink an added volume and fullness that transforms the drink into something that makes it quite hard to avoid tossing back several in short order.
2 oz. rye or bourbon
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
2 barspoons egg white
Combine in dry tin and shake to emulsify. Add ice, shake and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with cherry.