whiskey sour

blood orange whiskey sour

Valentine’s day is almost upon us!

You know what really puts people in the mood for romance?

blood orange whiskey sour | Brooklyn Homemaker

BOOZE!!!

(duh)

blood orange whiskey sour | Brooklyn Homemaker

I wanted to come up with a cute little romantical cocktail for me and Russell to enjoy on this oh-so-romantic occasion, but for the life of me I couldn’t think of what to serve. Champagne tends to give me a headache if I have more than one glass, and a quick search on pinterest turned up little more than a who’s who of chocolate martinis and syrupy sugar bombs. Not that there’s anything wrong with chocolate martinis and sugar bombs, but they’re really not our thing.

blood orange whiskey sour | Brooklyn Homemaker

Just when I was starting to think that I wasn’t cut out for this whole Valentine’s day thing, it hit me! All I had to do was make a few little tweaks to a favorite cocktails recipe I already had in my arsenal!

blood orange whiskey sour | Brooklyn Homemaker

Russell and I love a traditional (stiff) whiskey sour with lemon juice, superfine sugar and plenty of good American whiskey. I like to use rye because I think it’s more assertive flavor stands up better against the citrus in this drink, but bourbon would definitely work well too if that’s what you prefer. Fresh egg whites are shaken into this classic cocktail to add the signature foamy creaminess that whiskey sours are known for. I always try to buy eggs that come from cage free local farms, so I don’t worry too much about the fact that the whites in this drink are raw, but if you’re concerned about food safety, most grocery stores carry little cartons of pasteurized egg whites that you can use instead.

To add a little romance, I substituted some of the lemon juice with fresh squeezed deep red blood orange juice. Once it mixed with the other ingredients and had the dickens shaken out of it, the blood orange juice gave this cocktail the sweetest pale pink color you could ever ask for.

blood orange whiskey sour | Brooklyn Homemaker

Don’t let that cutesy pink color fool you though, this cocktail packs plenty of punch. Two ounces of straight whiskey is always guaranteed to get the night started right in my book.

While this is a perfect drink to serve your sweetie on Valentine’s day, these classic flavors would also be totally delicious any day of the year. Oh, and hey, if you happen to find yourself alone on this romantic day of days, this recipe makes two cocktails, just enough to make you forget your sorrows or give you the courage to go out and find yourself a date!

blood orange whiskey sour | Brooklyn Homemaker

This blushing beauty of a cocktail is bright, fresh and satisfying. Good looks and great taste, the total package! The rye whiskey and fresh citrus play off of each other perfectly and the shaken egg whites add a smooth, creamy, silky mouthfeel. The fresh squeezed blood orange juice adds a bit more sweetness and bright citrusy depth than you’re used to in a whiskey sour, but keeping some of the lemon juice ensures every bit of that sour bite that you expect.

blood orange whiskey sour | Brooklyn Homemaker

Blood Orange Whiskey Sour

  • Servings: makes 2 cocktails
  • Print
4 ounces good American whiskey (preferably rye)
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 ounces fresh-squeezed blood orange juice
2 teaspoon sugar
2 egg whites

Combine all ingredients in a large cocktail shaker, fill with plenty of ice, and shake like crazy for about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, or into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass. If desired, you can garnish with a maraschino cherry or a slice of orange, but I don’t think you’ll need it.

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maple & thyme whiskey sour

Last week I made a cake with bourbon, and this week I thought it might be fun to use whiskey in a different way. I thought I’d try drinking it.

maple & thyme whiskey sour | Brooklyn Homemaker

When I was in college I worked as a waiter at a restaurant on Main Street in Lake Placid, and one winter I caught a nasty cold and lost my voice. Trying to wait tables in a busy restaurant with no voice is not an easy feat, but like most waiters, I needed the money and couldn’t get my shift covered.

maple & thyme whiskey sour | Brooklyn Homemaker

At the time my usual drink of choice was a gin and tonic, and I thought whiskey was the nastiest diesel fuel known to man. Next door to the restaurant was a ski shop and a few times a week the guys working there used to come by for a drink after work. They saw me sipping hot tea and lemon at the end of the bar and told me that if I put a shot of whiskey in my tea I’d be able to talk for the rest of the night. The bartender poured me some Crown Royal and I gave it a shot (literally).

I choked it down but my throat immediately felt better, and my voice improved enough for me to get through my shift without incident. I actually think it was probably the hot tea that helped my throat, but at the time I was sure the whiskey did the drink. I started three more shifts that way and by the end of the week I’d developed a little bitty taste for whiskey.

maple & thyme whiskey sour | Brooklyn Homemaker

At first I was a strict Crown Royal man, but it didn’t take me too long to start trying other whiskeys. Shortly after college I got into bourbon and have been hooked ever since. Lately I’ve been drinking a lot of rye whiskey though, and I’m becoming a really big fan. While I think bourbon is my favorite whiskey to sip straight, I think I may actually prefer rye for cocktails and mixed drinks.

maple & thyme whiskey sour | Brooklyn Homemaker

The main difference between bourbon and rye is the ratio of ingredients that make up the mash. They share many ingredients but corn must be the main ingredient in Bourbon, while rye is made with, you guessed it, rye. Bourbon usually tends to age a bit longer as well. Flavor-wise, I think bourbon tends to be a bit smoother, sweeter, and more balanced while rye is a bit of spicier and more assertive.

I think the smooth subtle flavor of bourbon can get a bit lost in cocktails, but rye has enough backbone to hold its own against bitters and citrus and mixers.

maple & thyme whiskey sour | Brooklyn Homemaker

Lately I’ve been in the mood to make a whiskey sour the old fashioned way, with egg white shaken into the drink to give a smooth foamy texture. The combination of superfine sugar, fresh lemon juice, and egg white blows bartenders sour mix out of the water. If you’ve never tried a whiskey sour made this way, you don’t know what you’re missing.

maple & thyme whiskey sour | Brooklyn Homemaker

The only small twist I made to make this bright summery cocktail more appropriate for the fall is to substitute real maple syrup for the superfine sugar, and add some fresh thyme to green things up a bit. If you’re a whiskey fan, you’ve gotta try this.

If you’re worried about drinking raw egg, you can use pasteurized eggs or egg whites from a carton, but I feel completely safe in knowing that I buy high quality eggs from small farms and don’t need to worry.

maple & thyme whiskey sour | Brooklyn Homemaker

This cocktail is bright and fresh and satisfying. The rye whiskey and fresh lemon juice play off of each other perfectly and the addition of egg white gives the shaken cocktail a smooth, creamy, almost silky mouthfeel. Adding maple and thyme to this classic drink give just a hint of Autumnal earthiness without being too blatant. The flavors are the perfect subtle compliment to the lemon and whiskey. Thyme adds an herbal woodsiness, and the maple is a wonderfully sweet and smoky replacement to the superfine sugar traditionally present in a whiskey sour.

maple & thyme whiskey sour | Brooklyn Homemaker

Maple & Thyme Whiskey Sour

  • Servings: 1 cocktail
  • Print
2 to 3 big long sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 oz real maple syrup (grade B preferably)
1 dash orange (or citrus) bitters
1 oz fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
2 oz good rye whiskey (or any good American whiskey)
1 egg white
ice
1 small thyme sprig to garnish

Using a cocktail muddler, muddle the long sprigs of thyme with maple syrup and orange bitters in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Smoosh ’em and smash ’em and stir ’em up real good.
Add lemon juice, whiskey, & egg white and close the shaker. Shake and shake and shake and shake and shake like you’ve never shaken a cocktail before. If this were 2003 you might want to shake it like a polaroid picture.
Remove the lid, add a good handful of ice, and close it back up. Give it a few more good shakes, just until the cocktail is niiiiice and cold.
Strain into a martini or coupe glass. Most cocktail shakers have a built in strainer, but you may want to use a small mesh strainer to catch any loose thyme leaves. (I didn’t. There were a few but they didn’t bother me.)
If desired, garnish with a cute & dainty little thyme sprig.