Back many years ago, we will not be discussing just how many years, I was introduced to what I have come to call one of my old friends, Jack Daniels. See, I had a college roommate that had a taste for the brown liquor, and while I dabbled with other lesser substances of an alcoholic nature, I had not yet been introduced to whiskey, and to be more exact, bourbon whiskey.
Well, my cohort and I had just finished finals and were having a celebratory drink or three. I remember it clearly. I was drinking hurricanes when he slid an unknown drink in front of me and said, “Here, try this.” Had I known then what I know now, I could have saved a lot of foolishness on my part. Ole No. 7 Jack and the sour mix was the drink placed before me, and I’ve been drinking them as my preferred mixed drink ever since.
Now I may have slipped away from Jack as the bourbon of preference, a dalliance with Jim Beam, a time with Evan Williams, until one day something new was presented to my taste buds, Gentleman Jack. Ahhhhhhh, yes, now that is an excellent flavor of bourbon. Save your fireball, leave your honey bourbon on the shelf, and as much as I like green apples, just not in my bourbon. Thank you.
Before you conclude that I’m set in my ways, please understand, I am not above an opportunity to compare and contrast other fine bourbons. Knob Creek is a fine example of bourbon, Evan Williams Single Barrel, another good selection. Jim Beam Double Aged black label which there happens to be a bottle of sitting on the shelf next to a bottle of Jack Daniels Single Barrel Reserve at this very moment that is being saved for some special occasion when I will crake the seal. They are all excellent examples of the bourbon family.
As I have indicated, the Whiskey Sour of my youth was bourbon and sour mix. That was all I had ever known, and I was okay with that drink. A couple of cubes of ice, a pour of bourbon, and a topping of sour mix, but as I have said, that was the drink of my youth. A bartender in Massachusetts, of all places, introduced me to a new method of making my preferred drink. We had settled into our seats at Two Jerks, looking on the back shelf I spied ole No.7 and requested the Whiskey Sour. She set about preparing my drink, lemons were sliced in half, a short glass of ice, a healthy pour of Jack into the glass, and then she did something very different. The juice of the lemon was fresh-squeezed into the glass over the bourbon and topped with a splash of sour mix. Now I was puzzled and intrigued at the same time.
The glass was presented, and while we ordered dinner, I tasted my drink. Low and behold, I was impressed, a tasty and hearty drink, but smoother than the bite of the sour mix drinks that I had these many years prior, definitely a much better drink.
Fast forward to last week, and the decision was made to see if I could replicate the taste that I enjoyed. Ingredients were assembled, movements replicated, and the drink, a tasty semblance of what I had discovered in Massachusetts, was created and appreciated after a long day of work. So when you make this drink, raise your glass to the East and pay your respects to the lady behind the bar of Two Jerks. Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks?
Here’s the recipe for a better Whisky Sour
Your favorite Bourbon
1-2 Fresh Lemons
Old Fashioned Glass
Fill the glass ¾ full of ice.
Add as much bourbon as you so desire.
Squeeze fresh lemon juice over bourbon and top with sour mix.
I don’t recommend you use a shaker or mix it in the glass. The flavors will meld together perfectly if left alone.
As you sip your newly found friend, the flavors will mix perfectly on their own.