I am a big fan of whiskey sours and it is almost my de facto drink to order at any bar I visit. (the daiquiri is usually the first) Choosing what is the base spirit however is somewhat akin to a mood ring, but I almost always go for bourbon. Call me a sweet tooth but I like my spicy rye with a sazarac and my scotch over the rocks so IMHO, bourbon’s sweetness complements sour cocktails perfectly.
A gin cocktail this time and a little different from the traditional sours, this has no egg white in the ingredient list. It is something most home bartenders can whip up in no time as honey is wide available and with the prevalence of gin, everyone has a bottle.
Dedicated to this ever popular bar ingredient and a kitchen essential regardless for culinary or non-culinary uses, this is the first of lemon series articles which we have planned for you this month.
It can be easily found in supermarkets and for pretty cheap too! All major supermarkets in Singapore carry it although some do charge it for a little more per fruit depending on the species. For home use the cheapest fruits will suffice.
Apart from using the lemon for its juice, I will also introduce to how to use the peel for garnishing and also a slice of it as a simple wedge garnish, which is not as simple as it looks!
Equal part classics may not seem like the most creative of cocktails but in recent years, these traditional tipples have served as a launchpad of creativity for many a bartender. Take the Negroni for example. Traditionally, equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. Swap out the gin for whiskey, you get a Boulevardier. Swap out Campari for Lillet Blanc, you get a French Negroni. The list is endless. The trick is all about proportion and balance. While we can wax lyrical about the Negroni for days, we wanted to share another equal parts classic that is perfect for the hot weather, the Last Word.
Made with equal parts gin, lime, green Chartreuse and Luxardo maraschino cherry liqueur, it is deceptively simple. In it’s simplicity, the proportions and base ingredients become all the more important. For instance, if you’re using fresh lime, when you squeezed the lime and how long it has been sitting also makes a difference.
This drink is usually shaken and served in a coupe ungarnished. As you sip it, you immediately taste the bitterness of the Luxardo which soon transitions to the sweetness of the Chartreuse, with the refreshing citrus rounding off taste. Then, the dryness of the gin kicks in and you go in for a second sip. For more tasting notes, check out our video on the Last Word!
If you haven’t tried this taste tipple yet, go to any bar that does a good classic or just make one yourself. We guarantee you will not be disappointed. Now, that’s our LAST WORD. 🙂
May our glasses never be empty, cheers and talk soon.
For the uninformed, egg whites are one of the major ingredients in cocktails especially in sours where it is almost a must have (bar the daiquiri). So when a drink’s name has the word sour in inside for e.g. whiskey sour, it is almost definitely required.
Egg white when added to the shaken cocktail gives the cocktail this foamy head and actually blends the taste profiles of the ingredients together. A simple test would be to make two southsides (gin, lemon, simple syrup and mint), one without and one with eggwhite.
Taste! How does the one with egg white taste in comparison with the one without.
This is not to say egg white muddles up the flavours but be clear as to what kind of profile and experience you would like to present to your customer.
From tending the bar for a few years, I have had customers request not to add in egg whites upon hearing about the ingredient list for their cocktail. Some do not fancy a liquid omelette and some are genuinely unable to take this due to allergies. Although many do come round to the fact that it actually elevates the cocktail, it is still good practice to check with the customers’ for any allergies such as egg whites before preparing their drink.
A last point to note, I do have a pet peeve as egg white is now being widely used as an ingredient not because it is there to take the harshness of the cocktail but to create this ridiculously thick layer of foam for some over the top garnishes. Some work, but many fall flat as the mouthfeel of the cocktail becomes cloying due to excessive egg white and the flavours are not clean enough. It becomes complicated, not interestingly complex which is what we all strive for. So in gist, know what your cocktail requires, know what you want your guest to experience and think twice before adding egg white to cocktails.