August 25th marks Whiskey Sour Day again this year. I posted about it four years ago but this year it dawned on me: how did a day in August become Whiskey Sour Day, anyway?
I searched the internet high and low and couldn’t find a suitable answer. An article from Bourbonbanter.com published in 2013, though, suggests that the day was created basically for fun, but that the drink has origins circa the 1700s when British Navy sailors would add lime juice to their rum, both to preserve the juice and to keep the sailors free from scurvy (a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C.)
Rum and lime… that sounds a lot like another one of my favorites: the Cuba Libre, aka rum and coke with lime juice. Whatever the reason, though, it’s a good day as any to sip a sweet-tart whiskey concoction. 😉
There are tons of recipes out there for a whiskey sour cocktail. No matter what recipe you use, it should start with a homemade sour mix for the best results.
I recently revisited and updated my sour mix recipe, which you can find as part of the Whiskey Sour Day post from 2016, but this year wanted to also post another take on it that uses honey instead of white sugar. For a vegan alternative, you can also use agave nectar.
In case you didn’t know this trick: when measuring the honey or agave nectar, spray the measuring cup with a little non-stick vegetable oil spray or alternatively wipe the inside of the cup with a paper towel that has about a teaspoon of vegetable oil on it. You don’t need a lot of oil (you don’t want a lot of extra pooling in the measuring cup that will get into your sour mix), but just a little to grease the inside of the cup makes the honey pour effortlessly.
And yes, whichever recipe you choose to make, the “2016” or the “2020” version, the juice is still worth the squeeze.
Once you have your sour mix, you’re ready to make a whiskey sour…
Updated for 2020, this version contains honey instead of white sugar. I like pouring the finished mix into a Pyrex measuring cup so I know how much I have as I'm making cocktails, but a squirt bottle or plastic container with a lid works too.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup honey
- 1-2 large navel oranges
- 1-2 large lemons
- 1-2 large limes
Remove 1-2 thick strips of peel from each citrus fruit, being careful to just take the peel and leave the white pith behind, and set aside.
Juice each of the citrus fruits to yield approximately ½ cup orange juice, ¼ cup lemon juice, and ¼ cup lime juice.
Add the honey, water, citrus peels and juices to a small saucepan. Heat until the honey has melted, swirling or stirring the pan occasionally.
Simmer mixture until reduced slightly (it will be thicker and syrupy), about 15-20 minutes.
Let cool completely and store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to use.