Whiskey Sours (And Not A Bottle of Sour Mix In Sight)

Fun fact: today is National Whiskey Sour Day. Not like I really need “a day” for whiskey drinking — anyone who knows me personally knows that whiskey-, rye-, and bourbon-based drinks are my jam — but sadly it’s not just any day that you can find a good whiskey sour.

A “sour” is a family of drinks that includes the Daquiri, Margarita, and Sidecar. The formula to make a sour cocktail is simple: spirit + lemon or lime juice + (the “sour” part) + simple syrup (the “sweet” part). Tequila + lemon and lime juice (equal parts) + simple syrup = margarita. Whiskey + lemon juice + simple syrup = whiskey sour. Easy as that… in theory.

I say “in theory” because one would think a simple, three part recipe should be hard to screw up. And yet I hate ordering whiskey sours at restaurants. Actually, I hate ordering most mixed drinks at most restaurants, with chain restaurants and sports bars being the biggest offenders. The sour and sweet parts of mixed drinks are usually co-mingled in the form of more-sickeningly-sweet-than-sour and nuclear yellow-colored bottled sour mix. Yuck.

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What is Kombucha?

Last year, I took a long weekend and drove down to Maryland to see my friend. At one point during the visit, we were eating dinner and I saw her open up a curious, brightly colored orange drink. It wasn’t a soda, but made a similar “fizzy” noise every time the cap was taken on and off.

The drink, as it turns out, was kombucha, a beverage made by fermenting tea and other flavorings with a bacteria and yeast starter called a scoby. The smell was sour and fruity, like oranges or lemons. I took a sip and wasn’t turned off, but my first taste left something to be desired.

Earlier this year, though, I came across a whole shelf of kombucha varieties in the organic section of Wegmans. I was determined to try it again to see if I could develop a taste for what was supposed to be an incredibly nutritious drink and a source of natural probiotics.

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