As you may have guessed, its been a busy week in Divaland. I've had little time to cook and zero time to write. That said, its Thirsty Thursday, so you know we'll be getting our drink on! As promised, we're going to revisit that white whiskey today.
I wish I could take credit for this cocktail, but I stole it from Waldy Malouf ... or one of his bartenders, to be more specific. You see, the husband and I had occasion to dine at Beacon recently, and prior to dinner we sipped on a really delightful cocktail. I believe it was called the Irish Sage. Made with Jameson's Irish whiskey, lemon and fresh sage, it was perfectly balanced and altogether delightful. No sooner did I take my first sip than I decided to mix up my own version using the Hudson New York Corn Whiskey.
Basically, this is a whiskey sour with a twist - a bit of sage mixed into the simple syrup and muddled into the drink. I'd tell you that its a perfect drink for warm weather ... but we seem to be in short supply of that lately. So if you're feeling like you need a little sunshine ... why not take it in liquid form?
The Sour Sage:
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 - 5 large fresh sage leaves, torn (or mint)
- 1 ounce of lemon sage syrup (recipe to follow)
- 3 ounces of white whiskey (alternately, you could use brown whiskey)
- dash of lemon bitters, if desired
Pour the lemon juice into the bottom of a martini shaker and drop in the fresh sage. Muddle well, with a muddling tool, until the sage is coarsely ground. Drop in some ice and over it pour the lemon sage syrup, the white whiskey and a dash of lemon bitters. Cover and shake well until the outside of the shaker frosts. Strain into an ice filled rocks glass, garnish with a fresh sage leaf or slice of lemon. Serve and enjoy, repeat as necessary!
Traditionally, whiskey sours are made with white sugar, often in cube form. As you know, I'm not a huge fan of drinks made with sugar, so I've gone the agave route here. If you prefer, please feel free to substitute 1/2 cup of granulated sugar for the agave nectar in the syrup recipe below. Alternately, you could use some mint in lieu of the sage.
Lemon Sage Syrup:
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 1 cup of water
- 3 two inch slices of lemon peel
- 4 large whole sprigs of sage, torn
Bring all of the above to the boil in a small sauce pan. Cover, reduce heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, strain and let cool before using.
So, how does it taste? Like really grown-up lemonade! Its tart, refreshing and certainly intriguing. The flavor of the corn whiskey, while somewhat tempered by the lemon, is present and up front. You definitely taste it, but the white dog is complimented by the fresh lemon and made all the more interesting for the subtle hint of sage.
This drink would be a perfect little refresher for a hot, sunny day. Its not at all sweet and it certainly goes down smooth. If you prefer a sweeter drink, by all means opt for the granulated sugar, or increase the agave.
While I enjoyed my solo sips of white whiskey last week, I find that I vastly prefer it cocktail form. I guess I'm not man enough to handle the white dog all on its own ... but add a little lemon and that dog heels just fine! Woof!
Stay tuned for more explorations of white whiskey in future Thirsty Thursday posts. I've got a whole bottle of the stuff, so its time to get creative.