David A. Embury opened his epochal “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks” with these words: “Anyone can make good cocktails.” It’s clear that you don’t need to be a genius to do it, and I have often proven that point through some very non-genius behavior. Most recently, I seem to be unable to read a calendar, because I’ve been congratulating myself that today’s dandy Irish whiskey-based recipe would be just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. It was only when it was much too late that I realized this week’s DOTW post would be appearing on March 18th.
Anyhow, today’s drink does indeed come to us directly from Mr. Embury’s 1948 classic. It’s basically just a very simple take on a Whiskey Sour using Irish whiskey. Still, these very specific proportions seem to suit perhaps the most weirdly underused of all the most popular base spirits.
Indeed, I really don’t see any reason at all why Irish whiskey isn’t used more often. At least to my palette, its always agreeable taste profile is a hair less mellow than Canadian whiskey but definitely gentler and far more easily mixable than Scotch. It definitely works in my personal prescription for any lingering post-St. Paddy’s depression.
The Gloom Lifter
1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup or 1 1/4 teaspoons superfine sugar
1/2 ounce egg white (1 ounce of packaged egg white)
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice. First, shake the ingredients to properly emulsify the egg white, being careful to keep a good seal while you do so; the albumin in egg white can make for a potentially messy chemical reaction on the so-called dry shake. Next, add ice and shake vigorously. Embury tells us that 15 seconds is about the right amount of time for most drinks. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and contemplate how perfect this drink might be on March 17, 2017… which will fall on a Friday, so I’ll presumably be right on time for a change with a holiday-appropriate beverage.