The sour as a style of drink goes back to the mid 1850s and was covered in Jerry Thomas’ “How to Mix Drinks” in 1862. I found a crazy tale about an Englishman creating the whiskey sour in Peru in 1872 as reported by an Argentinian newspaper in 1962, but that seems a little far from home for a simple bourbon based drink to come to life. Fortunately, the famous Wisconsin paper, the Waukesha Plaindealer, mentioned the Whiskey Sour on January 4th 1870; returning this American classic to its rightful home.
I like my whiskey sour heavier on the prior and lighter on the latter so proceed with caution. This is also one of the few times I have found Colin Field and David Embury in agreement on the proportions. Start with one ounce of fresh squeezed meyer lemon juice in a shaker. Add two teaspoons of superfine sugar. Lastly, add four ounces of your favorite whiskey, Gentleman Jack works for me. This is only the second time I have condoned using them, but the bright red color of maraschino cherries shows through the drink like a ruby red setting sun, place three of them in an old fashioned glass then fill with ice. Fill the shaker with ice and give it a good shake to make sure the sugar dissolves. Strain into the ice filled glass and serve. I have been asked about building it in the glass instead of shaking the drink; it can be done this way, but the shaking better dissolves the sugar and adds a slight froth from the agitation which I think makes for a better drink. You can also add a dash or two of bitters to this drink if you are feeling adventurous!
4 oz whiskey
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp superfine sugar
Combine all ingredients with ice in a shaker, strain into an ice filled old fashioned glass.