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Questions and Answers | Whiskey Sour

Kagiso, one of the most vivid readers of my blog had a couple of questions on the whiskey sour post.

So lets get directly down to it:
  • [...]
the 'perfect' sour- the whiskey..i have always prefered JD over all - #7 or single barrel. it is more rich more to my taste, however - issue of high alcohol is a daunting one. Im not one for high proof spirits, it seems to me that high content of spirit downgrades the overall experience. [...] could it be that the spirit is over whelming? 

In my [maybe not so] humble opinion, there is nothing like a too strong whiskey. We are not talking high-proof rum - we are talking about a natural strength bourbon. To be honest, conceptual I don't like Jack Daniel's - not because it is a very bad product, but there is nothing such as value for money. If the "Old No. 7" would be half the price, it would be really ok.

To the rich flavor: the higher the alcohol percentage in spirits, the less is the dilution. Higher proof whiskeys hence include less water, that means more flavor.

And if you are preparing a Whiskey Sour, as it supposed to be prepared [shake it like you stole it], you will have enough dilution at the end, that the alcohol doesn't overpower the drink. A Booker's Sour might be suitable only for hardcore whiskey fans [after all Booker's sports 63% abv] however an Elijah Craig has 47% or Knob Creek or Baker's have 50% - which is the perfect alcohol for drinks like a sour.

1.2 - lemons - where can you find 'mayfair lemons' never heard of them before, what is so special.... I usually throw in 3 lemon slices in the shaker for the oils - i just like to have more citrus in my drinks (magaritas daiquiris etc.) is the a rule against this? meaning is it accepted in the making of "Classics"?

Meyer's lemons are totally trendy in the US - especially California, where they are grown. They are a bit bigger, juicier than normal lemons and have a wonderful aromatic taste, which might remind you on mandarines. Don't even try to get these in the Middle East. 
Your method to add lemon slices, is unique - not necessary classic, but I would give you the absolution [if you are using fresh squeezed lemon juice]. Just be a bit carefully, as lemon slices also have the white pith, which could incorporate bitterness into the drink.

If you would like to play save, just add cleaned lemon twists.

1.3 - the egg- not so experienced in its use, made only two drinks , my egg nog and a ramos gin fizz...query is how long it takes to go bad? since its very cold.
Also, what about different eggs to yield different results? ie: quail egg . The last worldclass winner used it. Any views on it?

I think using other eggs than hen eggs is simply a show off. Quail eggs are smaller - thats it - duck or goose eggs are richer, which you don't really like to have in drinks. Overall you are looking not for the taste, but for texture.
If you are using hen eggs, they keep for a long time [just don't keep them in the warm bar surrounding].
Best is anyway to use organic eggs, as they are less susceptible to salmonella.
You can use UHT egg white [in tetra packs] - though I just would keep those for a couple of days. I don't trust a tetra pack that much :)

What ever you are using - you have to be aware of the cursed wet dog smell... some guests don't recognize it - some do...

For the 1:1 simple syrup, I am rather a fan to keep it concentrated. As the [good] bourbon vs. Tennessee, simple syrup incorporates only additional water - you are diluting the drink additionally. The idea of using syrup instead of caster sugar [which is also a more laborious solution] is, that it dissolves much easier in a cold liquid. Rich syrup is dissolving as good as simple syrup - so why adding additional water?

1.4 - i use a 1;1 syrup with a small orange and lemon peel (again i like citrus). I have never went wrong with that, it permissible right, for me it just adds an underlying 'zing'. that cant be bad can it?

It can't! I would be cautious - that the citrus flavors are not dominating the drink. At least in this drink, it would be not the optimum.

or this particular drink,same sugar they use in pastry to preserve lemons for later use. can it pass?

Not sure, what kind of sugar they use to preserve the lemons [glucose?]. 
Normal sugar is fine - fructose [fruit sugar] is an very interesting solution, as it taste as good as sugar [a bit less round mouthfeel] but dissolves much better in cold liquid. You can use it instead of syrup.

and ageing lemon juice? really? very skeptical on that - did you try this before? i just sometimes dry shake it - thats just about it.

Aging is a bit a stretch description. It is just keeping the lemon juice for a couple of hours [but not as long as 10 hours], which has a oxidizing effect, which apparently impresses in blind tests. 
Now, I've already mentioned it in my post: it is not practical to "rest" [better?] lemon juice, except you have a scheduled event.
Fresh lemon juice is still far superior to your prepressed fresh lemon juice [we call it Barakat] or concentrate [God forbid].

Lastly- garnish, why cherry if nothing else goes in? never got that. 2 slices of lemon is adequate enough i think.
also- as a side line,in the pic you used - it looks like a stone or morrelo cherry - would it not be tart to some extent? when fresh or rather young. ** dried cherries steeped in alcohol,say cherry eux di vie,vodka or more daring the southern comfort cherry. Do you think it can pass as a more delectable replacement for cherry based garnishes? as opposed to the bottled maraschino cherries
.
wow...thats a mouthful,yet some left unsaid...smile

Garnish is just a decision of taste - and apparently you cannot really argue over taste.
The picture was apparently not my own - but for the records: I am a big fan of amarena cherries. They are sweet and the almond notes are complimenting a good American straight whiskey - last but not least the texture is also very good. There is only one backside: the price - they are really expensive [however - you use one cherry per cocktail... and you can use the syrup for cocktails as well].
The reconstituted [brandies] cherries: would be possible - however don't use a cherry eau de vie- as the taste would not really fit with a whiskey drink [you could use whiskey or brandy] - overall I am not a big fan of the texture and the looks.

Two lemon slices? If it looks pretty - why not. 
Like said, I am a sucker for the citrus flag - orange, lemon and cherry - again - this is only me.

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