According to Brian Petro from alcoholprofessor.com, there are some historians that believe the sour category is a scaled down version of the basic punch. It has the elements of “one sour, two sweet, three strong, four weak” that a classic punch has, but in an individual serving size. The proportions are a bit off, but you get the idea. The base spirit is always the dominant flavor. The sugar needs the juice and water or soda to help dissolve the sugar. The citrus should be just present enough to balance out the sweetness of the sugar. Gum syrup (or simple syrup) was later substituted for the sugar and water in some recipes, which is easier to blend into the cocktail.
Whiskey Sour Recipe:
1 OUNCES BOURBON
3/4 OUNCE LEMON JUICE
3/4 OUNCE SIMPLE SYRUP
½ OUNCE OR 1 SMALL EGG WHITE (OPTIONAL)
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, and dry shake. Add ice to the shaker and shake well. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass, or over ice into a rocks glass.
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