This week I ventured into the realm of cocktail sours. (Note the “s” – there’s something out there in publand called Sourz, which Wikipedia tells me is some kind of fruit liqueur. As it only seems to have started up in 2008, it definitely doesn’t meet the classic cocktail remit of CotW.)
Sours are a subset of the alcohol-and-mixer variety of cocktails that I’ve mentioned previously, with the common characteristic that the mixer is lemon juice – not lemonade or lemon cordial – lemon juice. Needless to say, this can make for a somewhat tart drinking experience.
The most famous of the sours is arguably the whiskey sour, where I imagine the sweetness of the bourbon offsets the lemon juice – this is one I might try in a later week.
But the one I chose for this week was the White Lady – a potent mixture of gin, Cointreau and lemon juice.
Some claim it was another invention of Harry MacElhone of Harry’s New York Bar, mentioned in my Paris Special. Others say it was invented at the Savoy in London in the early 30’s. It features in a John LeCarre novel and it was the favourite cocktail of Laurel and Hardy. It’s definitely a classic.
1 msr gin
1 msr Cointreau
1 msr lemon juice
Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add ingredients to shaker, shake vigorously and pour.
(It should be served in a cocktail glass, but I’d run out of cocktail glasses…)
This is an acerbic cocktail – the Cointreau actually emphasises the tartness of the lemon juice, rather than subduing it. But it is a sour and if you like sour tastes, you can’t do any better than this.