The Whiskey Sour … the name describes it well enough that I don’t need to. While there are multitudes of ways to make it (with an egg white, garnished with a lemon/orange/lime, or with sour mix (blasmphemy)), the basics remain the same: whiskey, lemon, and sugar.
The first time the mention of a Whiskey Sour was written was in Jerry Thomas’s The Bartender’s Guide all the way back in 1862, but it came from an old sailor’s recipe to fend off scurvy … and get a little boozy in the process. Initially the egg wasn’t included, but in Dale DeGroff’s The Essential Cocktail, the egg white is first mentioned as an optional inclusion.
2oz whiskey (your choice)
1oz lemon juice
1/4oz simple syrup (I use demerera syrup)
1 egg white (if a richer texture is desired)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until well chilled (and extra long if including an egg white). Strain over ice and garnish.
Garnish: whole cherry with orange/lemon peel
Glass: double old fashioned glass (if served with ice)
Ice: ice ball or cubes
NOTE: my cocktail turned out much lighter since I used egg white and a large cube.