How did we choose the sugar free whiskey sour?
Before embarking upon our grand quest, we did a fair amount of chatting. Likes, dislikes, taking stock of my bar (non-existent) and Jason’s bar (very functional), and started going over recipes that were easy to translate.
Let’s be honest, we were new at this and we didn’t want to hurt ourselves too much.
At the top of my list of things that I really dislike was the Whiskey Sour. Actually, just about anything with sours mix is total crap, in my opinion. I’m not sure if it is a sweet-to-sour ratio, or what, but it truly does turn my stomach.
Of course, Jason takes this as a challenge and the first drink we ever try is a classic whiskey sour.
*Sugar Free Whiskey Sour
- 2oz Bourbon Whiskey,
- 1oz water
- 1 teaspoon Scott’s sugar free simple syrup
- 1oz ReaLemon
- (**Optional: Red Wine – see below)
This also introduces us to another challenge. The recipe calls for lemon juice. As I mentioned previously, lemons, like all fruit, have carbs and sugars. However, ReaLemon is a product that you can find at almost any grocery store in the juice aisle. It is a zero-carb lemon juice from concentrate that has an equivalent volume to flavor of a real lemon.
On a side note, when mixing drinks, always use fresh ingredients whenever possible. It may cost a little more, but it is more than worth it once the drink is complete. Also, you can cheat and instead of using simple syrup, just mix in an extra ounce of water and a teaspoon of sugar/splenda. It won’t have the same texture as using the syrup, but it should be equivalently sweet.
Being the first time we tried this, Jason made a simple lemon/sugar mix versus a ReaLemon/Splenda mix (one teaspoon sweetener plus one ounce liquid) in order to test flavor profiles. While it is not the same as fresh squeezed lemon juice, the ReaLemon/Splenda is remarkably close in flavor profile. Close enough to do the job.
Making the drink is remarkably simple. Just pour all the components into a shaker, add ice, put the lid on your shaker, give it 5-10 seconds of shaking, and strain into your glass of choice.
And now that the regular and diet versions were complete, it was time to drink!
I have to say, it was delicious. It is amazing what a difference a quality version of bourbon and fresh ingredients make (versus those crappy sours mixes). The tartness was balanced very well with the sweet and it wasn’t too boozy in flavor. In fact, it’s since become one of my go-to drinks when I don’t want to put a lot of effort into a drink and can be easily made by just estimating volumes. However, if you want it done right, measure!
**I try and stay away from all wines. For whatever reason, the sugar involved messes with my blood sugars. However, for all you imbibers out there without the dietary restrictions or those that don’t have the same sugar problems that I do, a classy (and tasty) option is to take a little bit of red wine and float it on the top. You do this by taking a bar spoon (or a teaspoon) and turning it upside down. Then carefully pour a little of the wine onto the spoon, directing the flow on the top of the drink to make a layer of wine. This is more difficult than it seems and may require some practice before getting it right. If it fails and mixes, oh well, just drink it and try again!
And as a side note, if you prefer, rye whiskey can be substituted for bourbon. It does change the profile, but playing with it is part of the fun!
*The original recipe was found in Imbibe! magazine.