Yes, You Can Also Make Your Whiskey Sour With Sherry
One last drink for lower-proof January.
January isn’t quite over, so let’s close out the month with one more lower proof cocktail: a Whiskey Sour made with sherry.
This drink works from the same underlying theory as the Sherry Margarita we made earlier in the month, in which sherry takes over for a higher proof spirit: Structurally, it’s just a basic whiskey sour — with two ounces of base ingredient, plus three-quarters of an ounce each of fresh lemon juice and rich simple syrup.
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The key difference is that instead of two full ounces of whiskey in the base, this version uses just a half ounce of whiskey and an ounce and a half of sherry. The total booze volume is the same, but most of it is lower proof stuff, resulting in a far less alcoholic drink.
In this case, the sherry is oloroso. Just as fino and manzanilla sherry turn out to be surprisingly effective swaps for unaged tequila or mezcal in a Margarita, oloroso sherry — a dry sherry with a heavier body — does a pretty good whiskey impression. A bit of Angostura Aromatic bitters rounds out the drink, adding spice and complexity.
For the whiskey, your house bourbon will almost certainly do. But if you’re looking for a specific recommendation, I am quite fond of Wild Turkey 101 and Evan Williams Bonded-in-Bond (White Label) in this format.
For the sherry, I’ve been using Hidalgo Faraón, but modestly priced bottles from Lustau and Sandeman will also work.
The result is a drink that is a little more acidic, and a little lighter on its feet compared to its predecessor — but one that retains the bold-sweet-sour character of a classic Whiskey Sour.
Sherry Whiskey Sour
1 dash Angostura Aromatic Bitters
¾ ounce rich (2:1) simple syrup
¾ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ ounce bourbon
1 ½ ounce oloroso sherry
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
Add ice, then shake until chilled.
Strain into a rocks glass over a single large piece of ice.