Classic 1860s Brandy Sour


While a standard American style sour is most likely as old as the country itself, it actually traces its origins to the Age of Exploration. In the mid 1500s the Spanish Navy began preserving concentrated lime juice in high proof spirits that could last on long voyages as medication to fight prevent scurvy. These medications were known for being super sour and not tasting good. In the early 1800s there attempts at improving these into actually good drinks and one of these is the standard Sour cocktail of 2 oz base spirit, 1 oz citrus, and 1/2 oz simple syrup. This standard recipe still has its roots in the overly sour medication but by reducing the citrus by 1/3, you end up with a tastier product. Please enjoy this early brandy sour pulled from the 1862 edition of the Bar-Tenders guide by Jerry Thomas.

Brandy Sour with Egg Whites
Brandy Sour with Egg Whites

Brandy Sour With Egg Whites Cocktail recipe

  • 30 mls (1 oz) Egg Whites
  • 20 mls (2/3 oz) Lemon Juice
  • 15 mls (1/2 oz) Simple Syrup
  • 60 mls (2 oz) Brandy

Combine all ingredients except for the soda water in the shaker. Shake dry for 30 second – egg foams better when it is not cold. Now add ice to the shaker. Vigorously shake again till the shaker is ice cold and frosted. Strain into glass to remove ice shards.

ABV = 19%

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