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Fixes & Sours

If a drinker’s only experience with the sour or its close cousin, the fix, were a cocktail made with sweet-and-sour mix instead of the traditional lemon and sugar, it would be easy to understand why said drinker would avoid this classic. Instead of the bright, zesty flavor that the well-heeled set might have enjoyed in New York’s Waldorf Astoria in the 1920s, sweet-and-sour mix creates a cloying, acidic taste that demonstrates why using freshly squeezed citrus is so important.

Fixes and sours both date back to the mid 19th century, when fresh citrus was the only option and ice was a relatively new luxury. A sour is generally a base spirit combined with lemon juice, sugar, and sometimes an egg white, and the fix contains the same ingredients but is garnished with seasonal fruit and sometimes fruit syrup. Both are usually shaken vigorously to provide a frothy layer once they’re strained into a rocks glass.

However, for the classic version, as well as for these modern twists, it’s best to avoid squeezing the citrus ahead of time. "The problem with the citrus juice especially is that as soon as you squeeze them, they start to oxidize, so the flavor is going to change over time," says Rosario.

KENTUCKY MONK 
By Francesco Lafranconi
11/2 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. Green Chartreuse liqueur
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. honey syrup*
1/2 oz. fresh or
pasteurized egg white (optional)

Vigorously shake all in-gredients with ice. Strain into an ice-filled double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel and lemon verbena. (*To make honey syrup, bring 1 cup of honey and 1/2 cup of water to a boil. Cool completely and store at room temperature in an airtight glass container.)

GUAVA LEHUA TWIST
By Chandra Lam
11/2 oz. gin
3/4 oz. Orchid guava liqueur
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. pineapple syrup*

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain over crushed ice in a stemmed glass. Garnish with an orchid, berries, and lime wheels. (*To make pineapple syrup, bring 2 cups cold water, one slightly beaten egg white, and 6 cups granulated sugar to a boil over medium-high heat until clear. Allow to boil for 10 minutes, stir in pineapple juice, bring to a boil again. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.)

INCA MAMA
By Francesco Lafranconi
11/2 oz. Peruvian pisco
1 oz. Orchid guava liqueur
11/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. agave nectar
1/2 oz. fresh or
pasteurized egg white (optional)

Vigorously shake all in-gredients with ice. Strain into an ice-filled double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with lime zest.

RECOMMENDED SPIRITS:
Bulleit Bourbon
BarSol Primero Pisco
Tanqueray Rangpur Gin
Hendrick’s Gin

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Photo by Richard Carleton Hacker
Photo by Packshot Factory
Photo copyright by Laurence Winram studio
Photo by Cordero Studios