For example, there’s a ratio of 5:3 when it comes to dough. 5 parts flour to 3 parts liquid (usually water). You add other things to it, such as yeast to make it rise, but the ratio is 5:3. These ratios exist everywhere.
For cocktails, the 2:1:1 ratio. Two parts spirit, one part sweet (simple syrup) and one part sour (lemon). Like bread, you can add other things to it but the base is the same – 2 parts spirit, one part tartness and one part sweetness – you’re good to go.
Have you ever heard of the old rhyme – “one sour, two sweet, three strong, four weak” – that’s a ratio for a punch. Sour and sweet refer to the obvious, strong refers to the alcohol, and four refers to water. Boom – punch ratio.
With the whisky sour, you have the 2:1:1 ratio with some added fun like bitters for aromatics. Garnishes are fun to add a little complexity as well, but don’t go crazy because too many ingredients can muddy the waters.
My friends from Usquaebach sent me this simple recipe (keep an eye out for tasting notes on their whisky soon once I open the bottle!) for a classic Whisky Sour:
- 2 oz. Usquaebach Reserve Premium (or your favorite whisky)
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 1 egg white
- Angostura Bitters
Mix everything in a cocktail shaker and shake like crazy! Then strain into a glass, add two dashes of Angostura Bitters, and garnish with lemon peel and a cherry.