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March signals the return of spring and the chance to enjoy lighter and fresher cocktails. Just because a drink is lighter and fresher doesn’t mean you have to put away the winter whiskey yet – try a whiskey sour. This example of the classic “sours” category of cocktails is really a boozy lemonade and easy to put together at home. You want to include sweet and sour in your drink which is easily accomplished by making homemade sour mix. While there are commercial sour mixes available, the difference is ten-fold and easily identified. At the same time, adding a little fruit to your cocktail can make it lighter, tastier, and certainly prettier. This Raspberry Bourbon Sour is the answer to your spring cocktail cravings.
First, make a sour mix. A sour mix is a combination of sweet and sour components to add to a cocktail. Sweetness is brought by making a simple syrup, familiar to sweet tea aficionados the world around. The sour part of the mix is from freshly squeezed citrus juice. For this sour mix, using two different kinds of citrus will give the flavor more range and mixability such as in a margarita. To make the Raspberry Sour mix, first you will make a raspberry simple syrup and the add the citrus juice.
Raspberry Simple Syrup
Remember the fruit sugars that we made with freeze-dried fruit? These sugars will now become part of your cocktail arsenal to create flavored simple syrups. A simple syrup is a combination of sugar and water that more easily mixes into cocktails than granulated sugar. You can shake sugar and water in a jar if you want a workout, but it is a lot easier to make simple syrup on the stove. A simple syrup will be described as a ratio of sugar to water, so a 1:1 simple syrup is one part water to one part sugar while a 2:1 simple syrup is two parts sugar to one part water. This recipe is for a 1:1 syrup, but if you like your drinks sweeter you can certainly make this into a 2:1 syrup.
1 cup raspberry sugar
1 cup water
Yields: about 1 1/4 cup
Combine the raspberry sugar and water in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Boil for 3-4 minutes being careful that it doesn’t foam up too much. If you see it foaming too much because of the raspberry, reduce the heat.
Remove from heat, strain to remove the raspberry bits, and let cool.
If not immediately making cocktails,store in a clean bottle or jar for up to a week in the refrigerator. If you add a shot of vodka or other full strength alcohol, it should last a month or more in the refrigerator.
Raspberry Sour Mix
To make your raspberry sour mix, or flavor base, it will be a simple combination of freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice with the Raspberry Simple Syrup. The addition of the lime juice adds another dimension to this sour mix and creates deeper flavors than if you just use lemon juice.
1 cup raspberry simple syrup
1 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a jar or bowl.
Shake or stir until combined.
Raspberry Bourbon Sour
2 oz Bourbon
3 oz Raspberry Sour Mix
Orange slice and raspberry to garnish
Combine bourbon and sour mix in a shaker tin two-thirds full of ice.
Shake to combine ingredients.
Strain into an ice-filled collins or highball glass.
Top with club soda and stir two or three times.
In case you are the designated driver, or just want a refreshing raspberry lemonade, combine equal parts Raspberry Sour Mix with water over ice, and garnish with a sprig of mint for an anytime treat.
Joel DiPippa Is A Cocktailian And Lover Of Drinks. He Blogs About Cocktails, Food, And Menswear At SouthernAsh.Com.