Simplest Craft Cocktails, Recipes from the Lab

The World's Simplest Craft Cocktails - Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour

When we think about the oldest "old school" cocktails, one that is making a welcomed resurgence is the Whiskey Sour.  For what seemed like, well, way too long, some people (including some who called themselves 'bartenders') had been using fluorescent green and yellow "sour mix" that only had the word 'sour' in common with lemons (as it is doubtful any real juice was an ingredient). This was a crime and if you are still guilty of the mass produced "sour mix" usage, step away from it immediately.

For too long people thought that it took too long to make a good cocktail. Those days are gone, and we're here to help increase your craft cocktail IQ.

The Whiskey Sour was first documented in the 1862 book The Bartender’s Guide by Jerry Thomas, it is thought to have existed over a century earlier making it one of the oldest "old school" cocktails. This cocktail that your grandfather's grandfather may have enjoyed has been revived and recrafted by smoking honey over bourbon barrel staves to impart a unique smokiness. Bitter orange peel and fresh lemon juice give us a tart a smoky cocktail that is amazingly complex and of course simple to craft. Let do this!

Shaker, strainerdouble old-fashioned glass1 oz./½ oz. jigger, Whiskey Ice Co. Spherical Ice Ball Maker

1½ ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
1½ ounce Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour cocktail starter
1 ice ball from your Whiskey Ice Co. Spherical Ice Ball Maker
Strip of lemon peel for garnish

Step 1:  Pour the Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour cocktail starter syrup, and the bourbon or rye whiskey into a shaker with a some ice cubes, and shake for about 25 to 30 seconds (which, as you know is about the length of time it takes to form an ice ball with the spherical ice ball maker).

Step 2: Place your ice ball into your double old-fashioned glass and strain whiskey mixture over top.

Step 3: To garnish, squeeze lemon a twist over cocktail to release oils into the glass.

You have now become a part of history, well not so much history as created a new spin on one of the world's oldest cocktails.

Variations to round out your craft cocktail repertoire:

  • Replace the whiskey with tequila for a Smokey Honey Margarita  
  • Add ¾ ounces mezcal and ¾ ounces tequila, squeeze of lime juice and grated nutmeg over the top for The Secret Keeper

Always enjoy responsibly and use your new powers wisely.