A few weeks ago I found myself in Milk and Honey and unsure what to drink. Not through lack of options you understand, the Milk and Honey menu has a great selection of delicious drinks ranging from Red Hooks to Fish House Punches, but rather through indecision. When in this predicament I usually defer my choice to the bartender in the hope he’ll come back with something tasty and unusual, and thankfully in a bar like Milk and Honey I’m rarely disappointed.
On this occasion, after asking for something rye-based, classic, and strong, the bartender returned with a Dizzy Sour, an interesting play on the standard sour family of drinks. Aside from a passing mention in Imbibe! I haven’t been able to find great deal of information on the drink. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to ask the bartender for the recipe he used, but Imbibe! provides a basic ingredient list and with a little experimentation I believe the following is a pretty decent approximation…
- 1½ shots / 45 ml / 1½ oz rye or bourbon whisky
- ¾ shot / 22.5 ml / ¾ oz fresh egg white
- ½ shot / 15 ml / ½ oz lemon juice
- 2 bar-spoons Bénédictine
- 1½ bar-spoons sugar syrup
- ½ shot / 15 ml / ½ oz dark rum
- Shake all ingredients except the rum hard with ice. Strain in to an ice-filled old-fashioned glass and float the rum on top. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and add a straw.
My usual choice of rye for mixing is Rittenhouse Bonded, but I found it to be a little too bold for this drink so I recommended something a little softer like Sazerac or even a spicier bourbon like Buffalo Trace. It’s also worth using a reasonable dark rum as the float makes itself fairly noticable – I used Goslings Black Seal and while I’m no rum expert I find it works nicely.
When I first started trying to work out a recipe I neglected to include the egg white, and while the drink tasted okay it wasn’t the great cocktail I had in the bar. Remembering Milk and Honey’s habit of adding egg whites to sours I added some to my recipe and the drink was transformed. A full egg is a little too much, yielding a texture that is a bit too creamy and frothy, but ¾ oz, or roughly half a medium egg, is just the right amount to lend a smooth texture and help tie all the ingredients together.
On first sip the Dizzy Sour is little more than a slightly jazzed up Whiskey Sour, the Bénédictine providing a little extra interest but nothing much to shout about. However, as you drink the cocktail the rum slowly works its way in to the mixture, gradually creating a more and more complex flavour. The deep, aromatic notes from the rum really make the drink, and while I suppose you could just shake all the ingredients to begin with the gradual development of the cocktail is something I enjoy.
Be careful though – the Dizzy Sour is deceptively strong and after a few of these its you that may well be the dizzy one…
If you liked this, the barman recommends...