Wet Bar Wednesday – Amaretto Sour

One of the fun things in mixing drinks is seeking balance.  Finding just the right combination of sweet and sour or salty and sweet can be frustrating or enjoyable, depending on how you look at it. 

In a typical bar, bartenders rely on a prefab sweet and sour mix to do balance a sweet liquor.  To balance a more bitter liquor (like tequila, or Campari) use something like triple sec (or grenadine, or a white or dark soda).  You can buy all of these things pre-mixed and bottled at any well-stocked liquor store.  They’re adequate, but frankly nasty.    It’s just as easy (and cheaper and fresher) to make your own from a combination of fresh squeezed lemons and a sweetener (I use agave syrup, but you can use sugar or even honey or maple syrup – experiment!).  For margaritas and other drinks that need sweetened lime juice, swap out the lemons for limes.   
If you hear a drink with the word sour in the title, this usually means a blend of the stated liquor with a sweet and sour mixture.  You can also just swap out straight lemon juice (or lime if you prefer) instead of a sweetened version.  A whiskey sour, then, is a mixture of whiskey and lemon juice (or sweet and sour mixture).  A popular variation on this is called Lynchburg Lemonade, so-named because it is supposed to use Jack Daniels.  Sometimes you can find these pre-bottled at a liquor store in the refrigerated section near the beer.  
The other night I tried an amaretto sour.  Mix fresh lemon juice with amaretto.  In what proportion?  Depends on what you like.  I used three ounces of amaretto and the juice of half a medium sized lemon.  Stirred in some ice and it was perfect.  If it’s not to your liking, add more amaretto to sweeten it or lemon juice to tarten it up a bit.  It’s a very well-balanced drink that’s easy to make.

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