Southerners who are worth their salt know one thing for sure — regardless of what the calendar reads, there’s basically only two seasons here. Those are summer and Christmas.
Spring might sprout for a couple of days around March. Fall might peep out for a day or two in November. Then of course, there’s that annual cold snap (which may or may not fall on Dec. 25, yet is still indicative of the season).
Otherwise, it’s basically the same: Heat and humidity. This reality certainly impacts the clothes we wear, but it also plays a roll in the libations we imbibe. While a refreshing margarita is a welcome treat throughout the year, a stout whiskey and Coca Cola just doesn’t have the same appeal whilst one is sweating.
But there is a way to incorporate some fall and winter flavors regardless of what the mercury reads. For Susan Bates, the owner of Tipsy McSway’s in downtown Brunswick, the solution is easy — a whiskey sour.
“It’s a really great drink for summer because it’s cool and has that tartness to it. But the whiskey takes it into fall. You can really have it whenever you like,” she said. “It’s a good transitional drink.”
Today, this simplistic cocktail often includes only the basics — whiskey, simple syrup and lemon juice. Bates prefers the traditional method, which includes an egg white.
“The egg white makes it different. It just brings a frothiness and gives it such a nice texture,” she said, holding an egg between her index finger and thumb.
The egg is a piece that many places forgo for the sake of time. Often, patrons don’t want to wait for the bartender to do the delicate dance of extracting the egg white. Bates, however, feels that all good things take a little time. That’s also true when it comes to the juices used in all of their cocktails.
“We squeeze all of our own juices, and I love the fact that when people come here they know that. (The staff) squeezes every single day, they’re squeezing fools,” she said with a laugh.
“For the whiskey sour, we use fresh lemon juice that we make here. We also make our own sour mix from lime juice. You can really taste the difference.”
That is also key when it comes to the spirits being used. Bates and her team prefer 1792 Bourbon, which takes the cocktail to another level.
“It’s really important to use good bourbon. We like this 1792, it’s a single batch. If you’re going to make a cocktail, you should do it right,” she said.
Tipsy’s Whiskey Sour
2 oz of bourbon (Tipsy’s uses 1792 Bourbon)
3⁄4 oz fresh lemon juice
3⁄4 oz simple syrup
1⁄2 egg white
To make Tipsy’s Whiskey Sour, carefully extract the egg white, cracking the egg and shifting the yoke between the shell pieces. Allow the white to fall into a container.
Next, take a shaker filled with ice. Drop the egg white onto the ice. Add the lemon juice and simple syrup. Close the shaker and shake vigorously for a good minute or two.
Place ice in a cocktail glass. Strain the mixture over the ice. Garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry.