This tantalizing cocktail by Jim Kearns—a New York City bartender and the beverage director of Golden Age Hospitality bars—is a smoky and frothy twist on the traditional Whiskey Sour. Already a delicious and popular drink, Kearns adds smoke and extra aromatics with two types of syrup: one, a turbinado and cinnamon syrup, the other made with smoky lapsang souchong tea.
For his take on the classic, Kearns uses Tincup Whiskey. A blend of high-rye bourbon from Indiana and American single malt whiskey from Colorado (where the distillery is located), Tincup is a moderately priced whiskey with large availability. Nevertheless, substituting it for another bourbon, or even rye, is acceptable, especially if you have a high-rye bourbon on hand.
While the final recipe is as easy to throw together as any Whiskey Sour recipe with egg whites, prepping the two syrups is where the bulk of the work lies. The recipe calls for making a large volume of both syrups, and each will last around two weeks in the fridge. Because of this, it’s best to make the drink in large batches—say, for entertaining guests—unless you plan on making a lot throughout the week. The other option, once you’ve made enough Smoky Sours to suit your tastes, is to try the syrups in other drinks. For instance, the smoky tea syrup can add some extra complexity to your favorite Bourbon Old Fashioned recipe, while the cinnamon syrup works well in a number of autumnal cocktails, and pairs well with aged rums in drinks like the Alyssum or the Undead Gentleman.
- 2 ounces Tincup whiskey
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce cinnamon bark syrup*
- 1/4 ounce lapsang souchong tea syrup**
- 1 egg white
Add the whiskey, lemon juice, cinnamon bark syrup, lapsang souchang tea syrup and egg white to a shaker and dry-shake (without ice) vigorously.
Add ice and shake until well-chilled.
Double-strain into a coupe or Nick & Nora glass.
*Cinnamon bark syrup: Add 1 cup turbinado sugar and 1 cup water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then reduce heat and simmer for two minutes. Remove mixture from heat, add 2 cinnamon sticks, and let sit, covered, for at least two hours. Strain into an airtight container. Will keep, refrigerated, for up to two weeks.
**Lapsang souchong tea syrup: add 1 pound turbinado sugar and 2 1/4 cups water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then reduce heat and simmer for two minutes. remove mixture from heat add 1 1/2 Tablespoons (or 3 or 4 tea bags) of double-strength lapsang souchong tea, and let sit, covered, for at least two hours. Strain into an airtight container. Will keep, refrigerated, for up to two weeks.
RAW EGG WARNING
Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.