You know what I love drinking this time of year? Sours. Any kind of sour, really. A Whiskey Sour with a little orange marmalade on a warm, cloudy spring day makes me just as happy as drinking a French 75 on a bright, sunny Sunday morning. Who am I kidding, actually, I love a sour pretty much any time of year.
One of my favorite styles of sour might just be what Gary Regan, in his groundbreaking book The Joy of Mixology, refers to as an International Sour. What differentiates an International Sour from a normal sour is the use of a liqueur, instead of just sugar to bring sweetness to the party.
I’d only known of the Sidecar, Margarita, and Cosmopolitan when I stumbled upon Gary’s new way of looking at cocktail families such as the sour and International Sour. But within those pages I learned of a variety of new drinks, such as the Pegu Club and the White Lady.
But then I started thinking about a drink I’d long been enamored with, Paul Harrington’s modern classic the Jasmine. I’d first learned of the drink in the late 1990s when I discovered it in Harrington’s seminal work of the modern cocktail renaissance, Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century. But it wasn’t until I read an interview with the creator of the drink and learned that he’d based the drink on the Pegu Club, it all made sense.
Of course I loved the Jasmine, it’s nothing more than an International Sour! With apologies to the creator of the cocktail, I eventually tweaked the proportions to fall more in line with the classic International Sour proportions, but I think it still makes for a damn fine drink. Try one and dare to tell me it’s not a perfect drink for Spring.
Adapted from a recipe by Paul Harrington
• 1½ oz. gin
• 1 oz. Cointreau
• ¾ oz. lemon juice
• 1 tsp. Campari
Combine ingredients and shake with ice cubes. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Jeffrey Morgenthaler is the bar manager at Pépé le Moko and Clyde Common, the acclaimed gastropub at the Ace Hotel in Portland, Oregon. He is also author of The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique.
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