Class in a Glass: The New York Sour


The New York Sour at Bazaar Meat, $16. |Photo by Jon Estrada

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I dropped a pretty penny on 2015 travel plans: ski resorts, the Caribbean, Italy. Foremost on the itinerary, however, is my annual visit home to New York. And it couldn’t come soon enough. The Empire State has been on my mind even more than usual this season, what with the New York Sour popping up on menus all over town—Bazaar Meat in SLS and Oak & Ivy in Container Park offering two of my favorites.

Why this sudden interest in the classic drink? Maybe it was that casual mention of it in Season 4 of Boardwalk Empire. Like its brother in booze, Mad Men, the show has had a tremendous influence on how we’re drinking and dressing right now. The drink actually dates to pre-Prohibition times, and there’s so much to love about it: a whiskey sour topped with a float of wine—that’s it! It refreshes in summertime, and warms the soul in winter. And the ombre effect as the wine float delicately mingles with the sour below is a hypnotic storm in a glass. Just know that your choice of wine determines the overall flavor once the drink is stirred: Opt for jammy and fruit-forward wines over racy, earthy or tannic.

Truth be told, the New York Sour was purportedly first created in Chicago. But I’ll let that one go.

New York Sour
In a cocktail shaker, combine 2 ounces rye whiskey or bourbon, ¾ ounce simple syrup, 1 ounce fresh lemon juice and 1 egg white. Add ice, cover, shake and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Using the back of a bar spoon, float ½–¾ ounce red wine on the top.


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