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Thyme-infused Meyer Lemon Rye Whiskey Sour

The Whiskey Sour is a cocktail as old as thyme  er…  time.  In truth, the first printed mention of this beverage appears to be from the late 1800s. 

The International Bartender’s Association lists the recipe as:

·         3 parts bourbon whiskey

·         2 parts fresh lemon juice

·         1 part simple syrup

·         Dash egg white (optional)

Fast forward to the craft cocktail movement, and let’s look at a twist on this old favorite.

We’ll start with the lemon and go Meyer.  Meyer lemons tone down the tartness and acidity of regular lemons, but still maintain plenty of lemony sweetness.  Next, we’ll follow one of the major cocktail trends and add an herb, in this case, thyme.  Lastly, I’ll recommend using a rye whiskey here, for the dry spiciness, and more restrained sweetness compared to a bourbon.

The first step is to construct the thyme-infused simple syrup.  1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, generous bunch of thyme sprigs, bring to a heavy simmer to dissolve the sugar, simmer for 5 minutes, remove from heat and let the thyme steep for 20 minutes.  Strain and you are good to go.  You can stash this in the fridge for a couple weeks.

Now let’s build this thing…

·         1 ½ oz. Rye Whiskey

·         1 oz. Meyer lemon juice

·         ¾ oz. thyme simple syrup

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and do that shaky-shake thing.  Pour over ice in a cocktail glass and garnish with Meyer lemon twist and sprig of thyme. 

If you prefer more sweetness, simply up the syrup to a full ounce or more, but start with this ratio and adjust as your palete prefers.