New York Sour is a classic cocktail popularized in New York City speakeasies during prohibition. This is a simple variation of the Whiskey Sour with a float of red wine on top. It can be reasoned that the cap of red wine was added to camouflage the taste of bad whiskey that was common during prohibition. At the time this was a wildly popular drink consumed by people “in the know”, not only because of the taste but because of the fancy red cap on top. A chicago bartender who was interviewed in 1883 stated “men who drink our sours expect a claret at every bar, and when it is not put in they ask for it.” (in saloons during those times red wine was referred to as claret). It took until the early 1900’s for the sour with claret to get the name New York Sour.
This sour is dry (from the Tannins in the wine) with a crisp acidity which makes it a great cocktail to pair with food. At first it tastes similar to a Sangria but with more of a kick as the rye comes through. I decided to use a Zenato Ripassa Valpolicella, one of my favourites, this medium bodied wines has just the right amount a ripe fruit to stand up to the rye and lemon juice.
If you would like to give it a try follow the recipe below or come to The Bicycle Thief and we would be happy to make you one. Cheers
New York Sour: 2oz Rye Whiskey, 3/4oz Lemon Juice, 3/4oz Simple Syrup (1:1)
Shake and strain into a rocks glass with ice, carefully float 3/4oz Dry Red Wine over a spoon on top of the drink. Garnish with a orange slice and cherry. Enjoy!