Before starting my mixology self-education, I associated drinks with “sour” in the name as an efficient way to get sorority girls drunk. I have since learned that not all drinks with sour in the name need to contain cheap booze and dreadful sour mix. Done well, sours offer the delightful combination of booze, sugar, and citrus. One of my favorite cocktails, the bramble, is a basic gin sour with a shot of blackberry liqueur. Hence, a good whiskey sour is made of decent whiskey or bourbon (2 ounces), fresh squeezed lemon juice (1 ounce) and simple syrup (1/2 ounce).

Just a warning to boozy gelatin fans: This recipe is not for the meek. It is strong, strong stuff. I made it for my friend Dave’s birthday party, and even that bourbon-loving crowd commented on the boozy strength.  Consider using shot-sized molds, or cutting the gelatin into tiny squares. Also, to cut down on the sharp boozy taste, substitute some water for the alcohol, or use a higher quality whiskey. A smooth whiskey results in a smooth gelatin mold.

Whiskey Sour (3.5 cups)

  • 2 packets Knox gelatin
  • ½ cup water (for blooming)
  • ¾ water
  • ½ cup sugar (or to taste)
  • Juice of one lemon (approx. ¼ cup) with zest reserved
  • 1 ¾ cup bourbon

Put ½ cup of water in a medium bowl and sprinkle the 2 packets of gelatin on top.  Set bowl aside. Put water, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a low boil until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add lemon zest. Let stew for 10-minutes. Strain the lemon syrup, and return to saucepan. Reheat the syrup, and pour over the bloomed gelatin. Stir until gelatin dissolves. Stir in bourbon. Spoon mixture into mold(s). Put in refrigerator until set, at least 4 hours. Serve with maraschino cherries.

If you want to put cherries in the mold, put mixture in refrigerator (or freezer) until thickened to a soft gel consistency. It should be easy to stir but thick enough to suspend the cherries. Stir in cherries and spoon mixture into mold(s). Put in refrigerator until set, at least 4 hours.

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