Today’s Quarantine Whiskey Sour is the Blackberry Sunset Whiskey Sour. When I’m working on a sour, I often start the process by looking at what I have on hand. Right now, I’ve got some lonely blackberries in the freezer that were calling out to me to be made into simple syrup. One of my favorites, blackberry simple syrup, can be used for cocktails as well as waffles, pancakes and ice cream. It can even be used as a sweet finish to some baked salmon or a lovely filet.
With fruit-based simple syrups you can either use a cold process or a cooked process to create them. For me, I adore the taste of a blackberry cobbler with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, so for blackberries, I used a cooked simple syrup to mimic the taste of those cooked berries in the cobbler. If I’m making a strawberry simple, I prefer a cold process as I prefer the taste of fresh strawberries over cooked berries.
For me, a cocktail is all about personal preference. I can make what I like, but it works even better if I give you options to adjust a recipe to make one that you will love. So, for this blackberry whiskey sour, if you’ve got some blackberries, you decide if you’d rather the taste of cooked or fresh blackberries and proceed from there.
To amp up the taste of the blackberry in the cocktail itself, I’m supplementing the blackberry simple syrup with some blackberry liqueur. My two favorites are from two smaller craft distilleries near Louisville, KY. The first is Starlight distillery’s blackberry flavored whiskey, and the second is Blackberry Moonshine from Jeptha Creed. I’ve tried other moonshines and liqueurs, sometimes blackberry schnapps or Crème de Mure, but both of these stand out from the rest. However, use what you have on hand as we’re trying to make all these with as few trips to the store as possible.
One thing that I’ve always got to include in any blackberry sour or old fashioned is Fee’s black walnut bitters. In a sour with an egg white, you can put some in the cocktail itself, and also a few drops artistically on the foam if you’re making a Boston Sour.
Blackberry Sunset Whiskey Sour
- 1.5 oz bourbon 100 proof or higher
- ¾ oz blackberry liqueur
- ¾ oz lemon juice
- ¾ oz blackberry simple syrup* See notes for recipe
- ¾ oz egg white or aquafaba optional
- 3 dashes black walnut bitters
- Garnish: fresh or frozen blackberries and a lemon slice
- Combine all ingredients except the garnish in a shaking tin with one ice cube and shake for 30 seconds. Open the shaker, fill with ice and shake a second time, 30-60 seconds. Double strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with blackberries and lemon.