Saturday, March 16, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons... Make Whiskey Sours.

My wonderful, teetotaling Baptist parents have a Meyer Lemon tree. It lives in a pot in the backyard and is mostly neglected, except for the occasional watering, but somehow that thing is just lousy with lemons. While my precious, coddled pink lemon tree this year produced... three lemons. But I don't mind their gardening triumph so much because, of course, they shared with me. ("Don't tell me what you are going to do with those," my mother said.) I thought briefly about making a pie, but I hardly ever cook, or even bake, and I don't even like pie. So instead I made a whiskey sour.

This whiskey sour is just a little bit more specialer than your average whiskey sour. Even if you don't have gardening parents, you can hunt down some Meyer Lemons at the grocery store when they're in season. (A Meyer Lemon is a cross between a traditional lemon and an orange, and is therefore a bit sweeter than the Eureka lemons you're used to.) The drink also makes use of a simple syrup made with turbinado sugar - the ratio of sugar to water here is 1 to 1. I like to use an overproof rye (like Rittenhouse) for this, but feel free to use whatever you've got around. I promise it'll still be delicious.

Meyer Lemon Whiskey Sour
1 oz Meyer Lemon juice (fresh squeezed, duh)
.5 oz turbinado simple syrup (1:1)
2 oz rye whiskey (overproof if you're a badass like me)

Shake (over ice) and strain into a glass. Enjoy.


  1. I'm a newbie to cocktails, and all I've made until now was a Midori Sour that wasn't sour at all. I'll try to make this one later. Thank you for the recipe!

  2. I pretty much always use an egg white in my whiskey sours now. It adds a little texture and body to it for me.

  3. I've had my Meyer for two years and gotten... one lemon. And I've also stopped buying them from this perverse hope that I'll go home and suddenly the tree will be laden with them... This drink looks delicious.

  4. I have to ask...I love your glasses. Have been looking for something like them for quite a while. Where did you get them? Love your drink ideas, thanks for sharing!

  5. Pretty sure I got these at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. Thrift stores are a great place to pick up cheap glassware.

  6. i love it! that "when life gives you lemon, make whiskey sours" this will be very helpful to those who wants to try making their own cocktil at home. I am hoping you'll write "when life gives you lemons, make lemon drop martini" I'll just wait here!

  7. About your lemon tree. My guess is that it got pruned in the spring? Lemon trees store their carbohydrates in the branch tips. If they get pruned in the spring all the energy the tree has been storing is lost. The result is very few lemons.

    I learned this the hard way myself. Good luck and thank you for the site. I like your recipes and your writing.

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