You can thank sailors for the citrusy sensation of a Whiskey Sour. This classic cocktail was first mentioned in “How to Mix Drinks: Or, the Bon-Vivant’s Companion” by Jerry Thomas in 1862, but had been a longtime favorite of seafarers since the 1700s.
Traveling by sea in the 1800s was no easy feat. Clean water was hard to come by on long sea voyages, so whiskey, rum, and other spirits became sailors’ drink of choice. This lemony libation rose to popularity because many sailors suffered from scurvy, a potentially fatal disease caused by a lack of vitamin C. There were large amounts of lemons, limes, and oranges onboard their ships, as well as alcohol that was kept at room temperature, such as whiskey and bourbon. Paired together, these ingredients perfectly combined citrus and whiskey to combat scurvy while quenching sailors’ thirsts — creating the Whiskey Sour.
Once word about Whiskey Sours hit the shore, bartenders began adding their creative touches; one was an egg white, which created the classic foam texture. The recipe remained simple — mixing liquor, lemon, and simple syrup as the three main ingredients.
While you might not have scurvy, get a sip of A. Smith Bowman Distillery’s Classic Whiskey Sour recipe for a bright, refreshing tang of lemon juice and warming floral of our award-winning Bowman Brothers Small Batch Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey.