…from the California Happy Hour Bar
How you doin’? Here’s one of my most iconic egg white bar cocktails—The Amaretto Sour! It has the perfect balance of amaretto, bourbon, fresh lemon and a creamy, rich egg white head.
Amaretto is a sweet Italian liqueur that originated in Saronno, Italy. Depending on the brand, it may be made from apricot kernels, bitter almonds, peach stones, or almonds, all of which are natural sources of the benzaldehyde that provides the almond-like flavor of the liqueur. Amaretto can be sipped on its own, used as an ingredient to create several popular mixed cocktails, or added to coffee. Amaretto is also commonly used in fine pastry and cooking applications.
The name amaretto comes from the Italian word amaro, which means "bitter." This is a reference for the distinctive flavor lent by the mandorla amara or by the drupe (stone fruit) kernel. The bitterness of amaretto tends to be mild and the use of sweeteners, including sweet almonds, enhances the flavor in the amaretto.
What’s the history of this famous beverage? In 1525, a Saronno church commissioned artist Bernardino Luini, one of Leonardo da Vinci's disciples, to paint its sanctuary with murals and frescoes. As the church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Luini needed to depict the Madonna, but needed a model. He found his inspiration in a young, widowed innkeeper, who became his model and lover. Out of gratitude and affection, the woman wished to give him a gift. Her meager finances did not permit her to offer much, so she steeped apricot kernels in brandy and presented the resulting concoction.
Now is the time to enjoy this wonderful Happy Hour cocktail. Cheers!
1-1/2 ounces amaretto (I prefer Disaronno Amaretto brand)
1/2 ounce American bourbon whiskey
1 ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon simple syrup
1 large raw egg white (see ChefSecret below)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Ice (for the shaker)
For the garnish: Cocktail stem-on cherry and/or lemon slice
ChefSecret: You can substitute 2 tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas) in place of the raw egg white; it all also makes it a vegan variation.
Quip of the Day: A beautiful woman went up to the bar in a quiet rural pub. She gestured alluringly to the bartender who approached her immediately. The woman seductively signaled that he should bring his face closer to hers. As he did, she gently caressed his full beard.
"Are you the manager?" she asked, softly stroking his face with both hands. "
Actually, no," he replied.
"Can you get him for me? I need to speak to him," she said, running her hands beyond his beard and into his hair.
"I'm afraid I can't," breathed the bartender. "Is there anything I can do?"
"Yes. I need for you to give him a message," she continued, running her forefinger across the bartender's lip and slyly popping a couple of her fingers into his mouth and allowing him to suck them gently.
"What should I tell him?" the flustered bartender managed to stammer.
"Tell him," she whispered, "There's no toilet paper, hand soap, or paper towels in the ladies room.”
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