There is an American expression about making the best of a bad situation: when life gives you lemons make a whiskey sour, or something like that. We have a lemon tree in our garden that as fall came to an end provided us with a big harvest of lemons. I used the lemons to make whiskey sours and a few other cocktails.

Drinking these whiskey sours reminded me just how much I like this simple drink and now in what passes for the depth of winter in California we have no lemons to use. Our recent visit to Sonoma Aperitif from which we purchased a bottle of lemon shrub gave me an idea on creating a whiskey sour variation.

The original whiskey sour recipe:
2oz whiskey
1oz simple syrup
1oz lemon juice

The lemons from our tree had a very intense tartness and I found the drink worked better if I cut the ratio from 2:1:1 to 8:4:3, using just three-quarters of an ounce of lemon juice.

My variation on this drink, using the shrub which adds acidity as well as bitterness was as follows:

2oz whiskey
1oz maple syrup
0.5oz lemon shrub

The switch to maple syrup was to balance the aforementioned acidity from the shrub. The resulting cocktail worked well as a variation the original. The sweetness from the maple syrup was stronger than I would have liked. The next time, I shall move to the original sour recipe measurements.

The garnish was a twist of peel from one of the last oranges from our other citrus tree.

In honour of the lemon shrub, I named this whiskey sour variation a Sonoma Sour.

California Girl comments: He was so proud of his newly created drink and the name, I didn’t have the heart to make fun of him on this occasion. I don’t drink this type of cocktail, but it sure did look good.

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