Throughout October, See Chicago Dance is celebrating the resilience of Chicago's dance community with our Moving Forward campaign. Yes, it's a fundraiser, replacing what would have been our annual gala. But more than that, Moving Forward is a chance to reconnect with SCD members and friends.
On Oct. 6, we kick off our celebration with a virtual happy hour toasting this year's SCD awardees: Joel Hall and Gail Kalver. Mix up our signature cocktail (it's purple!), log-in and raise a glass with us—let's party!
Blueberry Mint Whiskey Sour
A bright, herbal variation on a well known classic cocktail developed by local bartender Jay W. Cullen.
The first historical mention of a whiskey sour appears in a Wisconsin newspaper in 1870. One of the most enduringly satisfying, distinctly American libations invented in the latter half of the 19th Century, the whiskey sour is an incredibly basic recipe with four ingredients: whiskey, lemon juice, sugar and water. Such simplicity lends itself to experimentation and endless flavor combinations!
For our blueberry mint whiskey sour, we are utilizing fruit that’s harvesting season has just ended - Blueberries are traditionally harvested from late June to late August, so their bright sweet and sour flavor and incredible color will make this cocktail pop and become more than just the sum of its parts. Mint is such a versatile herb in cocktailing but has a tendency to bully other flavors, so always be sure to harness its intense qualities sparingly.
- 2oz. Whiskey
- .75oz. Lemon Juice
- .5oz.-.75oz. Simple Syrup
- 6 Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
- 3 Fresh Mint Leaves
- Muddle blueberries and mint leaves.
- Add all other ingredients, top with ice.
- Shake and double strain.
- Serve on the rocks or neat in an Old Fashioned glass.
- Garnish with mint, blueberries, a lemon wheel, maybe a cocktail umbrella?
Whiskey: Your favorite, the last of the bottle your father in law brought over last Christmas or from the flask in your soon to be worn winter jacket. Scotch, Bourbon, Rye—if it's brown, it'll do!! Suggestion: Bonded Bourbon, a four year aged whiskey bottled at 100 proof (50% ABV) and monitored CLOSELY by the Kentucky State Government.
Lemon Juice: You can absolutely use bottled lemon juice, but the flavor yielded from freshly juiced and strained citrus is incomparable in the realm of cocktails.
Simple Syrup: The easiest ingredient you’ll ever make. Equal parts white sugar and hot water. Combine until, well, combined.
Blueberries and Mint: Crushing fresh fruit and herbs just prior to shaking your cocktail will instantly infuse flavor into your cocktail. The only snag here is that you can't control the flavor before making. To remedy, you can infuse these flavors into your simple syrup. When the sugar has dissolved into your syrup and the water is simmering, you can add your fruit and/or herbs. Simmer 3-5 minutes longer, breaking up herbs or slightly pressing fruit to infuse. Take off the heat and let mixture completely cool, then strain out your solids.
HEY, WHAT ABOUT THE EGG?: There are many who believe that a TRUE whiskey sour is shaken with an egg white and served neat with all that elegant foam on top. Some people love it, some people do not. Egg whites were originally added to cocktails during prohibition to mask the taste of the less “potable” liquors of the time. Should you crave that authenticity, add one egg white to your shaker before you add the ice and shake the cocktail dry (without ice) vigorously for 45 seconds. Then add your ice, shake and strain as normal.
More into a mocktail? For our teetotalers, there is more to a non-alcoholic beverage than simply a flavored lemonade. This is where technique and creativity are your best friends. To turn our Blueberry Mint Whiskey Sour into an all-ages affair, make a blueberry simple syrup using 1/2 C. sugar, 1/2 C. hot water, and 1/2 C. blueberries, using the same procedure as above. Place 2-3 blueberries in each chamber of an ice tray, then cover with your cooled and strained blueberry simple syrup, place in the freezer and let set for 4-5 hrs. (at least). Make yourself a lemonade to your favorite specifications, infusing with mint at any step you so choose, then pour over your beautiful blueberry cubes (say that five times fast...). Garnish with a mint sprig.