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Helena Sour

Fifth-place winner in Imbibe‘s Metaxa Cocktail Competition, April 2009. This is a nicely balanced cocktail with lovely nuance and texture.

1 1/2 oz. Metaxa 7-Star brandy
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. spiced simple syrup (recipe below)
1 fresh egg white (pasteurized if you like)
Fee Brothers’ Whiskey Barrel Aged bitters
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: lowball or coupe
Garnish: Fee Brothers’ Whiskey Barrel Aged bitters or edible orchid for fancy version

Pour Metaxa, lemon juice, spiced simple syrup and egg white in a mixing glass and dry shake (shake without ice) with some force for about 20 seconds. Add ice and shake vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds until totally blended and frothy. Strain into a chilled lowball glass and garnish with drops of Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged bitters. Gently swirl the bitters into the top of the egg white foam to form a pleasing pattern.

Fancy version: Add the bitters in before shaking, and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with an edible orchid.

Spiced Syrup
1 cup water
12 whole cloves
1 to 2 star anise depending on size
1/8 tsp. freshly ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar

Bring water, cloves, star anise and cinnamon to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add sugar and gently stir until it dissolves completely, about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat, let cool. Strain out the large particles and bottle. Refrigerate for up to a month.

Jackson Cannon, Eastern Standard, Boston

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