How To Make A Thai Tamarind Whiskey Sour
Tamarind fruit can be found all over Thailand. The fruit itself grows inside hard-shelled pods and has a bright, lemony apricot flavor. At Buddha Ruksa we use it in various curries and sauces—and of course, it's a main ingredient the popular noodle dish known as Phad Thai.
Tamarind's sour citrus flavor also makes for a delicious cocktail, The Tamarind Whiskey Sour. This is the perfect refreshment on a hot summer day and is not too complicated to make. Here's what you'll need:
The easiest method is to simply buy tamarind concentrate. You can find this at most Asian grocery stores in small cans (usually made in Thailand). If you want more control over the tartness, you can also buy seedless tamarind fruit sold in small bricks and then boil this down with some water until you get a nice liquid paste.
Simple enough. Fresh-squeezed is the only way to enjoy lime juice in a cocktail. Squeeze to order, as lime begins to loose it's flavor soon after pressing.
To balance out the tartness of both the lime and the tamarind, we're going to need some sugar—simple syrup more precisely. Quickly heat up equal parts sugar and water on the stove until the solids dissolve. You can use any superfine sugar, but we'd recommend something a little more earthy like Demerara or even better yet, palm sugar—which is also available at various Asian markets (you'll need to crush palm sugar up by hand into a powder). In any case, cook it down with a 1:1 ratio of water to sugar.
We prefer a decent bourbon here—the sweetness will balance out the sour of tamarind. Bulliet works just fine, or something more traditional like Maker's Mark. If you want to try something local, we highly recommend Woodinville Whiskey's Straight Bourbon. We used Angel's Envy with our latest batch.
1oz Fresh Squeezed Lime
1oz Tamarind Mixture (If your paste is thick, dilute with a bit of hot water and let cool)
1/2oz Sugar Syrup
Pour all ingredients into a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain over some cubed ice or even one big fat cube if you are into that kind of thing. If you can't be bothered, dump the whole shaker "dirty" into a tumbler. Either way, garnish with an orange peel and a cherry if you have them handy. Drink it down and repeat.
Alternate Fancy Version
You can also make this drink in to a proper Whiskey Sour Served Up by adding some egg white—about a half ounce works. First, dry shake all the ingredients plus the egg white without any ice. Even better, take the spring off your strainer and toss it into the shaker and go to town. That spring really froths up the egg white. Then, add some ice and shake a bit more to chill and double strain into a coup. No need for garnish on this one, that foam does the job, but feel free to add a drop or two of Angostura Bitters on top of the foam for effect (drag a toothpick through the drops to make hearts for maximum Valentine's Day effect).