Isn't it ironic when a coin operated machine has a quarter stuck in the slot? It taunts you with false gifts. You can’t get the money out, and you can’t seem to use it either. And it’s blocking the only machine available, too, how rude. Because next Tuesday is “National Whiskey Sour Day”, we have to discuss the Gold Coast Parking Meter puzzle by Brian Young (Mr. Puzzle again!). Of course, you say.
|The Gold Coast Parking Meter puzzle from Brian Young (Mr. Puzzle!)|
This cute little parking meter has a coin, ready to pay the meter, but stuck in place. The goal is to feed the meter, and put everything back together properly as well. The little meter was created for the 2007 International Puzzle Party in the Gold Coast, and functions as a “take-apart, put together, sequential discovery” type puzzle. It’s made from yellow leichhardt, which gives it a “golden” color, and mackay cedar woods. It’s fun to explore and has a nice but not too complicated trick to it. It’s not a “box”, I know, but nobody’s perfect. So, what does this have to do with whiskey sours, you ask?
|Feed the meter to complete the puzzle, The money's got to go somewhere inside, so it really is a box after all.|
I happen to love whiskey sours. Now, before you get all bent out of shape about sickly sweet ways to ruin good whiskey, remember, we are talking about simple, fresh, craft cocktails here. The poor daiquiri is another example of an incredibly simple yet oft misunderstood libation. A whiskey sour is essentially the same drink but with whiskey.
“Sour” cocktails are thought to have originated in the 18th century seafaring days, when sailors would receive their rations of alcohol mixed with lemon or lime juice. The water wasn’t safe to drink, and the citrus prevented scurvy. Americans, who were fonder of whiskey than rum, swapped in their favorite spirit, and the bartenders of the day refined things. The first record of the whiskey sour is in “Professor” Jerry Thomas’s “The Bartender’s Guide” from 1862, and the recipe hasn’t really changed much since then. One controversy which remains today is whether a whiskey sour includes egg white. Egg white, which you may recall from “Episode I – A Blog Awakens”, can add richness and texture to a drink, but can also really freak people out. Many modern recipes for the whiskey sour suggest egg white as an option now. It’s not essential, but honestly, it can kick any drink up a notch. My favorite recipe, from Employees Only in New York, does not use egg white.
|The Gold Rush Cocktail created by T.J. Siegal|
A “new classic” whiskey sour variation to enjoy on national whiskey sour day, which uses honey syrup rather than simple sugar syrup, is called “The Gold Rush”. Created by T.J. Siegal at Manhattan’s Milk and Honey bar, it gently ups the ante on the basic recipe in a perfect way that completes the evolution. Shake one up while you solve the Gold Coast Parking Meter puzzle. Cheers!
The Gold Rush (adapted from The PDT Cocktail Book)
2 oz whiskey or bourbon
1 oz honey syrup (anywhere between 1:1 and 2:1 honey:water)
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
Shake over ice and pour
Garnish with a slice of lemon or orange and a brandied cherry, if you've got one
Additional garnish with an Australian 10 cent coin (optional)
|These two are golden!|
For more on the whiskey sour and the Gold Rush cocktail:
For the Employees Only whiskey sour:
For more about the Gold Coast Parking Meter Puzzle: