At Shojo, an elegant sour cocktail


Albert Einstein is credited as having said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” That doctrine easily captures the logic behind sours, arguably the most familiar category of cocktails, even if you don’t know it as such. You’re probably acquainted with the whiskey sour (bourbon, lemon juice, and sweetener), but among the many marquee drinks to follow the booze/citrus/sweetener preparation, the daquiri, the mojito, and even the margarita are just a few. The arrangement seems easy enough to riff on, but there’s actually not much room for error before elegant simplicity becomes something clunky and insipid. At Shojo, the hip Chinatown eatery specializing modern Asian small plates, bar manager Mike Patterson hits the elegant mark with the Intercontinental Sour. Making use of the bar’s impressive Japanese whisky selection, he employs easy-drinking Toki for the base and zesty yuzu juice for the citrus component in his Intercontinental Sour. Finished off with an eye-catching float of red wine, it’s simply standard-worthy.

Liza Weisstuch


Makes 1 drink


1 ½ ounce Toki Japanese Whisky

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½ ounce yuzu juice (or lemon juice)

½ ounce simple syrup (to make syrup: in a small saucepan over low heat, heat equal parts sugar and water just until sugar dissolves.)

¾ ounce Cooper & Thief Red Wine (or any Malbec)

1. In a cocktail shaker, pour whisky, juice, and simple syrup over ice. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds.


2. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

3. Top with red wine, pouring it into the glass over the back of a spoon to create a layered “float” effect.

Adapted from Shojo

Liza Weisstuch can be reached at
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