Cocktail Club

Cocktail recipe: How to make a whiskey sour with passion fruit

"These notes are something that remind me of the summer days I had by the river when I was younger with my dad."

Join the Cocktail Club on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. in mixing the traditional whiskey sour and the Mala Vida's Advice. Olivier Guillard on Unsplash

“Hey Oscar, could you make a cocktail with Gentleman Jack whiskey?” Sure thing! Oh, I could make something like an apple pie? Or stir a classic? There are so many options I could make, but none of those ideas spoke to me. I played with the idea of a whiskey sour until I landed on my favorite fruit: passion fruit, that is.

Now that’s something that speaks to me and just like Jesus, memories took the wheel. 

I rolled up my sleeves and after some live trials on the bar and plenty of happy guests, I made a cocktail I’m proud of and want to showcase it.

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Gentleman Jack as a spirit is smooth, bright, and very playful. It gave me all the right notes and a fantastic flavor profile to work with. I wanted to make a cocktail that highlights those features and some of my background. Passion fruit has always been a favorite pick of mine for fruit, it brings me right back to my childhood in Venezuela — sweet, tart, and bright!

These notes are something that remind me of the summer days I had by the river when I was younger with my dad and this drink gave me back some of those memories, like his love for coffee and sweets made of canela (cinnamon). Another member in the Jack Daniels family helped me bring this cocktail to life: Jack Fire. Yes! Cinnamon with passion fruit sits me right next to my ol’ man. I wanted to make something that was mine, not another whiskey sour, but something that tasted so good that made people feel warm and happy.

At the end of my shift while brainstorming, I realized that my inspiration for this cocktail was my dad. “Mala Vida” (Bad Life) was his nickname used by his friends and family in a sarcastic way since he was always in a good mood and was able to make everyone around him feel welcomed, loved, and warm. And he did give me the best advice: “Make your future in Boston.” 

What you’ll need

Mala Vida’s Advice

Tools

  • Jigger (2 oz. over 1 oz.)
  • Cocktail shaker 
  • Hawthorne strainer
  • Sieve strainer (fluffy drink, no ice)
  • Microplane grater 

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ oz. whiskey 
  • ½ oz. cinnamon whiskey 
  • ¾ oz. passion fruit syrup (equal parts passion fruit puree/concentrate and white sugar)
  • ¾ oz. lemon juice
  • 3 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
  • 2 coffee beans

Instructions

  • Add the whiskey, cinnamon whiskey, passion fruit syrup, lemon juice, and Peychaud’s bitters in the shake tin (preferably, add the passion fruit syrup first since it will stick in the jigger).
  • Seal tins and start shaking.
  • Play your favorite uplifting song while shaking it. (This step is very important!)
  • Double strain into a coupe glass (use Hawthorne and sieve strainers). 
  • Top with two grated coffee beans.

Join us Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. for Boston.com’s Cocktail Club with host Jackson Cannon and his special guest Oscar Simoza, bartender at Silvertone Bar and Grill in Boston. This week they’ll be making cocktails with Gentleman Jack whiskey, catching up about the Boston restaurant and bar scene, and sharing tips the pros use to make great drinks at home. They’ll be mixing the traditional whiskey sour and Mala Vida’s advice. Everything you need is in the shopping list here.

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Oscar Simoza is a bartender at Silvertone Bar & Grill in Boston.

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