The Eastern Sour was a Trader Vic creation that dates from the heyday of Tiki, the 1950s. It’s one of a relatively rare group of Tiki drinks that features whiskey instead of rum as a base spirit. The recipe, as usual with Tiki drinks, comes from Jeff Berry, and can be found in his indispensable Beachbum Berry Remixed. I wanted to try this one because it calls for orgeat, and I just received a bottle of Small Hand Foods‘s version of that particular syrup, which is likely a more “authentic” product than the sweeter mass-market offerings from Torani or Monin, which tend to taste pretty much like vanilla/almond syrup.
2 1/2 oz. orange juice
3/4 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz. orgeat
1/4 oz. simple syrup
2 oz. rye or bourbon
Shake with crushed ice and pour unstrained into a goblet.
Sure enough, the Small Hand Foods orgeat is distinctly different, and while almonds are still the predominant flavor, it is much less sweet and syrupy, and lends a nuttier and almost savory taste. But you just catch hints of this; mostly the Eastern Sour is a battle between orange juice and whiskey. It’s pretty much a draw, if at least a satisfying one. Still, there are better things to do with rye or bourbon. But if you are itching for a tropical beverage and are fresh out of rum, this will do in a pinch. Three livers.