The Sour

Laphroaig Sour.

The Sour is an American invention? Not at all. Rather, just like the Cocktail, it is something English, and its roots go back at least to 1617 and point to the British East India Company. Read the whole truth about the Sour here.

80 ml Laphroaig Quartercask
30 ml lemon juice
20 ml sugar syrup (2:1)

Preparation: Shaken.

We have chosen the Laphroaig Sour as an example of a Sour because we find it extraordinarily delicious. Depending on the spirit you choose, you should vary its quantity in the Sour between 60 ml and 80 ml.

North America – The origin of the Sour?

Menu of Mart Ackerman's Saloon in Toronto, 1856.
Menu of Mart Ackerman’s Saloon in Toronto, 1856. [9]

Where is the origin of the Sour? It is commonly said to be in the North of America. It is said that the first reference to a Sour dates back to 1856 on a menu of Mart Ackerman’s Saloon in Toronto, Canada. [8] [9] [10] [14-113] There they offered a Brandy Sour and a Gin Sour. [9] However, the year is questionable, as it was added later and handwritten on the menu. The saloon was opened in the summer of 1855 and closed again in the middle of 1859. [10] In this respect, the year can be regarded as credible.

Indiana American. 18. September 1857, page 2.
Indiana American. 18. September 1857, page 2. [4]

Further finds from North American publications follow. In 1857, the Indiana American mentions “rum sours“. [4]

Union County Star and Lewisburg Chronicle. 11. October 1861.
Union County Star and Lewisburg Chronicle. 11. October 1861. [5]

In 1861 the Union County Star and Lewisburg Chronicle mentions the “brandy sour[5]

Jerry Thomas: How to Mix Drinks. 1862, page 59.
Jerry Thomas: How to Mix Drinks. 1862, page 59. [6-59]

Finally, in 1862, Jerry Thomas included the Sour in his book and prepares it with gin, rum or brandy. He writes: „Gin Sour. (Use small bar glass.) The gin sour is made with the same ingredientss as the gin fix, omitting all fruits, except a small piece of lemon, the juice of which must be pressed in the gass.†“ [6-59] „† The Santa Cruz sour is made by substituting Santa Cruz rum instead of gin. In making fixes and sours be carful and put the lemon skin in the glass.“ [6-59] „Gin Fix. (Use small bar glass.) 1 tablespoon of sugar; 1/4 of lemon. 1/2 a wine-glass of water. 1 do. gin. Fill two-thirds full of shaved ice. Stir with a spoon, and ornament the top with fruits in season.[6-59]

These sources are repeatedly cited for the Sour, and it is proclaimed that it is a North American invention. Unfortunately, this statement is not true.

The true origin of the Sour

If we go in search of the origin of the Sour, we find references to it as early as the 17th century. So let us embark on a chronological search for clues.

William Salmon’s Brandy-Punch

William Salmon: Pharmacopoeia Bateana, 1694, page 759.
William Salmon: Pharmacopoeia Bateana, 1694, page 759. [1-759]

In 1694 William Salmon published a Punch recipe with exact quantities: “§3. If you would make a pleasant and grateful sort of Punch, you must compose it with the following quantities. … Fair Water a Quart: choiee and pure Lime Juice, almost half a Pint : double refined Sugar, three quarters of a Pound : mix and perfectly dissolve the Sugar : then add French Brandy a full Pint; and if you so please one Nutmeg grated.[1-759]

Let’s convert these quantities from the imperial system of measurement to the metric system. He uses 1137 ml of water, slightly less than 284 ml of lime juice, 340 g of sugar and 569 ml of brandy. In analysing this recipe further, we do not consider the sugar content further, but assume that exactly as much sugar is used as is needed to balance the acidity. The ratio of brandy to citrus juice is 569 : 284, or the equivalent of 6.01 : 3. Isn’t that amazing? Nowadays, when you make a sour, the ratio of spirit : citrus juice is usually between 5 : 3 and 8 : 3. What is different nowadays is the amount of water added. If you shake a sour today, about 35% melt water is added; if you calculate it analogously for this old punch recipe, 133% water was added there. This is not surprising, as we are still looking at a classic punch recipe. A punch is relatively diluted, and this recipe results in an alcohol content of around 11% by volume, if you assume an alcohol content of 40% by volume for the brandy. If you add the water, the formula for this old recipe is 12 : 6 : 3.

Ephraim Chambers’ Cyclopaedia

Ephraim Chambers Cyclopaedia, 1728, page 910.
Ephraim Chambers Cyclopaedia, 1728, page 910. [2-910]

Another important source for the origin story of the Sour is Ephraim Chambers’ Cyclopaedia from 1728. He writes: “PUNCH, is also a sort of compound Drink, frequent in England, and particularly about the Maritime Parts thereof; tho’ little known elsewhere. See DRINK. Its basis is Spring-Water, which being rener’d cooler, brisker, and more acid with Lemon-Juice, and sweeten’d again to the Palate with fine Sugar, makes what they call Sherbet; to which a proper Quantity of a spirituous Liquor, as Brandy, Rum, or Arrac being super-added; the Liquor commences Punch. Several Authors condemn the Use of Punch as a prejudicial to the Brain, and nervous System. – Dr. Cheyne insists that there is but one wholesome Ingredient in it, which some now begin to leave out, viz. the mere Element. See WATER, BRANDY, RUM, ARRAC, SUGAR &c. The proportions of the Ingredients are various; usually the Brandy and Water are in equal Quantities. Some, instead of Lemon-Juice, use Lime-Juice, which makes what they call Punch Royal; found less liable to affect the Head, as well as more grateful to the Stomach. [2-910]

What is important about this text is his observation that brandy and water are normally used in equal amounts. We can see from this that the proportion of water in the Punch has been further reduced. If we calculate as before, a ratio of 6 : 6 : 3 already emerges here as commonly used.

Modern Sour recipes, for example, use 6 parts spirit, 3 parts citrus juice and 2 parts sugar syrup. The melted water then gives the ratio of around 4 : 6 : 3. As we can see, the punch described by Ephraim Chambers was not so different from a modern Sour. But when was the water content of this Punch further reduced to finally correspond to that of a modern Sour? Ephraim Chambers answers this question too, as he shares that according to Dr George Cheyne, the only healthy ingredient in a Punch is water.

George Cheyne: An essay of health and long life. 1724, page 56, 57, 59.
George Cheyne: An essay of health and long life. 1724, page 56, 57, 59. [11-56] [11-57] [11-59]

The attentive reader will have noticed. Why, according to Dr George Cheyne, should only water be healthy and not lemon juice as well? The answer to this question becomes simple when one reads his treatise: “The other principal Part of the Composition is the Juice of Oranges and Lemons. And if we consider, that a Lemon or Orange could never be transported half Seas over to us, without rotting or spoiling, if gathered when wholly ripe, we should have no great Opinion of their Juices. Every Spanish or Portugal Merchant can inform us, that they must be gathered green, or at least a Month before they are ripe, else they are not fit to be sent beyond the Seas. The Sea-Air, and their being shut up close, gives them that golden yellow Colour, we so much amire. […] The two remaining Ingredients, are Sugar and Water; and these I will give up to the Punch-Drinkers, and allow them all the Benefit of them“. [11-56] [11-57] [11-59]

This additional source illuminates Ephraim Chambers’ statement “Dr. Cheyne insists that there is but one wholesome Ingredient in it, which some now begin to leave out, viz. the mere Element.” This means nothing other than that as early as around 1728, the water content of the Punch was greatly reduced in some cases or even completely dispensed with.

This proves that the Sour was already being drunk at the beginning of the 18th century. It was just not called by that name.

Looking back to the year 1617

Iohn Woodall: The Svrgions Mate. 1617, page 184-185.
Iohn Woodall: The Svrgions Mate. 1617, page 184-185. [13-184] [13-185]

Its enjoyment must go back even further, to before 1617. In that year a standard medical work by the ship’s doctors of the East-India Company was published, and in it the author of the same, John Woodall, the Company’s chief physician, reports on the healing properties of lemon juice for scurvy. He writes: “The vse of the iuice of Lemons … is: It is to be taken each morning, two or three spoonfuls, and fast after it two houres, and if you adde one spoonefull of Aquavitae thereto to a cold stomacke, it is the better. Also if you take a little thereof at night it is good to mixe therewith some suger, or to take of the syrup there-of is not amisse.[13-185]

This is the ultimate Sour: brandy, lemon juice and sugar, without any water.

But the healing effect of lemon juice on scurvy was not the only reason to drink it. There is another reason why citrus juice was added in such relatively large quantities. We have already gone into this in detail in the post about the Morning Glory Fizz.

About enzyme activity

A 2019 study concludes that lime juice in particular helps to increase the enzyme activity of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDH). [3] This prevents or at least reduces a hangover. Lemon juice shows less activation. Ephraim Chambers already points out this very connection when he writes “Some, instead of Lemon-Juice, use Lime-Juice, which makes what they call Punch Royal; found less liable to affect the Head, as well as more grateful to the Stomach.” Using a higher proportion of lemon or lime juice in relation to the spirit reduces the severity of a hangover after drinking too much.

The proportions

Jerry Thomas

Before we continue our search for the origins of the Sour, let’s dwell a little on the proportions. Jerry Thomas has handed down to us the oldest recipe for a so-called “Sour”. He mixes a tablespoon of sugar, half a wine glass of water, the juice of a quarter of a lemon and a wine glass of a spirit, stirs on ice and strains. [6-59]

With regard to the quantity “wine glass”, it is not clear what volume this would correspond to. However, as deduced in our post about volumetric quantities, one will not be wrong to estimate 120 ml, the amount of two jiggers, for it. So Jerry Thomas used 120 ml of gin and 60 ml of water.

A lemon contains (today) on average 45 ml of juice. [12-17] The juice of a quarter of a lemon thus corresponds to approx. 11.25 ml. For a simplified calculation, and assuming that in Jerry Thomas’ time lemons were perhaps also somewhat smaller, we estimate only 10 ml.

One tablespoon of sugar corresponds to about 18 g or 22.5 ml of sugar syrup (2:1). If we assume a ratio of 3 parts lemon juice to 2 parts sugar syrup, we would have to balance the sugar with about 34 ml lemon juice. Jerry Thomas, however, only used about 10 ml. His Sour was a rather sweet affair.

If we now assume a basic volume of 120 ml gin, 60 ml water, 10 ml lemon juice and 22.5 ml sugar syrup, this is a total of 212.5 ml. The question now is: What did Jerry Thomas understand by “stir with a spoon“? If it is only a short stirring with hardly any melting water, then his formula for the ratio of water : spirit : citrus juice corresponds to the values 60 : 120 : 10 or 3 : 6 : 0.5. If one stirs longer and assumes that this also adds 35% melt water, which would be about 70 ml, this would correspond to the formula 132 : 120 : 10 or 6.5 : 6 : 0.5. Since scraped ice melts quickly, one may not be entirely wrong if one considers a ratio of 6 : 6 : 0.5 to be realistic.

What do we see from this? Ephraim Chambers’ ratio was 6 : 6 : 3. With Jerry Thomas we can assume 6 : 6 : 0.5. You can see: Jerry Thomas’ Sour is much less sour than Ephraim Chambers’ standard Punch! Who would have thought that?

Harry Johnson

A second example is Harry Johnson. In 1882 he published the recipes for Champagne Sour, [7-102] Medford Rum Sour, [7-105] Jamaica Rum Sour, [7-120] Apple Jack Sour, [7-123] Whiskey Sour, [7-130] Brandy Sour, [7-131] Gin Sour [7-136] and St. Croix Sour. [7-139]

With the exception of the Champagne Sour, all the recipes are the same, only the acidity varies. For Jamaica Sour, Apple Jack Sour, Whiskey Sour and Brandy Sour he uses 2 – 3 dashes of lemon juice, for the others 3 – 4 dashes.

Harry Johnson: New and Improved Bartender’s Manual. 1882, page 136.
Harry Johnson: New and Improved Bartender’s Manual. 1882, page 136. [7-136]

The recipe for his Gin Sour is: “GIN
SOUR. (Use a small bar glass.) One-half table-spoonful of sugar; 3 or 4 dashes of lemon juice; 1 squirt of Syphon Selters water, dissolve well the sugar and lemon with a spoon; filled with fine shaved ice; 1 wine glass of Holland gin; mix well, strain it into a sour glass, and dress with a little fruit in season, and serve.” [7-55]

The quantity “dash” is unfortunately very imprecise, and we refer the reader to our analysis. We think you have to calculate generously here, and estimate about 5 ml for a dash. Our experience in remixing old recipes has shown that for all ingredients that are not cocktail bitters, this is usually a pretty good starting point.

Harry Johnson uses half a tablespoon of sugar; this corresponds to about 9 g of sugar or 11.25 ml of sugar syrup (2:1). The ideal ratio is about 2 parts sugar syrup to 3 parts lemon juice; that would be about 16.875 ml, or 3 to 4 dashes as Harry Johnson states.

So what is Harry Johnson’s ratio? If we also assume 35% dilution by the melted water, the result is approximately 50 : 120 : 16.9 or 2.5 : 6 : 0.85.

The development of the acid ratio

Sour - Quantitative ratios.
Sour – Quantitative ratios.

Finally, let us compare again the ratios of water : spirit : citrus juice.

  • William Salmon (1694): 12 : 6 : 3
  • Ephraim Chambers (1728): 6 : 6 : 3 (standard), but some use less or no water
  • Jerry Thomas (1862): 6 : 6 : 0,5
  • Harry Johnson (1882): 2,5 : 6 : 0,85

We see here clearly that the modern Sour recipes are most similar to the standard Punch recipe from 1728. If we then take into account that Ephraim Chambers wrote that some people also prepared this Punch with reduced water content or even without it, we could even say that they are identical.

This also becomes clear when one looks at the percentage of citrus juice. In the case of William Salmon in 1694, it is 3 out of 21 parts, i.e. 14.3 %. For Ephraim Chambers in 1728 it is 20 %. For Jerry Thomas in 1862 it is 4 % and for Harry Johnson in 1882 it is 9.1 %. A modern sour is 23.1%.

Etymology of the Sour

But after this consideration of the quantitative ratios, let us return to the search for historical sources that tell us more about the connection of the Punch with the Sour.

Die plague in Aleppo

Anonymus: The modern traveller. Vol. II. 1776, page 149.
Anonymus: The modern traveller. Vol. II. 1776, page 149. [27-149]

In 1776 Alexander Russel’s report, probably written in the 1740s, appeared about Aleppo. In it is written in connection with “buboes” (bubo), which can be translated as “bump (in plague, syphilis, gonorrhea or tuberculosis)“: [32]The rules laid down by our learned physician for escaping the infection are; first, never to go abroad fasting; to drink plentifully of sour punch and other acids; to live regularly, but not abstemiously; and to avoid every kind of excess, but more especially of passion: secondly, to breathe, when in the chamber of a sick person, through a handkerchief or spunge, wetted either with vinegar or an infusion of rhue, and nit to swallow the spittle: thirdly, to hold the breath when near a patient, and to wash the mouth, face, and hands with vinegar as soon as ever you leave him: fourthly and lastly, to change your cloaths upon going home, to air them well, and to smoak them with sulphur.[27-149]

This is an important find, because it connects the Punch with the Sour in the denomination, in that the author speaks of a sour punch.

Anonymus: The modern traveller. Vol. II. 1776, page 148.
Anonymus: The modern traveller. Vol. II. 1776, page 148. [27-148]

The text following this travelogue is about an expedition from the early 1740s. Therefore, one can assume that Alexander Russel’s report does not date from the 1770s either, but is older. His text also states: “There are certain buboes rife upon the patient, that sometimes come to a head and sometimes do not. The fever has been known to go off by a critical sweat; and this was the case in the years 1742, 1743, and 1744.[27-148]

We may therefore perhaps assume that Alexander Russel’s report also refers to the beginning of the 1740s. This is also supported by the author’s curriculum vitae. Alexander Russel lived in Aleppo for 14 years, from 1740 to 1754. In England he wrote his “Natural History of Aleppo”, a diary about the plague that occurred there in the years 1742 to 1744. [33]

William Beawes in Aleppo

Douglas Carruthers: The desert route to India. 1929, page 8.
Douglas Carruthers: The desert route to India. 1929, page 8. [19-8]

William Beawes reports on his journey from Aleppo to Basra, which he undertook in 1745: “Concerning the other provisions, a person setting out for Aleppo may procure variety of articles that will endure the journey, but the grand articles are rice, bread, coffee, and country butter, of which a large store should be provided, as all the Arabs that attend the loads expect to partake thereof and indeed deserve it, being always ready and desirous to afford the servants their assistance. Salt-meats are very improper for the desart, as they heat and augment thirst (which without such increase is hard to satisfie); nor does much of any food agree with this journey, but eating little and drinking often of weak sour punch is the diet to preserve health and greatly lessen the fatigue; wherefore variety of food is an useless embarrassment, and the best in my opinion that can be carried is fowls, which at night we used toeat with pullow [pilau], or made into broth and dress to eat cold the next day at noon. All fruits that can be preserved any time as also rootsare excellent refreshments for the desart.[19-8]

Der Sour als Medizin

The London Chronicle. 12. July 1759, page 39.
The London Chronicle. 12. July 1759, page 39. [28-39]

In 1759, an advertisement appeared in the London Chronicle for “The Stomacic Lozenges, for Disorders of the Stomach and Bowes“, which were protected by a royal patent. The advertising text described what they were suitable for, including “for preventing all the ill Effects of hard Drinking, especially of bad Wine, sour Punch, stale Beer, &c.” [28-39]

David Perry in Neufundland

David Perry: Recollections of an old soldier. 1822, page 38-39.
David Perry: Recollections of an old soldier. 1822, page 38-39. [16-38] [16-39]

David Perry was a soldier and was in Newfoundland in 1762, in Halifax. [16-30] [16-31] He took part in fighting on the British side against Frenchmen at St Johns. After the fighting he returned to Halifax. [16-34] He writes: “After being some time at sea, the men grew sickly, and on our way a great many were taken sick, and I was among the number. I had the nervous fever. When we arrived at Halifax, our times were out; but I was so unwell, that instead of returning home, I was obliged to go to the hospital. I told my friends that were discharged, as we parted, that they would never see me again, for I was very sick and out of my head — and no one thought I could live long. I remained in the hospital some time, but was so deranged that I cannot tell exactly how long. I had my reason, however, by turns; and in one of these intervals, I remember perfectly well, Doctor Matthews, the surgeon of our regiment, had me brought into his room, and tried to make me drink some sour punch, but I told him I could not. He asked me if I did not love it when I was well. I told him I did.[16-38] [16-39]

Really a cause of disease?

Alexander Sutherland: Experimental essays on the virtues of the Bath and Bristol waters. 1772, page 109-110.
Alexander Sutherland: Experimental essays on the virtues of the Bath and Bristol waters. 1772, page 109-110. [15-109] [15-110]

A book published in London in 1772 writes: “Sour Punch has been numbered among the causes of the dry belly ach; and perhaps, sometimes not unjustly. … I could name one who has drank as much hot sour punch as would fill our greatest bath, and now enjoys good health, I could name scores who have been afflicted with the dry belly-ach, and no man can guess at the cause. Sour punch may therefore be added to the long lift of vulgar errors.[15-109] [15-110]

In North America

Henry M. Burt: Burt’s guide through the Connecticut Valley to the White mountains and the river Saguenay. 1874, page 46.
Henry M. Burt: Burt’s guide through the Connecticut Valley to the White mountains and the river Saguenay. 1874, page 46. [24-46]

During the American War of Independence, South Windsor in Connecticut housed prisoners of war, including William Franklin, the royal governor of New Jersey. “Gov. Franklin was quartered at the house of Lieut. Diggin, about a mile south of the Congregational church, where with his servants, he lived in princely style. He was extremely fond of sour punch, and in a bower situated in a retired spot, back of the street, near Podunk Brook, he prepared and served his favorite beverage to the French visitors, who styled it “one grand contradiction.”[24-46]

A price list from 1778 has been handed down to us. In this, Connecticut’s authorities set prices in Norwich. [17-241] It states, “bowl sour punch 3s.[17-243]

Using a purchasing power comparable to that in the UK, 3 shillings of 1780 would be equivalent to around £13 in 2017, or around €15. [40]

The consequences of indulgence …

Donald Monro: Observations on the means of preserving the health of soldiers. Vol. I. 1780, page 50-51.
Donald Monro: Observations on the means of preserving the health of soldiers. Vol. I. 1780, page 50-51. [30-50] [30-51]

In 1780, a medical work wrote about the Sour Punch: “Dr. Knox told me, that in the Guadeloupe expedition he observed, that those who indulged very freely in the use of very weak sour punch, from a notion that acids were the best preservatives against the diseases of the West Indies, were more subject than other people to diarrhœas and dysenteries, when they were attacked with the least severish complaint; and he observed likewise, that those who had opportunities of drinking Madeira wine and claret, and used these liquors in moderation, were less liable to dysenteries and bilious fevers than others.[30-50] [30-51]

A medicine

Andrew Duncan: Medical commentaries, for the years 1781-1782. Volume 8. 1783, page 230.
Andrew Duncan: Medical commentaries, for the years 1781-1782. Volume 8. 1783, page 230. [29-230]

In 1783, a medical work recommended the following for a case of smallpox:- „Sutton’s punch, as he called it, may be of use in the confluent small pox, as sedative or antiseptic; but I never had occasion to use it: Tamarind beverage was sometimes given as an eccoprotic. In the last stage, warm sour punch, negus, or wine-whey, were of use in the evening, to wash down the opiate“. [29-230]

In Toronto

Toronto was originally called York. Abner Miles’ Inn was the most important, perhaps even the first hotel in York. Account books from him have been preserved. It is also recorded there that on August 9, 1796, a Dr. Josiah Phelps drank three and a half bowls of sour Punch. [31-452]

– „1796 … Aug. … 9. … Josiah Phelps, Dr. … three and a half bowls sour punch.[31-452]

In 1798 Abner Miles wrote down the cost for individual customers, including Col. Fortune (“gill sour punch, 2s.“), Dunlap (“glass sour punch, 2s.“). Josiah Phelps (“three bowls sour punch, 9s.“). [34-45]

Other finds

Sour Punch is also mentioned in other publications, for example: 1801 [20-363], 1803 [21-132], 1806 [22-263], 1817 [23-357], to name but a few.

But was a sour Punch really a Sour in the modern sense of the word? It probably was, as evidenced by the oldest recipe we could find. Even though it is made with hot tea, it is basically the same as a hot Sour made with tea: It dates back to 1871: “Juice of one lemon, or two lemons, 1 wine glass full of Bourbon whisky. 1 table spoonful of sugar. 2 wine glasses full of hot tea.[18-15]

The ratio of tea : spirit : citrus juice here is 240 : 120 : 45 or 240 : 120 : 90, converted to 6 parts of spirit this is 12 : 6 : 2.25 or 12 : 6 : 5. Looking at the ratio of water to spirit, this mixture does not seem comparable to a modern sour. But what distinguishes a sour is its acidity. 5 parts out of 23 equals 21.8%. Remember: a modern sour, as I have outlined it above, is 21.1 %. So it is correct to consider this tea blend a sour as well.


What is the conclusion to be drawn from this? The Sour, as it is mostly being made today, corresponds in principle to the practices that were already outlined by Ephraim Chambers in 1728. His recipe for a Punch is closer to today’s Sour than the Sour recipes of Jerry Thomas or Harry Johnson. So the origin of the Sour is not American but English, and its roots go back to the maritime shipping of the East India Company to the beginning of the 17th century. So it is not at all the case, as David Wondrich writes, that the Sour is a “lesser punch”, which was developed as a “short drink” in America in the two decades before the American Civil War, i.e. in the 1840s and 1850s.  [14-112] [14-113] [35-657] The only North American thing about it may be the shortening of the name from “Sour Punch” to “Sour”.

Charles Tovey: British & foreign spirits. 1864, page 264.
Charles Tovey: British & foreign spirits. 1864, page 264. [39-264]

It should also be critically noted that it is not an American invention to sell mixed drinks by the glass and to offer only a “small punch” instead of large punch bowls. As early as 1736, it was raised in the British Parliament that the use of punch by persons of all classes had become very excessive, especially since innumerable punch houses had begun to sell punch in small quantities and at a low price. [39-264]

Nevertheless, the mixture, which was given the name ” Sour” in the USA, became immensely popular there. Thus, in 1879, the Atlanta Daily Constitution wrote: “When American meets American then comes the whisky sour.[14-115] [35-657]

The Sun, 22. August 1873.
The Sun, 22. August 1873. [36]

We’d like to conclude this post with a short excursion to a related beverage category of yesteryear: the Cooler. When browsing through old books, one comes across it again and again, and it is not clear what a Cooler is actually supposed to be. We haven’t put it through its paces, but a newspaper article from 1873 brings clarification here and also explains why the Cooler is hard to grasp, as there are many differences between the individual members of the category, sometimes reminiscent of a Sour, sometimes of a Cocktail. It says: “Some prefer to drink a sour or a cocktail from the ice, without having it strained out into a small glass, and then it is called a ‘cooler.’[36]

  1. https://archive.org/details/PharmacopoeiaBateanaOrBatesDispensatory/page/n779/mode/2up?q=punch William Salmon: Pharmacopoeia Bateana: or Bate’s Dispensatory. Translated from the Second Edition of the Latin Copy, Published by Mr. James Shipton. London, 1694.
  2. https://archive.org/details/Cyclopediachambers-Volume2/page/n191/mode/2up/search/punch?q=punch : Ephraim Chambers: Cyclopaedia: Containing the Definitions of the Terms, And Accounts of The Things signify’s thereby, In the several Arts, Both Liberal and Mechanical, And the several Sciences, Human and Divine: The figures, Kinds, Properties, Productions, Preparations, and Uses, of Things Natural and Artificial; The Rise, Progress, and State of Things Ecclesiastical, Civil, Military, and Commercial: With the several Systems, Sects, Opinions, &c. among Philosophers, Divines, Mathematicians, Physicians, Antiquaries, Criticks, &c. The Whole intended as a Course of Antient and Modern Learning. In Two Volumes. Volume the Second. London, 1728.
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S266592711930005X?via%3Dihub Shraddha Srinivasan, Kriti Kumari Dubey & Rekha S. Singhal: Influence of food commodities on hangover based on alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase activities. Food Engineering and Technology Department, Institute of Chemical Technology, Matunga, Mumbai 400019, India. 17. September 2019.
  4. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84023881/1857-09-18/ed-1/seq-2/#date1=1789&index=3&date2=1865&searchType=advanced&language=&sequence=0&words=rum+sour&proxdistance=5&state=&rows=20&ortext=&proxtext=&phrasetext=rum+sour&andtext=&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1 Indiana American. 18. September 1857, page 2.
  5. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038443/1861-10-11/ed-1/seq-2/#date1=01%2F01%2F1789&index=2&rows=20&searchType=advanced&language=&sequence=0&words=brandy+sour&proxdistance=5&date2=01%2F01%2F1862&ortext=&proxtext=&phrasetext=brandy+sour&andtext=&dateFilterType=range&page=1 Union County Star and Lewisburg Chronicle. 11. October 1861.
  6. Jerry Thomas: How to Mix Drinks, Or, The Bon-vivant’s Companion, Containing Clear and Reliable Directions for Mixing All the Beverages Used in the United States, Together with the Most Popular British, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish Recipes, Embracing Punches, Juleps, Cobblers, Etc., Etc., Etc., in Endless Variety. To Which is Appended a Manual For The Manufacture of Cordials, Liquors, Fancy Syrups, Etc., Etc., After the Most Approved Methods Now Used in the Destillation of Liquors and Beverages, Designed For the Special Use of Manufacturers and Dealers in Wines and Spirits, Grocers, Tavern-Keepers, and Private Families, the Same Being Adapted to the Tteade of The United States and Canadas. The Whole Containing Over 600 Valuable Recipes by Christian Schultz. New York, Dick & Fitzgerald, 1862.
  7. Harry Johnson: New and Improved Bartender’s Manual or: How to Mix Drinks of the Present Style And Containing a Valuable List of Instructions and Hints of the Author in Reference to Attending Bar, and also a Large List of Mix-Drinks Together With a Complete List of Bar Utensils, Wines, Liquors, Ales, Mixtures, Etc. From page 77: Practisches, Neues und Verbessertes Handbuch für Barkeeper, Salon- und Hotelbesitzer, Küfer, Weinbauer, Hausfrauen etc. enthaltend practische Winke und Anweisungen für Barkeeper, vollkommen correcte Rezepte aller gemischten Getränke der gegenwärtigen Zeit, Listen sämmtlicher Bar-Artikeln und Utensilien, Regeln zur Behandlung von Liquors, Bier, Ale, Porter, Wein und Cider in Fässern sowohl als auch Flaschen, etc., etc., mit einem Anhang der Anleitung zur Erzeugung von Wein und Cider. New York, Samisch & Goldmann, 1882.
  8. https://www.diffordsguide.com/g/1133/sour-cocktails/history Simon Difford: History of sour cocktails.
  9. http://menus.nypl.org/menu_pages/30614/explore Menü des Mart Ackerman’s Saloon, Toronto, (added in handwriting: 1856).
  10. https://www.artofdrink.com/bar/mart-ackermans-saloon-toronto-1855 Darcy O’Neil: Mart Ackerman’s Saloon (Toronto, 1855). 23. November 2018.
  11. https://archive.org/details/b30505161/page/54/mode/2up?q=punch George Cheyne: An essay of health and long life. London, 1724.
  12. Jeffrey Morgenthaler: The Bar Book. ISBN 978-1-4521-1384-5. San Francisco, 2014.
  13. https://archive.org/details/surgionsmateortr00wood/page/184/mode/2up?q=scurvy Iohn Woodall: The Svrgions Mate, or a treatise discouering faithfully and plainely the due contents of the Svrgions chest, the vses of the instruments, the vertues and operations of the medicines, the cures of the most frequent diseases at sea: namely wounds, apostumes, vlcers, fistulaes, fractures, dislocations, with the true maner of amputation, the cure of scuruie, the fluxes of the belly, of the collica and the illiaca paßio, tenasmus, and exitus ani, the callenture; with a briefe explanation of sal, sulphur, and mercury; with certaine characters, and tearmes of arte. Published chiefly for the benefit of young sea-surgions, imployed in the East-India Companies affaires. London, 1617.
  14. David Wondrich: Imbibe! Updated and revided. ISBN 978-0-399-53287-0. Punch. Pedigree Book, 2007.
  15. https://archive.org/details/2712004R.nlm.nih.gov/page/n137/mode/2up?q=%22sour+punch%22 Alexander Sutherland: Experimental essays on the virtues of the Bath and Bristol waters. London, 1772.
  16. https://archive.org/details/recollectionsofo00perr/page/38/mode/2up?q=%22sour+punch%22 David Perry: Recollections of an old soldier. The life of Captain David Perry, a soldier of the French and revolutionary wars. Windsor, Vt, 1822.
  17. https://archive.org/details/historyofnorwich00caul/page/242/mode/2up?q=%22sour+punch%22 Miss F. M. Caulkins: History of Norwich, Connecticut, from its settlement in 1660, to January 1845. Norwich, 1845.
  18. https://archive.org/details/barkeepersreadyr00unse/page/14/mode/2up?q=%22sour+punch%22 Anonymus: Barkeepers‘ Ready Reference Containing One Hundres Valuable Recipes for Mixed Drinks. Also, Recipes for Cooking Oysters and Game. With A List of Houses From Which to Obtain All Things in the Saloon Trade, From a Cask of Brandy to a Common Straw Through Which You Drink Your Cobbler. Ohne Ort, A. V. Bevill, 1871.
  19. https://archive.org/details/dli.ministry.01647/page/n45/mode/2up?q=%22sour+punch%22 Douglas Carruthers (Hrsg.): The desert route to India. Being the journals of four travellers in the great dessert caravan route between Aleppo and Basra 1745-1751. London, 1929.
  20. https://archive.org/details/domesticmedicine00buch_1/page/362/mode/2up?q=%22sour+punch%22 William Buchan: Domestic medicine. Halifax, 1801.
  21. https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.21083/page/n139/mode/2up?q=%22sour+punch%22 The Edinburgh Review or Clinical Journal. Vol. 2. Edinburgh, 1803.
  22. https://archive.org/details/b21722055/page/n289/mode/2up?q=%22sour+punch%22 William Buchan: Domestic medicine. Manchester, 1806.
  23. https://archive.org/details/b21529838/page/356/mode/2up?q=%22sour+punch%22 John Armstrong: The young woman’s guide to virtue, economy, and happiness; being an improved and pleasant directory for cultivating the heart and understanding; with a complete and elegant system of domestic cookery, formed upon principles of economy; … Newcastle upon Tyne, (1817).
  24. https://archive.org/details/burtsguidethroug00burt/page/46/mode/2up?q=%22sour+punch%22 Henry M. Burt: Burt’s guide through the Connecticut Valley to the White mountains and the river Saguenay. Springfield, Mass., 1874.
  25. https://archive.org/details/earlylifeinupper0000unse/page/98/mode/2up?q=%22sour+punch%22 Edwin C. Guillet: Early life in Upper Canada. Toronto, 1933.
  26. https://archive.org/details/moderntraveller02unkngoog/page/n161/mode/2up?q=punch Anonymus: The modern traveller; being a collection of useful and entertaining travels, lately made into various countries; The whole carefully abridged: exhibiting a view of the manners, religion, government, arts, agriculture, manufactures, and commerce of the known world. Vol. II. London, 1776. Darin: Alexander Russel: A Description of Aleppo.
  27. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015080323572&view=1up&seq=55&skin=2021&q1=%22sour%20punch%22 The London Chronicle. 12. July 1759.
  28. https://www.google.de/books/edition/Medical_Commentaries/1ssEAAAAQAAJ?hl=de&gbpv=1&dq=%22sour+punch%22&pg=PA230&printsec=frontcover Andrew Duncan: Medical commentaries, for the years 1781-1782: exhibiting a concise view of the latest and most important discoveries in medicine and medical philosophy. Volume 8. London, 1783.
  29. https://www.google.de/books/edition/Observations_on_the_Means_of_Preserving/F54_AAAAcAAJ?hl=de&gbpv=1&dq=%22sour+punch%22&pg=PA50&printsec=frontcover Donald Monro: Observations on the means of preserving the health of soldiers; and of conducting military hospitals. And on diseases incident to soldiers in the time of service, and on the same diseases as they have appeared in London. Vol. I. Second edition. London, 1780.
  30. https://archive.org/details/robertsonslandma0001robe/page/452/mode/2up?q=%22sour+punch%22 Anonymus: Robertson’s Landmarks of Toronto. A collection of historical sketches of the old town of York from 1792 until 1833, and of Toronto from 1834 to 1893. Volume 1. Ontario, 1976. Therein: Abner Miles’ Store.
  31. https://www.dict.cc/?s=bubo bubo.
  32. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Russell_(naturalist) Alexander Russell (naturalist).
  33. https://archive.org/details/ytorontoofoldcol00scad/page/44/mode/2up?q=%22sour+punch%22 Anonymus: Robertson’s Landmarks of Toronto. A collection of historical sketches of the old town of York. From 1782 until 1833, and of Toronto from 1834 to 1893. Volume 1. Belleville, 1976. Originally published: Toronto, 1894.
  34. David Wondrich & Noah Rothbaum (Hrsg.): The Oxford Companion to Spirits & Cocktails. ISBN 9780199311132. 2022.
  35. https://fultonhistory.com/highlighter/highlight-for-xml?altUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fultonhistory.com%2FNewspaper%25209%2FNew%2520York%2520NY%2520Sun%2FNew%2520York%2520NY%2520Sun%25201873%2520Apr-Dec%25201873%2520%2520Grayscale%2FNew%2520York%2520NY%2520Sun%25201873%2520Apr-Dec%25201873%2520%2520Grayscale%2520-%25200519.pdf%23xml%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.fultonhistory.com%2FdtSearch%2Fdtisapi6.dll%3Fcmd%3Dgetpdfhits%26u%3Dffffffff8be825ad%26DocId%3D3208923%26Index%3DZ%253a%255cindex%2520G%252dT%26HitCount%3D3%26hits%3D68b%2B68c%2B68d%2B%26SearchForm%3D%252fFulton%255fform%252ehtml%26.pdf American Fancy Drinks. New York, The Sun, 22. August 1873.
  36. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruta_graveolens Ruta gravolens.
  37. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weinraute Weinraute.
  38. https://books.google.de/books?hl=de&id=ZxoZAAAAYAAJ Charles Tovey: British & foreign spirits. London, 1864.
  39. https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/currency-converter/ Currency converter.
Laphroaig Sour.
Laphroaig Sour.

explicit capitulum


Hi, I'm Armin and in my spare time I want to promote bar culture as a blogger, freelance journalist and Bildungstrinker (you want to know what the latter is? Then check out "About us"). My focus is on researching the history of mixed drinks. If I have ever left out a source you know of, and you think it should be considered, I look forward to hearing about it from you to learn something new. English is not my first language, but I hope that the translated texts are easy to understand. If there is any incomprehensibility, please let me know so that I can improve it.

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