Friday Cocktails: Ada Clare

By Helen Rosner

Published on January 13, 2012

In the pantheon of cocktails, sours get a particularly bad rap. Thanks to generations of drink-happy college students sloshing together cheap booze with syrupy store-bought sour mix, it's rare that you'll find a sophisticated drinker who asks the bartender for a whiskey or amaretto sour with a straight face. So it was surprising to find the Ada Clare on the menu at The Vault at Pfaff's, a speakeasy-style bar in New York City that caters to a clientele of decidedly sophisticated drinkers. The drink, a staple of the menu since the bar's opening in 2011, combines sour mix with both whiskey and amaretto, resulting in a cocktail that gives new meaning to the idea of a whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Made with a rich, savory whiskey, a homemade barely-sweet sour mix that gets its body from shaken egg whites, and a splash of almond liqueur, it all comes together with a cinnamon-sugar rim. It's a richly layered drink that's eminently drinkable, remarkably worldly, and a million miles away from the plastic-cup follies of our undergraduate years.

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