Sweet maple syrup, top-shelf vodka, and tart grapefruit juice combine to create the very interesting New England sour. It's a simple cocktail recipe with a fascinating flavor that you simply have to experience for yourself. If you enjoy a whiskey sour, you're going to appreciate this fun and simple twist on the classic.
The cocktail was created at Bounce Sporting Club in New York City for one of the New England Patriots' many Super Bowl appearances. It mixes up quickly and is a great pour-and-serve drink that really is perfect for game day parties. There's no need to fear that you'll be stuck mixing drinks in the kitchen and miss the action with this one. You could even mix up a full pitcher and let a house full of guests help themselves.
- 2 ounces vodka (Stoli Elit)
- 1/2 ounce maple syrup
- 4 ounces grapefruit juice
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Garnish: lemon wedge
Build the ingredients in a highball glass filled with ice.
Garnish with a lemon wedge and serve with a straw.
An Inspiration for Variations
- Just like the whiskey sour, you can find inspiration in the New England sour to give the recipe your own spin. The sweet, rich maple against the tart citrus is a great combination and there's no need to stick with the vodka of choice here.
- Of course, you can pour any of your favorite vodkas, though you might want to shake that up a bit. Think about using flavored vodkas that complement the drink's other flavors. Something like 42 Below Honey would be a fun option. You could also play off flavors that pair well with grapefruit—particularly vanilla and caramel—to give it another layer of flavor.
- Vodka is not the only liquor that can work here, either. A shot of almost any whiskey—especially bourbons and rye whiskeys—can give the drink a great kick and add a nice oaky or spicy background. Feel free to go bold, too, and choose a full-flavored, over-proof whiskey. Knob Creek, Rittenhouse Rye 100, and Booker's Bourbon are a few great options.
- Rum is another great choice for this sour. It will add a subtle sweetness that plays really well off the maple syrup. Consider going with an aged rum like Appleton Estate VX or Brugal Añejo. Flavored rums, including the likes of Brinley Gold's Coffee or Vanilla Rum, would be fun additions as well. And, if you cannot get enough of spiced rum, this recipe is another excellent venue for a shot of that.
How Strong Is the New England Sour?
You'll notice that the juice makes up most of the volume in the New England sour and that helps create a rather tame drink. On average, it has an alcohol content around 11 percent ABV (22 proof), which is similar to many wines. This fact also adds to its appeal for parties because you know that your guests aren't drinking something that's too strong.