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Tamarind Whiskey Sour

Tamarind Whiskey Sour

Step one: Buy tamarind concentrate. Step two: Make this spin on a classic whiskey sour.


Palm sugar syrup

  • ⅓ cup palm sugar or light brown sugar


  • 4 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 2 ounces tamarind concentrate
  • Orange wedges and maraschino cherries (for serving)

Recipe Preparation

Ingredient info:

  • Tamarind concentrate is available at Asian markets or online.

Palm sugar syrup

  • Bring palm sugar and ⅓ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan; cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Let cool.


  • For each cocktail, combine 1½ oz. bourbon, 1 oz. lime juice, 1 oz. palm sugar syrup, and ½ oz. tamarind concentrate in a cocktail shaker; fill shaker with ice and shake until outside is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and serve with an orange wedge and a cherry.

Recipe by Pok Pok, Portland, OR,Reviews SectionLast time I made this I had pure tamarind as oppose to concentrate. Much better with tamarind concentrate, which is a given! I had a ginger mint syrup so used that.mmoriciJersey City, NJ07/27/20

Whiskey Sour Five Way Recipe

Whiskey lovers, listen up! We’re indulging in some whiskey-infused cocktail today, a.k.a., whiskey sour. The drink is essentially a concoction of whiskey, sugar, lime juice and an optional dash of egg white. The egged version of the drink also known as a Boston Sour, so know your sour when you’re ordering one!

The drink dates back to a Wisconsin daily that was published in 1870 and has since found its way into the swankiest of bars all around the globe.

Wondering why we are suddenly obsessing over Whiskey Sour in the middle of the week? Well, simply because it’s World Whiskey Day this weekend! Yep, there exists a date on the calendar, 19th May that is, dedicated just to the classic spirit, and rightly deserved, if we may say so. So, join us in on the drinking with these five whiskey sour recipes to commemorate whiskey.

  • Start off with a chilled glass to contain the classic drink.
  • With the help of your shaker, put all ingredients in, add ice, and dry shake vigorously.
  • Pour the mixture into your chosen cooled glass and add Angostura bitters for a little punch.

Did you know? The first-ever mixture of sugar, water, lime juice, and rum was called "grog" Share this trivia!

Watch it Here!

Recipe Variations

    - Give your whiskey sour wholesome fruity flavor by adding fresh blackberries! - Throw in a few dashes of five-spiced powder for an intense flavor! If you'd rather have something sweeter, try this!

Know Your Ingredients!

    - This can give the drink a good vibe, that's why we recommend it fresh, but using concentrated juice is fine as well since they are made for our convenience, just like this.- You're on the sweet side? Add sugar for your delight, the refined and granulated kind can be used for this.
  • Whiskey - A tasty whiskey of your choice will surely enhance the flavor of this cocktail!- Something to balance it off that will bring the flavors together. whites - For extra kick. It's optional, but the drink can be more interesting with a little something. - Everybody loves a cherry or two on top, make it your choice!

Bar Accessories

The History

The first appearance of Whiskey Sour was in 1862, in Jerry Thomas' "How to Mix Drinks". From three basic ingredients- sweet, sour, and spirit- it evolved into a lot of forms, becoming known for its simplicity and serene taste.

The Rise in Fame

The Perfect Pair

This savory and delicious food can be paired with a good glass of whiskey sour cocktail: pork ribs, cheese such as Roquefort, brie, and cheddar. It depends on how strong or mild your whiskey is. Tangy or tart fruits like apples and pears, last but not the least, dark chocolate. Yum!

Kitchen Witch: Tamarind

Every week, the Kitchen Witch answers your culinary questions with an eye towards seasonal, sustainable cooking. Ask your question by email [email protected] or on Twitter @ECkitchenwitch.

Dear Kitchen Witch,

Do you have ideas for anything fun to do with tamarind concentrate other than just make tamarind sauce? Or, I guess, something to do with the tamarind sauce other than using it as a dipping sauce for various items from the freezer section of the supermarket?

&mdashSweet on Sour

I&rsquom a little unclear on what could possibly be more fun than dipping samosas or pakoras in tamarind chutney. Dips are fun! However, yes, I do like tamarind in a number of other applications. If you want to broaden your range very easily, tamarind is quite good stirred up with a chili paste or sauce (try it with different ones like sambal oelek or sriracha) to add complexity to both. That takes tamarind in a southeast Asian-ish direction, in case you want to dip a broader range of freezer things in it, like, say, lumpia or chicken satay or a dumpling of your choosing.

In general, tamarind makes a great secret weapon in a lot of places where you need a tangy, sweet-sour note but want something a little deeper, darker, and thicker (both in taste and texture) than, say, citrus juice&mdashbarbecue sauces, glazes, that kind of thing.

As an illustration of this principle, probably the one place most American eaters are ingesting tamarind&mdashunbeknownst to them!&mdashis another secret flavor weapon: Worcestershire sauce. That&rsquos right, our old friends Mr. Lea and Mr. Perrins, who were drugstore owners in Worcester in the early nineteenth century, originally made up the sauce to try to mimic a flavor-enhancing sauce a local aristocrat had enjoyed during his colonialist stay in Bengal, hence the tamarind, a common Indian ingredient. Originally, the mixture was way too strong and tasted terrible, but according to legend, Lea and Perrins chucked it in a cellar and forgot about it for a couple of years, in which time it fermented and&mdashlike other fermented, fish-based sauces, such as the Roman garum and Vietnamese nuoc mam&mdashbecame actually tasty. (Worcestershire sauce&rsquos much better known not-so-secret ingredient is anchovies.)

I&rsquod be very interested to know where a pair of nineteenth-century chemists were getting tamarind, which grows in pods on trees in the tropics. Maybe it was in some oldy-timey, apothecary-style medicinal concoctions? Or maybe the lord brought some back. In any case, the tamarind pulp that makes up concentrate is scraped off the inside of the pods. In looking up this info, I was very interested in the ingredient&rsquos connection to British imperialism. I learned that Worcestershire sauce for the American market has about three times as much sugar as the British version and became tempted to make my own (recipes abound on these internets), which is obviously a little more of a&hellipproject than I think you&rsquore asking for. Indeed, it&rsquos the very kind of ambitious DIY cooking that makes tamarind concentrate a prime candidate for being one of those forlorn pantry ingredients you bought for one thing that then sits there on the shelf, the imprint of that single teaspoon you used in 2012 still dented into its dark, almost inky surface.

Let&rsquos back up to discuss what kind of tamarind readers are getting. I suspect most people have bought concentrate, as you mention, which is very thick and, not surprisingly, intensely flavored. It&rsquos also smooth, which is a very nice quality though it&rsquos thick, it will melt and blend into liquids. Tamarind paste can vary in how much it&rsquos strained. Sometimes, though less often as tamarind has become a more popular ingredient in American cooking, I&rsquove seen blocks of the tamarind pulp that still have a bunch of fiber and sometimes seedy bits embedded in them. You&rsquoll have to work a little harder to get that sour flavor out of it: soaking to soften in boiling water, then pushing it through a fine-meshed (and very sturdy) sieve to separate the pulp from all the fiber.

Let&rsquos assume, however, you have some concentrate or nicely strained tamarind. One thing that will use up a bunch of it and offer a lot of refreshment as the hot season approaches is to drink it! In Mexico, tamarind is a common flavor of agua fresca and bottled sodas a less sweet home version of the latter made with seltzer would be a nice spin, or you can give lemonade or limeade an extra jolt. One of the best cocktail memories of my life was the tamarind whiskey sour I had at Pok Pok in Portland. (It didn&rsquot hurt that I was on a much-needed and very fun getaway weekend and that all the food I ate after that drink was absolutely banging.) I&rsquove made them at home shaken with egg white to get a nice bit of foam on top (I am a sucker for a foamy drink), or in a simpler version without for a drink you can make in big batches. I haven&rsquot played around much with tamarind in desserts, but it&rsquos big in Mexican candy and I can imagine translating that into, say, a sorbet or popsicle. I&rsquove seen (but not tried) tamarind-date cake recipes, too. If you try something you like, please let me know!

To return to dinner ideas, tamarind is essential to pad thai&mdashwhich I know is such a takeout staple now that it&rsquos easy to overlook making at home, but it&rsquos an easy stir-fry and you can really bump up the vegetable count and maybe ratchet down the sugar to make it a little more healthful at home. Green papaya salad is another spot where tamarind lends a sour hand, and, by extension, you could use it in any kind of salad dressing or stir-fry sauce where you want that kind of complex punch. In general, it&rsquos really nice with seafood&mdashthink added to steamed mussels with coconut milk and shallots, or drizzled in an earthy chile sauce on fish tacos, or in a shrimp salad with lots of aromatic herbs and cucumbers and cherry tomatoes and the crunch of popped spices, or as a dipping sauce for a crab feast.

I&rsquove now come full circle, all the way back to dipping things. But I hope you at least have a wider range of things to dip!

Tamarind whiskey sour

1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Bulleit)
1 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Tamarind Purée mixed with 1/2 oz Hot Water 1 tsp Tamarind Concentrate mixed with 1/3 oz Hot Water
1/2 oz Rich (2:1) Simple Syrup 1 oz Jaggery Syrup (1:1)

Shake with ice and strain into a Double Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

After the Duke on Wednesday, I was still in the mood for another drink. Therefore, I picked up our new Food & Wine: Cocktails 2011 and decided on the Tamarind Whiskey Sour. The Sour was created by Andy Ricker, and the drink must work splendidly with the cuisine at Pok Pok, the Thai restaurant in Portland, Oregon, especially since Andy works in the kitchen there as an award-winning chef. Since I did not have any tamarind purée, I used tamarind concentrate which can be found in most Indian supermarkets. As the stuff is really potent, I figured that it definitely needed to be scaled back a bit to equate to the purée. Another possibility was to make my own tamarind paste out of dried tamarind blocks like we did for the Pattaya Punch however, the concentrate required no additional prep time and thus won out. Another change I made was in the sweetener. While I could have used rich simple syrup, I was anxious to try the jaggery syrup I had just made and reduced the amount of water in the recipe accordingly. Jaggery is a traditional Asian, African, Caribbean, and Latin American unrefined sugar made from either sugar cane or palm tree. Beside sugars, jaggery also contains minerals, protein, and whatever else would be in nonrefined sugar cane pressings or palm tree sap, and the result is a dark, rich, and flavorful product that reminds me a little of molasses and maple syrup when dissolved. Jaggery syrup might be closer to what they use at Pok Pok than the rich simple syrup in the book one Portland blog claims that they use palm sugar syrup to make this drink. In addition, this substitution was one that David Wondrich would most likely smile upon (Wondrich discusses jaggery in his Punch book).
The Tamarind Whiskey Sour provided a dark Bourbon aroma. The sip was a complex tart fruit flavor from the lime pairing with the tamarind, and the tamarind continued on in the swallow where its zing, jaggery's funkiness, and the Bourbon's heat and barrel notes rounded out the drink. Indeed, the tamarind added a level of tart complexity to the drink that cannot be achieved with citric acid-based juices alone. Moreover, I could definitely see this drink pairing elegantly with either Thai or Indian food beside being enjoyed on its own as a delicious Sour.

Tamarind Syrup Recipe

Unwrap the tamarind paste and cut in half. Rewrap and store one half for later use.

Cut the remaining tamarind into chunks, place in a pot, and cover with six cups of water.

Place three dried limes on a cutting board, and crush with a mallet. The seeds taste bitter, so sort through the pieces of dried limes, and discard the seeds.

Stir the broken lime pieces into the tamarind mixture.

As the liquid boils, break up the tamarind pods with the back of a wooden spoon against the side of the pot.

After simmering for 30 minutes, carefully pour the liquid through a strainer that's placed over a large enough bowl to hold the liquid. Use a spoon or a spatula to push the pulp through the strainer.

Scrape the pulp from the bottom of the strainer, and mix it into the liquid in the bowl.

Rinse the pot that was used to boil the tamarind mixture in, then pour the strained liquid back in. Whisk in four cups of sugar.

Stir the mixture until it comes to a boil. Reduce the temperature, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Pour the syrup into a large mason jar, and store in the refrigerator.

Mix three tablespoons of syrup in a glass of ice water, and stir until syrup completely dissolves. Feel free to add more syrup if you prefer. Enjoy!

Tamarind-Orange Gin

I have been enjoying tamarind flavors in a number of Indian and Thai dishes for years, but until recently it had not occurred to me to attempt to use tamarind in anything myself. Last year, I was making a recipe that called for tamarind concentrate. We used it in a few dishes (and a few cocktails), and when I recently stumbled upon a bag of dried tamarind pods in a local international market, I decided it was finally time to figure out how to really use this lovely fruit.

Now, I am certainly not an expert on how to properly use tamarind. So for those of you who are, feel free to chime in on how I should have prepared this fruit.

First I cracked off the hard, outer pod. Then, inside the fruit are very large seeds which I removed. Although I probably could have infused the fruit at that point, I thought reconstituting the fruit a bit might help bring out the flavor. So I added some water and heated it on the stove (as above). It isn’t very pretty at this point, but it has that lovely, tangy flavor.

Tamarind-Orange Gin

50 g. tamarind flesh (approximately 1/3 cup)

Combine the tamarind flesh and 1/2 cup water in a small sauce pan and place on stove. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 3-4 minutes, or until most of the water has either soaked into the flesh or evaporated. Remove from heat and let it cool.

After the tamarind cools, combine all ingredients in a jar, shake and let sit in a cool area for a few weeks. We let this infuse for about 3 weeks, but it seemed to infuse pretty quickly. You could probably do this in two weeks, or even use a bit more gin. Strain and filter through a strainer, cheesecloth or jelly bag, and finally a coffee filter.

We love this liqueur. Both the tamarind and orange flavors stand out beautifully. We have tried it in a gin and tonic, and I think you can guess how delicious it was. More cocktails recipes to follow…

Don’t let the tamarind intimidate you! I’m so pleased with how well this infused and how easy it was, we will make more tamarind infusions as well.

Homemade Liqueurs

With no special equipment required, homemade liqueurs are very easy to make!

Most homemade liqueurs start with vodka. This spirit is an ideal base for liqueurs because it&aposs colorless and flavorless, making it the perfect blank canvas.

Try creating some of the most popular liqueur flavors, like coffee, amaretto, and Irish cream -- they all rely on vodka for their kick. Or you may prefer to infuse the subtle essences of herbs, spices or fruit. Don&apost be afraid to experiment with rum, tequila, gin, brandy, and whiskey infusions as well.

Explore our complete collection of Homemade Liqueur Recipes.

Pick a Flavor

There are two ways to add flavor to liquor:

1. Mix flavored extracts right into liquor.
2. Choose the flavoring ingredients in their raw form and allow them to steep in the alcohol for days or weeks.

Using extracts is the fastest way to make a batch of liqueur, and there are a few cases (e.g. with almond extract), where this is the best way to achieve the flavor you&aposre after. More often than not, though, you will get the best results when you slowly infuse the liquor with fresh ingredients. For example, lemon cordial made with fresh lemon zest will taste much better than something made with lemon extract. Using fresh ingredients also allows you to introduce more variety you won&apost be able to find as wide a variety of extracts and essences as you will of fruits and herbs and spices.

Infusing liquor is not an exact science, but more a matter of taste. Infuse each flavor to suit your own preferences and if it ends up tasting too strong, you can always dilute it with additional liquor.

Here are some flavoring ideas:

Fruit: Orange zest, lemon zest, kumquats, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, peaches, tart apples, pineapple, pomegranate seeds, dried apricots, or dried sour cherries. Whole fruit should be sliced and/or mashed to allow the juices to escape and let the liquor come in contact with as much surface area as possible. Leave the skin on for maximum flavor.

Herbs and spices: Vanilla beans, coriander seeds, peppercorns, hot chiles, lemongrass, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, whole coffee beans, dill, thyme, basil, tarragon, rosemary, or even garlic. Be sparing with the cloves and nutmeg: too much of these ingredients can produce a numbing effect in your mouth!

Try combining a couple of different flavors in the same batch: how about apple-cinnamon, chile-lemongrass, lemon-tarragon, orange-cranberry, or raspberry-vanilla? Just don&apost try to pack too many different things into one bottle, or you won&apost be able to distinguish the flavors.

Give it a Rest

Once you&aposve chosen your alcohol and your flavorings, simply combine them.

  • Put flavorings right into the liquor, or any glass or earthenware jar/bottle with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Keep the container in a dark place and leave it at room temperature. If you don&apost have a dark cupboard in your house, put the bottles in a paper grocery bag and stir or rotate them a couple of times a day.
  • Depending on how potent your flavorings are, you&aposll need to let them steep for anywhere from a day to a few weeks. Most fruit needs a full two to four weeks for all the flavor to be transferred to the alcohol, whereas chiles, garlic, and most fresh spices only need a couple of days.

Smell and taste the infusions to decide when each is ready.

If you&aposve used mashed fruit, your infusion is now going to have bits of sediment in the bottom. To get rid of it, simply line a strainer with a coffee filter and slowly pour the liquor through. Don&apost try to save the fruit that&aposs been soaking in the booze--it won&apost have any flavor left in it.

Add a Little Sweetness

When sweetening your liqueurs, don&apost add sugar directly to the alcohol -- it will take too long to dissolve and you won&apost be able to tell right away how sweet it is. Instead, make a simple syrup of two parts sugar to one part water. Combine them in a saucepan and simmer them on the stove until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let the syrup cool to room temperature and then sweeten the infusion to taste. Once a liqueur has been sweetened, most of them taste better after they&aposve had a chance to "age" for a month or so. Aging allows the flavors to mellow and blend.

Bottle It Up

Scour local import stores, thrift stores or your own cupboards to find interesting glass bottles (if they don&apost have tops, you can buy corks at craft stores or winemaking supply shops). Have fun creating your own custom labels and "garnish" each finished bottle by dropping in a small quantity of the original ingredients (a few berries, a twist of citrus zest, an herb sprig, etcetera).

Serving Your Homemade Liqueurs

Most homemade infusions are wonderful when served unadorned, straight out of the freezer. They are also beautiful when mixed into a fresh cup coffee or drizzled over a scoop of good vanilla ice cream,

Any homemade liqueur can be substituted in a traditional cocktail with wonderful results. Make amazing martinis with your infused vodkas, or have fun inventing your own brand new signature drinks!

Old Sister Tamarind

  • 1 ½ ounces Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
  • ½ ounce Jamaican rum, preferably Appleton Reserve
  • 1 teaspoon verjus, preferably Wolffer
  • 1 teaspoon Tam Jam (see Editor's Note)
  • 2 drops 20% saline solution (10:2, water:salt)
  • 5 drops Bittermens celery shrub
  1. Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Pour into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.
  3. Garnish with grapefruit twist.
Editor's Note

Tam Jam
Blend together 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup sour tamarind and 4 ounces water until smooth. Bottle and refrigerate.

Step by step pictures of making tamarind paste

The first step is to peel the hard shell from the fruit pod.

The tamarind fruit shelled and un-shelled.

The second step to making tamarind paste is to soak the shelled pods in water.

Massage the fruit after soaking in water for 20 minutes. The seeds and fibers will separate from the fruit.

Place the pulp with the seeds and fibers in a mesh strainer over a bowl and press the fruit through the strainer. The paste will collect in the bowl underneath and the seeds and tough fibers will be left behind.

Discard the seeds and tough fibers.

I was able to make about 2 1/2 cups of tamarind paste from that large bag of pods.

Place tamarind paste in ice cube trays and freeze. Then place tamarind paste cubes in a freezer bag and keep in the freezer. A years worth of tamarind paste is ready to go for all of your delicious recipes.

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