Out of all the American inventions — the cotton gin, jazz, the light bulb, the phonograph — I’m going to say that the cocktail is easily my favorite (though there is evidence that the British beat us to it, sort of).
Regardless, American bartender Jerry Thomas documented his ‘invention” in his 1862 bar manual, Bar-Tender’s Guide. In it, there is a recipe for the Whiskey Sour. The sour is a classic, yet very simple concoction that most bartenders still don’t get right. It is not a drink made by combining a spirit and the contents of a store-bought bottle of “sour mix.” That’s a definite no-no.