Finger lime silver sour is a seasonal Australian twist on vintage silver sour recipes using Australian finger limes, lime juice, Tasmanian oaked gin with pepper berries, macadamia and wattleseed liqueur, Tasmanian Leatherwood honey, bitters and real free range organic eggwhite garnished with finger lime caviar on a nasturtium leaf and drops of bitters. This is a refreshing and luxurious creamy sour dessert cocktail that is visually beautiful – evoking whimsical underwater worlds and green gardens with shining green and red finger lime caviar nestled in a nasturtium leaf and floating on the surface of the eggwhite foam. The glassware for the finger lime silver sour is a vintage brandy snifter with a black twisted stem – the wide narrow mouthed glass encapsulates the lime aroma of the finger limes intensifying the transformative properties of uplifting lime fragrance. The fish-bowl like contour of the brandy glass gestures towards the textural connection we find between finger lime caviar and underwater caviar – creating a fantastic underwater garden world in a glass.
What is a Silver Sour? Fancy Sour with Eggwhite
A Silver Sour is a fancy style of vintage 1880’s Sour that calls for eggwhite creating additional texture and creaminess along with sugar, water, citrus, and gin. In developing this finger lime silver sour recipe, I have referred to the Silver Sour formula of McDonough in McDonough’s Bar-Keeper’s guide and gentleman’s Side-Board companion (McDonough 1883: 44). For more on the history of the Silver Sour and Sours more generally see my post on Honey rhubarb silver sour.
How to make a Silver Sour: Shake & Strain
The ingredients for a Silver Sour – ice, sugar, water, citrus, eggwhite, gin – are shaken and strained into a small bar glass, McDonough in McDonough’s Bar-Keeper’s guide and gentleman’s Side-Board companion (1883: 44) writes in his recipe “279. Silver Sour.”:
“Fill large bar glass one-third full of cracked ice, one table-spoon of powdered sugar, one-half wine-glass of water, five or six dashes of lime or lemon juice, the white of an egg, one wine-glass of Gin ; [sic.] shake, and strain in small bar glass.”
In interpreting measurements and method for the Silver Sour, I have referred to David Wondrich (2015: 115-119) in Imbibe where he offers his helpful notes on ingredients and execution for the Sour formula. McDonough’s (1883: 44) recipe uses sugar and water – Wondrich (2015: 118) helpfully advises mix these ingredients together with the citrus first to dissolve them – but in later 1880’s fancier versions of the Sour recipe a lesser measure of 1 teaspoon of sugar syrup was used. The Gin is the standard 2 shots. McDonough’s (1883: 44) recipe uses 5 or 6 dashes of citrus, while Wondrich (2015: 115-119) helpfully advises the more precise measurement of ½ a shot of citrus, citing the root Brandy Sour recipe from The Steward and Barkeeper’s Manual (Haney 1869: 28).
How is the finger lime silver sour different?
The finger lime silver sour offers a seasonal Australian twist on the vintage fancy silver sour recipe using indigenous Australian finger limes paired with Tasmanian oaked gin with pepper berries, Australian macadamia liqueur with wattleseed, fresh lime juice, Leatherwood honey syrup, organic eggwhite and bitters. The finger lime silver sour takes the fanciness of vintage sours to another level adding a beautiful and whimsical finger lime caviar and nasturtium leaf garnish to a fish bowl like vintage brandy snifter glass in which the green and red jewel like finger lime caviar float on the eggwhite foam with drops of aromatic bitters. The finger lime silver sour is an exploration of finger lime aroma and flavour that evokes a beautiful underwater world.
Leatherwood Honey Syrup
The finger lime silver sour swaps out the powdered sugar and water of the Silver Sour for a 1:1 Tasmanian Leatherwood honey syrup for a spicy and texture enhancing sweetener.
Finger limes are a local indigenous Australian ingredient. Finger limes have a heady and intense lime fragrance and flavour. Finger limes have a hard outer pod with varying colours for different varieties ranging from black, almost purple, to lemon and light green and inside there are different colours of green, pink, red or multicoloured caviar. Finger lime caviar are filled with lime flavoured juice that explodes in your mouth as you eat them offering amazing colour, flavour, aroma, and texture. Finger limes can be used in many sweet and savoury dishes to add lime flavour and as a garnish with amazing visual appeal and texture – for example I used finger limes in my haloumi sliders with spiced beetroot sauerkraut.
Tip: How to remove finger lime caviar
Finger lime caviar can easily be removed with a teaspoon once the pod is split open with a sharp paring knife.
Muddled finger lime caviar: Intense lime flavour & aroma
The lemon or lime juice of the vintage Silver Sour is embellished with muddled Australian finger lime caviar over a base of freshly squeezed lime juice for intense refreshing lime flavour and aroma. The acidity of citrus enhances the foaminess and creaminess of the eggwhite.
Finger lime caviar garnish: Adds colour, texture and lime flavour burst mouthfeel
In the finger lime silver sour finger lime caviar used in the garnish offer a connection with marine caviar but a contrasting intense heady lime flavour and aroma that visually creates an underwater garden world along with the peppery herbaceous nasturtium leaves with which they are paired in the garnish. The finger lime caviar adds a delicious and surprising mouthfeel to this cocktail with explosions of intense lime flavour nestled in creamy luscious eggwhite foam.
Real free range organic eggwhite
A real free range organic eggwhite adds creamy texture and mouthfeel to this fancy finger lime silver sour cocktail.
Tasmanian oaked gin, Macadamia liqueur
The gin of the Silver Sour is changed up for a split base of Tasmanian oaked gin with pepper berries for complexity and spice paired with an Australian Macadamia and wattleseed liqueur for a nutty chocolate note – both of which work wonderfully with the fresh lime and finger lime.
For added depth and complexity I have added 2 dashes of Amargo chuncho Peruvian bitters which are usually used in a Pisco Sour with fresh lime juice – they offer spice and aroma working in the Sour and as a garnish. Bitters are not included in the vintage Silver Sour recipe but are my own addition to pair the intense lime of finger lime caviar with spicy aromatic Peruvian bitters.
How to make a finger lime silver sour: Reverse dry shake
The finger lime silver sour is made by the method recommended by Tristan Stephenson (2016: 194) in The Curious Bartender using a ‘reverse dry shake’ where the ingredients are first shaken with ice and then without to enhance the foamy and creamy texture of the eggwhite.
Styling the finger lime silver sour: Jewelled underwater garden
The finger lime silver sour is garnished with drops of bitters, red and green finger lime caviar, and finger lime caviar on a nasturtium leaf. The finger lime caviar evokes an association with marine caviar although it has an intense lime aroma and flavour and comes in green, pink, red and multicoloured. The finger lime silver sour is served in a fish-bowl like vintage brandy snifter which contains the aroma of lime and spiced bitters – and offers a backdrop for the underwater garden world that the caviar, foamy eggwhite, and nasturtium leaves create. The finger lime caviar are visually small jewels floating on the eggwhite foam and gently nestled in the cup of the Lilypad form of the nasturtium leaves. I have used a shooting nasturtium for the small hand like projection they have at the end of the shoot – this shoot comes next to a leaf and it is this double leaf and shoot that I have used as the garnish. Nasturtium leaves have a fresh herbaceous peppery flavour and aroma that connects with the heat of pepper berries in the oaked Tasmanian gin. The nasturtium leaves are from my garden and I find them visually fascinating as they collect small jewel like drops of water when it rains – the use of the finger limes mimics this natural form and elaborates on it with emerald finger lime caviar jewels. The finger lime silver sour explores the flavour and aroma of finger limes -an intense heady refreshing sour lime. The unique texture and colour of the finger lime caviar creates a fancy silver sour cocktail with intense textural bursts of fresh lime juice and beautiful green and red lime jewels for a celebration of Australian finger limes.
Finger lime silver sour: gin, macadamia liqueur cocktailPrint Recipe
- 1:1 Leatherwood honey syrup: equal parts Leatherwood honey, warm water
- Finger lime silver sour cocktail: 1 bar spoon 1:1 Leatherwood honey syrup
- Juice of half a freshly squeezed lime, strained
- Muddled caviar from one whole finger lime
- 1 shot oaked Tasmanian gin with pepper berries, 40 spotted rare Tasmanian gin used here
- 1 shot Macadamia and wattleseed liqueur, MAC used here
- 2 dashes Amargo chuncho Peruvian bitters
- 1 real free range organic eggwhite
- Handful of ice to shake
- Glassware: vintage brandy snifter
- Garnish: Drops of Amargo chuncho Peruvian bitters, green and red finger lime caviar to sprinkle over eggwhite foam and add to the cup of a nasturtium shooting frond and leaf
1:1 Leatherwood honey syrup: Add equal parts honey and warm water, stir
Finger lime silver sour cocktail: Place brandy snifter in the freezer to chill
Add freshly squeezed strained lime juice, 1:1 Leatherwood honey syrup and finger lime caviar to a shaking tin and muddle, to remove the caviar from the finger lime split the pod open with a sharp paring knife and then use a teaspoon to gently scrape out the caviar
Add gin, macadamia liqueur and bitters
Add eggwhite and ice
Seal tins and shake for 30 seconds with ice
Strain into the other side of the tin and discard the ice
Dry shake for another 30 seconds
Strain into prepared chilled brandy snifter
Add 3 drops of Amargo chuncho Peruvian bitters with a straw – draw up the bitters in the straw by placing your thumb over the end of the straw while the other end is submerged in a small dish of bitters, to release over the drink remove your thumb, tease out the drop with a toothpick
Use a chopstick to add red and green finger lime caviar to the eggwhite foam on top of the drink
Add green finger lime caviar to the centre of a shooting nasturtium frond and leaf, to extract the caviar split the pod length ways with a sharp paring knife and gently scrape the caviar out with a teaspoon onto a plate before adding carefully to the cocktail with your chopsticks
Gently lean the stalk against the side of the drink and position the leaves over the top of the glass rim
Jesse Haney (1869). The Steward and Barkeeper’s Manual. Jesse Haney: New York.
Patsy McDonough (1883). McDonough’s Bar-Keeper’s Guide and Gentleman’s Side-Board Companion. Post-Express Print: New York.
Tristan Stephenson (2016). The Curious Bartender: The artistry and alchemy of creating the perfect cocktail. Ryland, Peters & Small: London & New York.
David Wondrich (2015). Imbibe. Perigree: New York.