Fireman’s Sour

August 31st, 2009  |  Published in housemade, mixers, recipes, rum  |  3 Comments

Fireman's SourThings are a bit tense around the Casa de SLOSHED! these days, given the increasing proximity of the Station Fire to our humble abode. Fires are nothing new around here—last year’s fire very nearly got us evacuated—but the three-day, multi-fold increase in the area of this fire is a bit unnerving. On top of that it is suffocatingly hot and smoky outside, which has started to cause some stir-craziness amongst the natives.

Naturally, being obligated to stay inside has me contemplating the bar and its many wonders as I warily eye the columns of smoke rising above the mountains to the north. Police and firefighters from all over SoCal have been cruising past the house to spot trouble from the vantage of our neighbors’ hilltop view, and fire season always brings about sincere feelings of gratitude for the hardworking firefighters, whom we frequently see catching quick cat naps and meals on our road.

In Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide, Revised, Vic included a recipe for the Fireman’s Sour—a light, rum-based sour that seemed especially apropos today. I’ve adapted it slightly to suit my tastes, but it’s a fine, refreshing little drink for those of us sweating it out in the foothills. If firemen could drink on duty, I’d take a pitcher on by the local firehouse. Thanks Fire Station 123, and all the hardworking men and women battling the fires!

½ oz grenadine
½ tsp simple syrup
2 oz light Puerto Rican rum
juice of 1 lime

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a sour glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and a brandied cherry (or two).

Trader Vic’s original recipe called for topping the drink off with club soda but, given the light body of a white Puerto Rican rum and the relatively small amount of sugar, the addition of club soda watered the flavors down entirely too much. Tasting the cocktail on its own before topping off revealed a much more tart, refreshing and interesting drink, so I recommend making this sans club soda. Vic also specified an orange garnish, but I thought the lime was prettier. In all, this is a simple, straightforward and tidy little drink. Not a lot of frills but a solid little number that would really sing with a great rum.

Fireman's Sour

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  1. Blair, aka Trader Tiki says:

    September 1st, 2009at 9:35 am(#)

    This looks quite lovely. I have yet to go through the revised edition, but the 1948 edition calls for a splash of seltzer, and garnish with orange and cherry. I do quite like the red and green of the lime and cherry though, not to mention that I have a wee place in my heart for when garnish matches or accentuates flavors in the drink.

    I’ll have to try this out sometime soon!

  2. J.R.Portman says:

    September 3rd, 2009at 10:58 am(#)

    do you have a great puerto rican rum brand recommendation for this drink? white, gold, or dark work best? thanks!

  3. Marleigh says:

    September 19th, 2009at 10:18 am(#)

    I used the last of our bottle of Brugal white in this one, but I’m sure that Ron Matusalem white would make a great drink as well.

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