The Baltimore Bang Is A Bolder Twist On The Whiskey Sour

The main ingredient in a whiskey sour is a pretty involved assembly (aka a pain in the neck for busy bartenders), but the high-brow drink has cemented its place in the timeless cocktail oeuvre for a reason. It combines frothy egg white, freshly squeezed lemon juice, bourbon or rye whiskey, sugar, water, plus orange wheels and maraschino cherries to garnish — delicious, but at this point, maybe a little predictable. If you're ready to elevate your whiskey sour, look no further than bourbon, a little apricot, and (apparently) the east coast.

The Baltimore Bang cocktail combines bourbon, apricot brandy, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup. To assemble, the ingredients all get a wet shake and strained into an ice-filled old fashioned glass (bonus points if you make your own simple syrup). Garnish with a skewered Luxardo cherry and orange wheel. You could also serve this sophisticated bad boy in a chilled martini glass.

The Baltimore Bang is a mid to high-strength cocktail, clocking in at 21.95% ABV (talk about a bang!). For reference, an old fashioned totes a 32.9% ABV and a straight-up margarita rocks a comparable 22.92% ABV. Depending on your preference, you can swap the apricot brandy with cognac for a less sweet, even punchier profile. If you go this route, opt for a fruitier variety like Rémy Martin or Camus Intensely Aromatic VS.

Pick the right ingredients to keep the profile smooth

Despite what its name might suggest, apricot brandies are sometimes made with apricots macerated in vodka or another neutral spirit. It's perhaps an unfamiliar ingredient, but provides a great opportunity to customize the profile of your drink. For example, Hiram Walker apricot brandy is bright and fruity while Leroux apricot brandy leans floral and heavy on the baking spices. 

For an unforgettable after-dinner digestif, Luxardo Apricot albicocca liqueur is more complex and dessert-like with cinnamon and almond notes. Or, if you like it less sweet, Marie Brizard Apry offers a rich, slightly bitter, robust take on the liqueur while still packing deep apricot flavor. Keep in mind that you might need to adjust the amount of simple syrup you use in your Baltimore Bang based on the sweetness of your chosen apricot brandy.

The Baltimore Bang is all about smooth, fruity flavor — an apricot whiskey sour perhaps more approachable despite its boldness. With this in mind, opt for a bourbon that goes down wince-free. Woodford Reserve's flagship Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey with honey, vanilla, and still some measurable heat can add a little more "bang" to your Baltimore Bang.