Drink of the Week: Saskatoon Sour

Last summer while attending a conference in Saskatoon I happened upon a hip cocktail bar called The James inside a swishy boutique hotel of the same name. I asked the bartender to make me something fun and she created a lovely sour using a Saskatoon liqueur from the local Lucky Bastard Distillers. Fittingly, she called the drink a Saskatoon Sour. I was won over by its purple hue before I even tasted its smooth and frothy berry delicious tartness.

Behold the original Saskatoon Sour from The James.

Behold the original Saskatoon Sour from The James.

I meant to write about the drink last year but I forgot all about it until I happened upon the bottle of Saskatoon liqueur I brought back from Saskatoon. *Footnote for those who have no idea what a Saskatoon is: Not only is it a city in the province of Saskatchewan, a “Saskatoon” is a small blue fruit (technically a “pome” — not a berry) that is native to Canada and grows on trees and bushes seemingly everywhere.  The berries are similar in flavour to a blueberry only not as juicy or sweet.* Since I lost the recipe from The James I created my own Saskatoon Sour using the liqueur with Pisco and lime juice, and I’m quite pleased with the result. I didn’t have a Saskatoon or even a blueberry on hand for a garnish, however.

Behold the Saskatoon Sour!

My Saskatoon Sour, with a mint garnish.

As a bonus, Saskatoons are currently in season right now, so if you don’t have a bottle of Saskatoon liqueur on hand, you could improvise by making a Saskatoon simple syrup (or subbing in a blackberry liqueur such as Chambord).

Saskatoon Sour

  • 1 oz Pisco
  • 1/2 oz Saskatoon liqueur*
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • Saskatoon or blueberry garnish

Method: Combine all ingredients except garnish in a cocktail shaker and dry shake to emulsify egg. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a coupe or rocks glass and garnish with a blueberry or Saskatoon.

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