The Japanese Sea Lion was an aquatic mammal endemic to the Sea of Japan, along the coasts of Japan, Korea and even to the Kamchatka Peninsula. Originally believed to have been a subspecies of the California Sea Lion the animal was reclassified as its own species in 2007.
The Japanese Sea Lion was mostly grey furred with males weighing between 900 and 1,200 pounds and having a length of 7 1/2 to 8 feet, larger than male California Sea Lions. Cows were considerably smaller and lighter colored.
The animal was driven to extinction in the 20th century, with the last credible sighting being the 1950s. The animal was harvested prior to the 20th century mostly for oil. The sea lions organs were sought after for use in traditional medicine and its whiskers and leather were used as pipe cleaners and leather goods.
There have been talks between the governments of Japan, Korea, and Russia of introducing California Sea Lions into this species’ former habitats but nothing yet has come of these actions.
Balance (4/5) – Nice tasting cocktail. Sweet with a smoky, sour finish.
Correctness (3/5) – No egg white. Good house made sour mix. Two garnishes. Lemon peel instead of orange. Splash of smoked bitters instead of normal. Bartender asked if I wanted to try that.
Delivery (3/x) – Very friendly. Talked with me about the drink and the bar.
Total (19/25) – This wasn’t an absolutely correct Whiskey Sour, but unlike many of the other incorrect sours I’ve had since starting this project this one tasted good. And, that’s always the most important part of your cocktail, Does it taste good? If it doesn’t you need to go back and start over. This was a nice stop and a nice drink.
Taste (9/10) – This is good. Sour on top with a smooth, sweet finish. Tastes great. The mouthfeel is there.
Presentation (4/5) – In the correct glassware, asked if I wanted it on ice. Had the garnish (mostly.)
Balance (4/5) – Good balance. Everything works together to make an enjoyable drink.
Correctness (4/5) – Correct! Whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, with a protein binder! The bartender asked if I wanted an egg white or their vegan alternative – aquafaba (chickpea water.) Only thing missing was the orange peel.
Delivery (3/x) – Spoke with me about the drink. How he was making it, if I wanted to it with aquafaba or egg white, what aquafaba was. Had a taster straw and tasted the drink throughout.
Total (24/25) – Finally, an actual Whiskey Sour. Finally, a drink I’d order again! This was the perfect drink for a hot late summer day. Cool and refreshing with a nice sour tang. The score might be inflated, but that is only because this is the first actual Whiskey Sour I’ve ordered since starting this!
Preserve is a great restaurant in Winters, CA right on the western edge of Yolo County. Their menu always has something delicious on it and you can’t order anything until after you have the fresh bread and jalapeno jelly. Their bar is well stocked and staffed by knowledgeable tenders. Which must be why when I ordered my Whiskey Sour they knew how to make it and how to alter it. I already like Preserve but now, after this cocktail, I love it.
Taste (4/10) – Tastes like cheap whiskey and sour mix. Strange acerbic aftertaste that lingers.
Presentation (2/5) – Cloudy straw. In actual glassware, a little too much ice and no garnish.
Balance (2/5) – Too much liquor. There is some sour, but I wouldn’t call it lemon.
Correctness (1/5) – Incorrect. This was equal parts liquor and sour mix. No egg, no garnish, not shaken.
Delivery (1/x) – Nothing. Bartender was friendly but just poured the drinks.
Total (10/15) – Again, just a terrible drink. Not a whiskey sour.
I’ve always enjoyed Sophia’s. I have several fond memories centered there from my time in college, from competing in their trivia night to just hanging out with friends. The food is good, the location is nice, and the bartenders and staff have always been friendly.