My Material Life

Grandpa’s Whiskey Sour

My paternal grandfather was born on September 23, 1897.  His name was Art and so was my dad’s.  He lived in Chicago and I lived in California, so I never got to know him very well (he died in 1977), but I always kind of liked that we shared the same birthday.  There are a few things about him that stick out in my mind:  he was a housepainter, he used to call people “kid”, and he was well-known for his whiskey sours and blueberry muffins.  Seeing some old photos of him recently made me want to remember our birthday connection, so I decided to make a batch of his whiskey sours yesterday to celebrate the day. They were very good – a little sweet, but I liked them a lot with the fried chicken wings I made last night.

That’s my grandpa sitting on the ground at my parent’s wedding in 1954.  He seems like a fun guy, doesn’t he?  I really love this next photo too.  I don’t know who the fellow on the right is, but the one on the left is Art again.  We read the book Mr. Popper’s Penguins last spring so when I saw this photo recently I couldn’t help but think that here was my own Mr. Popper or perhaps a personal patron saint of housepainting.

Here is Art’s recipe for whiskey sours as my mom wrote it.  I don’t know if he used cherries in his sours, but I think they are a must.  Did you know that you can find maraschino cherries made with natural food coloring?  Tillen Farms and The Silver Palate both make them.


  1. Anne Palmer Peterson

    This is so cool what you did–love the history and time going back, fam heritage! They look and sound yummy! Now, how about a sampling and some pims to boot? 😉 xo

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