whiskey sour in environment
whiskey sour in environment
whiskey sour in environment
whiskey sour against white background

Whiskey Sour

Bourbon, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Egg White, Orange, Angostura Bitters

4.9 from 2297 votes


How to make a Whiskey Sour

Add Whiskey, fresh pressed Lemon Juice and Simple Syrup to your shaker. If using Egg Whites, add them last. Next step is to Dry Shake, which means shaking without ice to build up froth. Once frothy, add ice and shake again until chilled. Strain and garnish with an orange wedge and bitters

Story about Whiskey Sour

Written by Michael Bergström

The Whiskey Sour is considered the Monarch of the Sours cocktail family, with a rich history and countless variations. It originated during the Victorian era as a modernized version of the classic punch. As bartenders became more skilled and creative, the focus shifted to individual cocktails rather than shared bowls of punch. This marked the professionalization of bartending, with labeled bottles and specialized glassware replacing barrels of wine, gin, and ale.

The first written recipe for a Sour dates back to 1862 in The Bartender’s Guide by Jerry Thomas. While it initially featured brandy or gin, mentions of a Rum Sour, specifically The Santa Cruz, indicated its popularity. A mere eight years later, the Whiskey Sour was mentioned in an American newspaper, reflecting its widespread acclaim as one of the cardinal points of American drinking.

Over time, the Sour family has seen numerous interpretations, with some achieving contemporary classic status. Examples include category-specific variations like the Pisco Sour, Amaretto Sour, and Vodka Sour. There are also name-specific classics such as the Boston Sour (often served with egg white), New York Sour, South Side, Margarita, Sidecar, Daiquiri, White Lady, Lemon Drop Martini, Kamikaze, Gimlet, and more.

Additionally, contemporary classics like the Cosmopolitan, Penicillin, Gold Rush, Tommy’s Margarita, Trinidad Sour, and others have become popular choices in the cocktail world.

What is Whiskey Sour made of?
It’s Whiskey of any kind, a sour element and something sweet to balance things out. Using egg white is optional, but it creates a nice smooth and silky mouthfeel. Bartenders love adding a couple of dashes of bitters on the frothy head, more as decoration rather than garnish. It also adds a great elevated flavor experience drinking through it. 

Is Whiskey Sour a sweet drink?
In the world of cocktails we’d say it lands on the less sweet side. That being said, it does contain sugar but in good balance with the citrus. A Sour is always a great choice if you don’t want a cocktail that’s too sweet or drink straight up Whiskey

What Whiskey is the best for a Whiskey Sour?
The straight answer is any Whiskey will make a delicious Sour. However, traditionally, and according to old drink books, Whiskey Sours are made with Irish Whiskey. These days, Bourbon would be the most common choice but as we mentioned, any Whiskey will make a great sour so choose according to personal preference.

What you need
Tools & Glassware:
Cocktail Shaker
Citrus Press
Rocks glass or cocktail glass

Fresh Lemon Juice
Simple Syrup
Ice Cubes
Egg White

Step by Step
• Juice your citrus

• Get a shaker out

• Add Whiskey, Lemon Juice and Sugar

• Add egg white last so it doesn’t turn into an omelet.

• Dry shake to build up froth (no ice)

• Add ice and shake again

• Double strain into your glass

• Add a few dashes of Bitters and draw patterns using a toothpick.

• Enjoy!

Rate this drink recipe

Bourbon Lemon Juice Simple Syrup Egg White Orange Angostura Bitters
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