New York Sour

New York Sour Cocktail

The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving
  • Yield: 1 cocktail

The New York sour is a fascinating taste experience. It's a simple variation on the famous whiskey sour that adds a red wine float, offering two layers of flavor that integrate with one another as you drink. This is also a beautiful cocktail and it's easy to mix up at home.

This classic whiskey cocktail is most often made with rye whiskey, though bourbon is a popular choice as well. While rye will give it a spicy snap, either is an excellent match for the sweet and sour base. Any red wine will work. Dry, fruity reds like Bourdeaux, Malbec, and Shiraz are typical, and it's a great use for red blends, too.

You don't need to be a master bartender to make this drink because the red wine will naturally float. It will even remain on top for quite a while as you drink and most people enjoy the sensation of the two layers. In the beginning, you get mostly wine, then each sip progressively becomes more of a whiskey sour. If you want to mix your New York sour and enjoy a single flavor, go for it! Bartenders will often serve it with a straw so the drinker gets to choose. For a fun experiment, mix two drinks and try it both ways simultaneously to see which you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey (or bourbon)
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 3/4 ounce simple syrup (to taste)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 ounce dry red wine

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for a New York Sour Cocktail
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  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup.

    Mixing a New York Sour Cocktail
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  3. Shake well.

    Shaking a New York Sour
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  4. Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice.

    Straining a New York Sour Cocktail
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  5. Float red wine on top by pouring it slowly over the back of a bar spoon.

    Red Wine Float on a New York Sour Cocktail
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  6. Serve and enjoy!

    New York Sour Cocktail
    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Tips

  • For a balanced drink, pour a little less when using a rich 2:1 simple syrup and a little more when using a 1:1 syrup. You may want to adjust it with different whiskeys as well.
  • Fresh lemon juice is essential in any sour cocktail. A large lemon yields almost 2 ounces, so one half should be enough for a single drink.
  • To maximize juice yield, let the fruit come to room temperature. Firmly roll it under your palm on the counter before cutting it.

Recipe Variations

  • Like the whiskey sour, adding an egg white gives the drink a luscious mouthfeel and foamy top (the wine will sink under the egg foam). When doing so, dry shake the ingredients without ice first, then fill the shaker with ice and shake again for at least 30 seconds. Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.
  • For a richer, darker sweetness, use maple syrup or simple syrup made with raw or coconut sugars.

How Strong Is a New York Sour?

The New York sour is a moderate cocktail. With an 80-proof whiskey and the average red wine, it mixes up to around 16 percent ABV (32 proof), or slightly stronger than a full glass of wine on its own.