Old Thyme Sour Cocktail

Old Thyme Sour Cocktail With Irish Whiskey
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  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Syrup: 40 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving

Building on a classic whiskey sour recipe, the old thyme sour adds a number of new twists to create a delightful, very fun cocktail. The cocktail was created by Michael Grissinger and is innovative on many levels. It all begins with a mix of fresh thyme and green liqueur, which is eventually lit on fire to give the drink a sweet and herbal smoky background.

Building on that, this sour combines one of Irish whiskey with elderflower and homemade cinnamon-thyme syrup. Of course, in true sour fashion, there's a healthy dose of fresh lemon and a touch of egg white for that amazing texture that no other ingredient can give drinks.


  • For the Cinnamon-Thyme Syrup:
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • For the Cocktail:
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/4 ounce green liqueur
  • 2 ounces Irish whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce elderflower liqueur
  • 1-ounce lemon juice (fresh)
  • 1/2 ounce cinnamon-thyme simple syrup
  • Dash bitters
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Garnish: lemon slice

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cocktail is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and assembly.

Make the Cinnamon-Thyme Simple Syrup

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil and stir in the sugar to dissolve.

  3. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally. Add the cinnamon stick and thyme and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, to taste.

  4. Strain, cool, and bottle in a well-sealed container.

Make the Old Thyme Sour Cocktail

  1. Place two sprigs of thyme and green liqueur in an old-fashioned glass and stir to coat the thyme.

  2. In a cocktail shaker, add two sprigs of thyme, the whiskey, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, cinnamon-thyme syrup, bitters, and egg white.

  3. Dry shake to incorporate the ingredients, then add ice and shake thoroughly.

  4. Return to the green liqueur-thyme glass and light the mixture on fire for a few seconds.

  5. Double strain the contents of the shaker into the glass to extinguish the flame.

  6. Add lemon zest and fill with fresh ice.

  7. Garnish with lemon and leftover thyme.

  8. Serve and enjoy!


  • The flavored syrup makes just over 1 cup, so you'll have plenty for many cocktails. It can also be used in other mixed drinks and makes an interesting sweetener for tea.
  • Store the homemade syrup in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • The green liqueur is higher proof (55 percent ABV) than the yellow liqueur (40 percent ABV), so it will burn better.
  • Skip the egg white if you prefer.

How Strong Is an Old Thyme Sour?

The old thyme sour is similar in strength to most sour cocktails. With the recommended brands, its alcohol content should come out to around 18 percent ABV (36 proof). It's just about the same as a strong whiskey ginger.