|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Servings: 1 cocktail (1 serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 19g||7%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
The whiskey sour is one of the best classic cocktails. It's easy to make, and the recipe is the base for the entire family of sour drinks. There are also a variety of adjustments you can make to ensure it suits your taste perfectly.
As the name suggests, this cocktail is sour. The flavor is balanced and complemented by the sweetness of the whiskey and simple syrup, so it's not as tart as you might think. Try it with the ratio suggested in the recipe, give it a taste, then adjust your next drink as needed.
The whiskey sour is such a popular drink recipe that it has a holiday! If you need a reason to mix one up, National Whiskey Sour Day is August 25th.
Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together
Gather the ingredients.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the ingredients.
Garnish with a cherry or lemon peel.
- Fresh lemon juice is the key to a great whiskey sour. Bottled lemon juices are either too sweet or too tart and will significantly affect the quality of your drink.
- Every new style or brand of whiskey you choose will give the cocktail a unique flavor profile. Most drinkers prefer bourbon, though a good rye whiskey makes an excellent sour as well.
- As you switch from one whiskey to another, you may need to adjust the sweet and sour elements.
Add an Egg White
A traditional recipe for a whiskey sour includes an egg white. It tends to tame the tartness and make the drink a bit smoother. The use of raw egg is a matter of personal choice, though. Many drinkers pass on the ingredient because there is a potential for salmonella, though the risks are minimal.
When using egg, dry shake all of the ingredients without ice, then add ice and shake for at least 30 seconds to ensure it's properly mixed. It's also generally preferred to serve the drink on the rocks.
Raw Egg Warning
Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.
- Sour mix is a popular shortcut that combines the sweet and sour components into one mixer. It is an easy option, and many sour recipes suggest it, though you lose control of the final taste. If you opt for this, make a fresh sour mix for the best flavor.
- When you add soda to this drink (or any sour), you have a collins cocktail. The whiskey version is the John Collins.
- If you choose Scotch whisky, you have a scotch sour. It often skips the sweetener entirely.
- The Frisco sour is a popular variation. Benedictine is the sweetener, and the recipe employs both lemon and lime for the sour.
- The Canadian Club sour picks up the citrus aspect when using Canadian whisky.
- The old thyme sour is a complex variation, pairing Irish whiskey with St. Germain, Green Chartreuse, cinnamon, and thyme.
- The whiskey sour 101 uses grapefruit and lime along with honey and a honey liqueur.
- A variety of distilled spirits shine in the sour formula. Switch from whiskey to gin, rum, tequila, or vodka and adjust the sweet and sour to suit the new liquor and your taste.
- For brandy, flavored brandies like apricot are popular in sours. The pisco sour is another brandy version that almost always includes the egg white.
- Liqueurs have potential as well, and it's often best to reduce or eliminate the sweetener because they're already sweetened. The most popular for sour drinks are amaretto, Grand Marnier, Kahlua, and Midori.
History of the Whiskey Sour
The whiskey sour made its official debut in Jerry Thomas' 1862 "The Bon Vivant's Companion" (or "How to Mix Drinks"), which was the first published bartending guide. However, you can trace the cocktail's roots to a century before that.
Sour drinks, in general, were initially created to fight off scurvy among British Navy sailors during the 1700s. Most often, this meant adding lime to the rum rations (inspiring drinks like the Navy grog). Not only did it ward off disease, the rum or gin (and sometimes whiskey) helped preserve the perishable fruit juice on long voyages.
From there, the addition of a little sugar enhanced the citrus-liquor combination. The result was a more drinkable beverage that was quite tasty. These eventually became known as the sour family of drinks, which have remained popular throughout the generations. The whiskey sour happens to be the most notable.