Whiskey Sour

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Cocktail History

The Whiskey Sour is a classic cocktail that was first published in The Bartender’s Guide by Jerry Thomas in 1862. It’s a simple drink that is traditionally made with bourbon, citrus, simple syrup, bitters, egg white, and cherries, which has become a go-to template for modern cocktail variations.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Bourbon: This is a type of whiskey made in the United States with at least 51% corn, grains, malted barley, and water. We used Elijah Craig Bourbon because it has a deep, spiced whiskey flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Spiritless Kentucky 74 Non-Alcoholic Bourbon Whiskey in place of the whiskey.

Lemon Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lemon. We used freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Simple Syrup: This is a sweetener made with white sugar and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s stovetop recipe.

Orange Bitters: This is a food product made with oranges, botanicals, herbs, and alcohol. We used Angostura Orange Bitters. For a mocktail version of this drink, try All The Bitter Non-Alcoholic Orange Bitters in place of the orange bitters.

Egg White: This is the clear liquid in an egg. We used fresh egg whites because they add a rich, silky smooth texture.

Cherry: This is a fruit that has been soaked in brandy and rich syrup. We used Luxardo Maraschino Cherries because they’re high quality and delicious.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Cocktail Pick: This is used to hold the garnish. We used one from the KingSeal Bamboo Knot Cocktail Pick Set.

Tasting Notes

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: The recipe in the book for the Whiskey Sour was slightly different than the one we’re sharing. Alex used the classic specifications instead and made it with one of his favorite whiskeys. It tasted perfect to him; Kendall thought the recipe was tasty, but she likes several other whiskey drinks more.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

Sale
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 352 Pages – 09/05/2017 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$13.05 Amazon Prime

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail Book

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Bourbon
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Egg White
 3 drops Orange Bitters
 1 Cherry

Method
1

Add bourbon, simple syrup, orange bitters, lemon juice, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Remove ice from shaker.

4

Dry shake for 5-10 more seconds to emulsify egg.

5

Strain into a cocktail glass.

6

Garnish with cherry.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Bourbon
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Egg White
 3 drops Orange Bitters
 1 Cherry

Directions

Method
1

Add bourbon, simple syrup, orange bitters, lemon juice, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Remove ice from shaker.

4

Dry shake for 5-10 more seconds to emulsify egg.

5

Strain into a cocktail glass.

6

Garnish with cherry.

Whiskey Sour

Make It a Mocktail: Use Spiritless Kentucky 74 Non-Alcoholic Bourbon Whiskey in place of the whiskey and All The Bitter Non-Alcoholic Orange Bitters in place of the orange bitters to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

Goblet - Red Wine Glass - Water Glass - Stemmed Glasses - Set of 6 Goblets - Crystal like Glass - 10 oz. Beautifully Designed - by Barski - Made in Europe
Goblet – Red Wine Glass – Water Glass – Stemmed Glasses – Set of 6 Goblets – Crystal like Glass – 10 oz. Beautifully Designed – by Barski – Made in Europe
Set of 6 in pretty box, no wrapping necessary; Dishwasher safe for added convenience; Makes a perfect gift for someone special or for personal use.
$74.95 Amazon Prime
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Waterford Crystal Lismore Goblet, Set of 2
Waterford Crystal Lismore Goblet, Set of 2
Crafted from the finest crystal; Beautifully presented in classic Waterford packaging; Hand wash with soft cloth
$114.99
Goblet - Red Wine Glass - Water Glass - Stemmed Glasses - Set of 6 Goblets - Glass Crystal - 11 oz. - Tattoo Designed -Beautifully Designed - by Barski - Made in Europe
Goblet – Red Wine Glass – Water Glass – Stemmed Glasses – Set of 6 Goblets – Glass Crystal – 11 oz. – Tattoo Designed -Beautifully Designed – by Barski – Made in Europe
Set of 6 in pretty box, no wrapping necessary; Dishwasher safe for added convenience; Makes a perfect gift for someone special or for personal use.
$85.50 Amazon Prime
OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
Sturdy, stainless steel blade; Soft, comfortable, non-slip handle ensures a safe grip; Hand wash with warm, soapy water and promptly dry
$9.95 Amazon Prime

More Whiskey Cocktails

If you like this whiskey-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Stone Fence Cocktail Recipe

Stone Fence: A bourbon cocktail made with apple cider, Angostura Aromatic bitters, and mint

Boo Radley Cocktail Recipe

Boo Radley: A bourbon cocktail made with Cynar, cherry liqueur, a lemon peel, and an orange peel

Falling Leaves Cocktail Recipe

Falling Leaves: A rye cocktail made with Amaro Montenegro, toasted fig syrup, chocolate bitters, and an orange slice

Mountain Man Cocktail Recipe

Mountain Man: A bourbon cocktail made with lemon juice, peach liqueur, ginger syrup, maple syrup, and candied ginger

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-03-04.

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