Whiskey Sour Recipe

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The Ultimate Whiskey Sour Recipe

A classic cocktail that has stood the test of time, the Whiskey Sour is a staple in the world of mixology. Its perfect balance of sweet and sour and the boldness of whiskey make it a favorite for many. Whether you’re a seasoned cocktail enthusiast or a novice looking to impress, this guide will help you master the art of making a Whiskey Sour.

History of the Whiskey Sour

The whiskey sour’s origins date back to the mid-19th century. First mentioned in Jerry Thomas’ 1862 book “How to Mix Drinks,” this cocktail has become a timeless classic. Its simplicity and the harmonious blend of flavors have contributed to its enduring popularity.


The beauty of the whiskey sour lies in its simplicity. You only need a few ingredients, but each one plays a crucial role in creating the perfect cocktail.

  • 2 ounces of bourbon: the base of the cocktail. Choose a good-quality bourbon that you enjoy drinking on its own.
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice: Freshly squeezed is key. It adds the essential sour element that balances the sweetness.
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup: You can buy this, but making it at home is easy and ensures a fresh taste.
  • 1/2 to 3/4 ounce egg white (optional): adds a luxurious, silky texture to the drink. If using, make sure to shake thoroughly.


Before diving into the recipe, make sure you have the following tools:

  • Cocktail shaker: for mixing the ingredients.
  • Strainer: To ensure a smooth pour.
  • Jigger: For precise measuring.
  • Citrus juicer: To get the freshest lemon juice.
  • Ice: To chill and dilute the drink appropriately.


  1. Prepare your ingredients: Start by squeezing the lemon juice. Fresh juice is crucial for the best flavor.
  2. Mix the Ingredients: In a cocktail shaker, combine the bourbon, lemon juice, and simple syrup. If you’re using egg white, add it now.
  3. Dry Shake (if using egg white): Shake the mixture without ice first. This helps to froth the egg white, giving the drink a nice, foamy texture.
  4. Add Ice and Shake Again: Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. This chills the mixture and adds dilution, balancing the flavors.
  5. Strain and Serve: Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with ice. Alternatively, you can serve it up in a chilled coupe glass.
  6. Garnish: A classic garnish for a Whiskey Sour is a cherry and a slice of orange. For a modern twist, you might consider a lemon twist or even a dash of Angostura bitters on top of the foam.

Tips for the Perfect Whiskey Sour

  • Quality Ingredients: Use fresh lemon juice and a good-quality bourbon. The quality of your ingredients will directly impact the final taste.
  • Balance: Taste your cocktail before serving. If it’s too sour, add a touch more simple syrup. If it’s too sweet, a few more drops of lemon juice will do the trick.
  • Egg White: While optional, egg white adds a beautiful texture to the drink. If you’re concerned about using raw eggs, you can use pasteurized egg whites.
Whiskey sour
Whiskey sour


Once you’ve mastered the classic whiskey sour, try experimenting with these variations:

  • New York Sour: Float a little red wine on top for an added layer of complexity.
  • Amaretto Sour: Substitute bourbon with amaretto for a nutty, sweet twist.
  • Herbal Sour: Infuse your simple syrup with herbs like rosemary or thyme for a unique flavor profile.

The Whiskey Sour is a versatile and timeless cocktail that every home bartender should know how to make. With its simple ingredients and straightforward method, you can easily whip up this delightful drink for any occasion. So grab your shaker, squeeze some lemons, and enjoy the perfect whiskey sour!

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Ahmed Mainul

My name is Ahmed Mainul Mondal, I'm the founder of the hospitality career profile website. I'm writing blogs and news posts as per user preferences.

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