Harvest Sour


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Written By cocktailflavors.com
Harvest Sour_001

Introduction to the Harvest Sour Cocktail

When the leaves start to turn and the air gets crisp, it’s time to embrace the flavors of fall with a Harvest Sour cocktail. This autumnal drink is a delightful mix of bourbon, apple cider, and maple syrup, with a zesty kick of lemon juice. Perfect for cozy evenings or festive gatherings, the Harvest Sour is a seasonal favorite that warms from the inside out.

Imagine wrapping yourself in a warm blanket by the fireplace, the Harvest Sour is your companion in a glass. Its balance of sweet and sour flavors caters to a variety of palates, making it a hit at any fall celebration. Let’s dive into the world of this comforting cocktail and discover why it’s a must-try this season.

Key Facts About the Harvest Sour

– **Alcohol Content:** Approximately 14% ABV
– **Calories:** Approximately 200 kcal
– **Preferred Glass Type:** Rocks glass
– **Typical Garnish:** Apple slice and a cinnamon stick

Interesting Facts about the Harvest Sour

– The Harvest Sour is a twist on the classic Whiskey Sour, incorporating seasonal ingredients.
– Maple syrup in the cocktail not only sweetens it but also adds a depth of flavor that is reminiscent of fall.
– Opting for fresh apple cider in the Harvest Sour enhances the cocktail with a natural and robust apple flavor.

Harvest Sour Cocktail

Tasting Notes for the Harvest Sour

The Harvest Sour is a symphony of flavors that perfectly encapsulates the essence of autumn. The bourbon provides a warm, oaky base, while the fresh apple cider brings a crisp sweetness. The maple syrup adds a rich, caramel-like complexity, and the lemon juice cuts through with a refreshing acidity. This cocktail is ideal for those who enjoy a balance of sweet and tart flavors.

It’s a versatile drink that suits a variety of occasions, from a casual night in to a festive holiday party. The Harvest Sour is particularly appealing to whiskey enthusiasts and those who appreciate seasonal cocktails.

History of the Harvest Sour

The Harvest Sour is a modern creation, inspired by the classic Whiskey Sour. The traditional Whiskey Sour dates back to the 1800s and has been a staple in the cocktail world ever since. The Harvest Sour takes this timeless template and infuses it with the flavors of fall, creating a contemporary twist that has quickly become a seasonal staple.

While the exact origin of the Harvest Sour is not well-documented, it’s clear that the cocktail was born out of a love for seasonal ingredients and the desire to create a drink that celebrates the harvest season. It’s a testament to the creativity and adaptability of mixologists who continue to innovate with new flavor combinations.

Harvest Sour Ingredients

– **Bourbon (2 oz):** The backbone of the cocktail, providing a rich and smooth base.
– **Fresh apple cider (1 oz):** Adds a sweet and tangy apple flavor that is quintessentially autumnal.
– **Fresh lemon juice (1/2 oz):** Brings brightness and acidity, balancing the sweetness of the cider and syrup.
– **Maple syrup (1/2 oz):** Offers a touch of sweetness with a hint of maple’s complex flavor profile.
– **Egg white (optional):** Creates a frothy texture and a smooth mouthfeel.
– **Ice cubes:** Chills the drink and dilutes it to the perfect strength.
– **Garnish:** An apple slice and a cinnamon stick add visual appeal and a hint of spice.

Did you know?

> “The use of egg white in sour cocktails dates back to the 19th century, where it was used to create a silky texture and a frothy top layer.”

Preparing Harvest Sour

Harvest Sour Method

– **Dry Shake:** Start by combining the bourbon, apple cider, lemon juice, maple syrup, and egg white (if using) in a cocktail shaker. Seal and shake vigorously without ice to emulsify the egg white.
– **Ice Shake:** Add ice to the shaker and shake again until the mixture is well chilled.
– **Strain:** Pour the chilled cocktail through a strainer into a rocks glass filled with ice.
– **Garnish:** Complete the presentation with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick for an aromatic finish.

Serving Suggestion for the Harvest Sour

The Harvest Sour is best served in a rocks glass, which allows the aromas to concentrate and enhances the sipping experience. The wide opening of the glass also accommodates a generous amount of ice, keeping the cocktail cool.

For garnish, a fresh apple slice adds a crisp, fruity note, while a cinnamon stick infuses a subtle warmth and spice that complements the bourbon and maple syrup.

Elevating the Harvest Sour

– **Premium Bourbon:** Choose a high-quality bourbon with a rich flavor profile to elevate the cocktail.
– **Homemade Apple Cider:** If possible, use homemade apple cider for a fresher and more authentic taste.
– **Artisanal Maple Syrup:** Opt for pure, artisanal maple syrup to add a unique and high-quality sweetness.

Each of these elements can transform the Harvest Sour from a simple cocktail into an extraordinary drinking experience.

Harvest Sour Cocktail Served

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Harvest Sour

If bourbon isn’t your spirit of choice, rye whiskey can provide a spicier alternative. For a non-alcoholic version, omit the bourbon and increase the apple cider, adding a splash of ginger ale for complexity.

Similar cocktails include the classic Whiskey Sour, the Apple Cider Mimosa, and the Maple Old Fashioned, all of which share a warm, inviting character.

Add a Twist to the Harvest Sour

– **Spiced Rum:** Swap out the bourbon for spiced rum to introduce a different dimension of flavor.
– **Cranberry Juice:** Add a splash of cranberry juice for a tart, fruity twist and a pop of color.
– **Thyme or Rosemary:** Infuse the cocktail with a sprig of thyme or rosemary for an herbal note.

These variations offer a new take on the traditional Harvest Sour, catering to different tastes and preferences.

Preferred Liquors for the Harvest Sour

For the best Harvest Sour, consider using bourbons like Buffalo Trace or Woodford Reserve for their smooth and versatile flavor profiles. These brands are known for their quality and can enhance the overall taste of the cocktail.

Similar Cocktails to the Harvest Sour

– **Whiskey Sour:** The classic version without the fall twist.
– **Maple Old Fashioned:** Another bourbon-based cocktail with maple syrup.
– **Apple Cider Mimosa:** A bubbly, apple-forward drink for those who prefer lighter cocktails.

These drinks share similar flavor profiles and ingredients, making them great alternatives for those who enjoy the Harvest Sour.

Food Pairings to Go with the Harvest Sour

The Harvest Sour pairs well with a variety of foods. Consider classic fall dishes like roasted turkey sliders or butternut squash soup. For a more adventurous pairing, try blue cheese-stuffed mushrooms or a spiced pumpkin tart.

Harvest Sour FAQs

– **Can I make a Harvest Sour without alcohol?** Yes, simply omit the bourbon and add more apple cider and a splash of ginger ale.
– **What if I don’t have fresh apple cider?** Apple juice can be used as a substitute, though the flavor may be less robust.
– **Is the egg white necessary?** No, it’s optional but adds a creamy texture. Use aquafaba for a vegan alternative.
– **Can I use bottled lemon juice?** Fresh lemon juice is recommended for the best flavor, but bottled can be used in a pinch.
– **How can I make the Harvest Sour sweeter?** Adjust the maple syrup to taste, or add a small amount of simple syrup.

These FAQs address common questions and concerns, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a Harvest Sour tailored to their preferences.

Harvest Sour_001

Harvest Sour

The Harvest Sour is a delightful cocktail that embodies the essence of autumn. This seasonal twist on the classic sour includes the warmth of bourbon, the sweetness of apple cider, and a hint of maple syrup, perfectly balanced with a touch of lemon juice. It's like sipping on fall in a glass.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 200 kcal


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Jigger
  • Strainer
  • Rocks glass


  • 2 oz Bourbon 60 ml
  • 1 oz Fresh apple cider 30 ml
  • 1/2 oz Fresh lemon juice 15 ml
  • 1/2 oz Maple syrup 15 ml
  • 1 Egg white optional for frothiness
  • Ice cubes
  • Apple slice for garnish
  • Cinnamon stick for garnish


  • In a cocktail shaker, combine the bourbon, apple cider, lemon juice, maple syrup, and egg white (if using).
  • Seal the shaker and dry shake (without ice) vigorously for about 15 seconds to emulsify the egg white.
  • Add a handful of ice to the shaker and shake again until well chilled, usually about 30 seconds.
  • Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  • Garnish with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick.


The egg white is optional but adds a silky texture and frothy top layer to the cocktail. If preferred, a vegan alternative such as aquafaba can be used. Always use fresh ingredients for the best flavor.
Keyword Apple Cider, Autumn Cocktail, bourbon, Fall Drink, Harvest Sour, lemon juice, Maple Syrup, sour cocktail, Whiskey Sour

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