Sherry Sour


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Sherry Sour_001

Introduction to the Sherry Sour

The Sherry Sour is a cocktail that exudes elegance and complexity. With its nutty sherry base and zesty lemon juice, it’s a drink that promises a sophisticated balance of flavors. This classic cocktail has stood the test of time, offering a refreshing twist on the traditional sour.

Whether you’re a cocktail aficionado or a curious newcomer, the Sherry Sour is a delightful experience. Its frothy texture, courtesy of egg white, adds a layer of luxury to each sip. Let’s dive into the world of this storied drink and discover what makes it a timeless choice.

Key Facts About the Sherry Sour:

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 14% ABV (28 proof)
  • Calories: Roughly 140 kcal per serving
  • Preferred Glass: Chilled cocktail glass or an old-fashioned glass
  • Typical Garnish: Lemon twist

Interesting Facts about the Sherry Sour

Sherry, the star of this cocktail, is a fortified wine with a history dating back to ancient times. The Sherry Sour brings this historical beverage into the modern era with a tangy twist. The inclusion of egg white is not just for show; it’s a traditional technique that adds a silky texture and a rich mouthfeel to the drink.

Sherry Sour Cocktail

Tasting Notes on the Sherry Sour

The Sherry Sour is a harmonious blend of nutty, sweet, and tart flavors. It’s a cocktail that appeals to those who appreciate depth in their drinks. The sherry provides a robust foundation, while the lemon juice adds a bright acidity that lifts the palate.

This cocktail is perfect for a variety of occasions, from a sophisticated dinner party to a relaxed evening at home. Its versatility and refreshing nature make it a hit year-round, especially for those who enjoy a well-crafted sour.

History of the Sherry Sour

The origins of the Sherry Sour are as rich as the drink itself. Sherry has been a beloved wine for centuries, and its integration into cocktails was a natural progression. The sour cocktail family, known for its simple yet effective combination of spirit, citrus, and sweetener, provided the perfect canvas for sherry’s unique profile.

Over the years, the Sherry Sour has seen various iterations, but the core elements remain the same. It’s a testament to the timelessness of the sour formula and the enduring appeal of sherry as a cocktail ingredient.

Sherry Sour Ingredients

The ingredients in a Sherry Sour are few but impactful:

  • Sherry (2 oz / 60 ml): Fino or Amontillado sherry is preferred for its dry, nutty flavor that forms the backbone of the cocktail.
  • Lemon Juice (3/4 oz / 22 ml): Freshly squeezed lemon juice is essential for the bright, tart notes that balance the sherry’s richness.
  • Simple Syrup (1/2 oz / 15 ml): Adds a touch of sweetness to round out the sourness and enhance the drink’s complexity.
  • Egg White (1): Creates a frothy texture and smooth mouthfeel, elevating the cocktail’s sensory experience.

Did you know? The Sherry Sour is a delightful nod to the past, showcasing sherry’s versatility beyond the wine glass.

Ingredients for Sherry Sour

Sherry Sour Method

The method for creating a Sherry Sour is meticulous but straightforward:

  1. Begin by combining sherry, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Perform a dry shake without ice to emulsify the egg white, creating a smooth, frothy consistency.
  3. Add ice to the shaker and shake again until the mixture is well-chilled and properly diluted.
  4. Strain the cocktail into your chosen glass, filled with ice if desired, to achieve the perfect temperature and texture.
  5. Finish with a lemon twist garnish, expressing the oils over the drink for an aromatic touch.

Serving Suggestion for the Sherry Sour

The Sherry Sour is traditionally served in a chilled cocktail glass or an old-fashioned glass. The choice of glassware can influence the drink’s temperature and aroma, enhancing the overall experience.

Garnishing with a lemon twist is more than just decorative; it adds a fragrant citrus note that complements the sherry’s complexity. To prepare the garnish, carefully twist a strip of lemon peel over the drink to release the essential oils.

Elevating the Sherry Sour

To elevate your Sherry Sour, consider these professional tips:

  • Quality Sherry: Opt for a high-quality Fino or Amontillado sherry to ensure the best flavor foundation.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Use only fresh lemon juice and homemade simple syrup for a cleaner, more vibrant taste.
  • Proper Technique: Master the dry shake to achieve the perfect frothiness without over-diluting the cocktail.

Elevated Sherry Sour Cocktail

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Sherry Sour

If you’re missing an ingredient or prefer a variation, consider these substitutions:

  • For a non-alcoholic version, replace sherry with a non-alcoholic fortified wine alternative.
  • If egg white is a concern, use pasteurized egg whites or an egg white substitute.

Similar cocktails that share the Sherry Sour’s character include the Whiskey Sour and the Amaretto Sour, both of which feature a balance of sweet and sour elements.

Add a Twist to the Sherry Sour

As an expert mixologist, here are a few twists to try:

  • Infuse your simple syrup with herbs like rosemary or thyme for an aromatic twist.
  • Add a splash of orange liqueur for a hint of citrus complexity.
  • Experiment with bitters to introduce new flavor dimensions to the cocktail.

Preferred Liquors for the Sherry Sour

When crafting a Sherry Sour, the choice of sherry is paramount. Look for brands known for their quality Fino or Amontillado sherries, such as Lustau or González Byass. These producers offer sherries with the ideal flavor profile for this cocktail.

Similar Cocktails to the Sherry Sour

If you enjoy the Sherry Sour, you might also like:

  • The Pisco Sour, which features Pisco brandy and a similar sour profile.
  • The Sidecar, a classic cocktail with brandy, lemon juice, and triple sec.
  • The New York Sour, which adds a red wine float to the traditional sour formula.

Food Pairings to Go with the Sherry Sour

The Sherry Sour pairs well with a variety of foods:

  • Classic tapas such as almonds and olives enhance the sherry’s nutty notes.
  • Seafood dishes like shrimp cocktail or ceviche complement the drink’s acidity.

Sherry Sour FAQs

Here are some common questions about the Sherry Sour:

  1. Can I make a Sherry Sour without egg white? Yes, you can omit the egg white, but you’ll lose the frothy texture.
  2. Is there a specific type of sherry I should use? Fino or Amontillado sherry is recommended for its dryness and nutty flavor.
  3. How can I make a sweeter Sherry Sour? Adjust the simple syrup to taste, or try adding a liqueur for additional sweetness.
Sherry Sour_001

Sherry Sour

A classic Sherry Sour combines the nutty flavors of sherry with the brightness of lemon and the sweetness of simple syrup, finished with the frothiness of egg white. It's a sophisticated sour cocktail that's both refreshing and complex.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 140 kcal


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Strainer
  • Cocktail glass or old-fashioned glass


  • 2 oz Sherry (Fino or Amontillado)
  • 3/4 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Simple syrup
  • 1 Egg white
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist for garnish


  • In a cocktail shaker, combine the sherry, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white.
  • Dry shake (without ice) vigorously for about 15 seconds to emulsify the egg white.
  • Add ice to the shaker and shake again until well-chilled.
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.
  • Garnish with a lemon twist.


For a non-alcoholic version, omit the sherry and use a non-alcoholic fortified wine alternative. If you're concerned about using raw egg white, pasteurized egg whites or an egg white substitute can be used.
Keyword Classic Cocktail, Egg White, lemon juice, Nutty Flavor, Refreshing, Sherry, Sherry Sour, Simple Syrup, Sophisticated, sour cocktail

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