Whiskey Sour


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Written By cocktailflavors.com
Whiskey Sour_001

## Introduction
The Whiskey Sour is a timeless cocktail that perfectly balances the boldness of whiskey with the zesty sharpness of citrus. **A favorite among cocktail enthusiasts**, this drink has stood the test of time, offering a refreshing twist to the robust flavor of bourbon. Whether you’re a seasoned whiskey aficionado or new to the world of cocktails, the Whiskey Sour is a must-try classic.

This cocktail’s **simplicity and elegance** make it a versatile choice for any occasion. From casual gatherings to more formal events, its rich history and delightful taste profile have secured its place in the pantheon of classic cocktails. Let’s dive into the world of the Whiskey Sour and discover what makes it so special.

## Key Facts About the Whiskey Sour
– **Alcohol Content:** Approximately 14% ABV
– **Calories:** Around 180 kcal
– **Preferred Glass:** Chilled rocks glass
– **Typical Garnish:** Cherry and an orange slice

## Interesting Facts about the Whiskey Sour
– The Whiskey Sour has been a beloved cocktail for over a century, with its origins tracing back to the 1870s.
– It’s part of the “sour” family of cocktails, which are characterized by their combination of a base liquor, lemon or lime juice, and a sweetener.
– The inclusion of an egg white, known as a Boston Sour, adds a creamy texture and rich froth to the top of the drink.

Whiskey Sour Cocktail

## Tasting Notes
The Whiskey Sour strikes a **perfect balance** between the warmth of bourbon and the tartness of fresh lemon juice. The simple syrup adds a **smooth sweetness**, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. It’s a cocktail that appeals to those who appreciate the complexity of whiskey but enjoy the refreshing quality of a citrus-based drink.

Ideal for sipping on a warm evening or as a pre-dinner aperitif, the Whiskey Sour is both **invigorating and comforting**. Its versatility makes it suitable for a wide range of occasions, from casual barbecues to sophisticated cocktail parties.

## History of the Whiskey Sour
The Whiskey Sour’s history is as rich as its flavor. First documented in the **Wisconsin newspaper** in 1870, it quickly became a staple in the American cocktail scene. The drink’s popularity soared during the Prohibition era, as the citrus juice helped mask the taste of poorly made spirits.

Throughout the years, the Whiskey Sour has seen various adaptations, but the classic recipe remains a favorite. It’s a testament to the drink’s enduring appeal and the timeless quality of well-balanced cocktails.

## Whiskey Sour Ingredients
– **Bourbon Whiskey (2 oz):** The soul of the cocktail, providing a robust and slightly sweet base.
– **Fresh Lemon Juice (3/4 oz):** Adds a bright, tart element that cuts through the whiskey’s richness.
– **Simple Syrup (1/2 oz):** Offers a touch of sweetness to balance the sour notes.

## Did you know?
> “The Whiskey Sour was often used as a means to prevent scurvy among sailors during the 1700s due to its vitamin C content from the lemon juice.”

Ingredients for Whiskey Sour

## Whiskey Sour Method
### Preparing the Cocktail
1. **Chill the Glass:** Start by placing your rocks glass in the freezer to get it perfectly chilled.
2. **Mixing Ingredients:** In a shaker, combine the bourbon, lemon juice, and simple syrup over ice.
3. **Shake Well:** Shake the mixture vigorously until the shaker feels cold to the touch.

### Straining and Serving
4. **Strain:** Using a strainer, pour the cocktail into the chilled rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
5. **Garnish:** Add the cherry and orange slice to give the drink its classic look and a hint of fruity aroma.

## Serving Suggestion
The Whiskey Sour is traditionally served in a **chilled rocks glass**, which helps maintain the cocktail’s temperature. The wide brim of the glass also allows the aromatic garnishes to enhance the drinking experience. When it comes to garnishes, a **classic cherry and orange slice** not only add visual appeal but also complement the flavors of the drink.

## Elevating the Whiskey Sour
– **Quality Bourbon:** Select a high-quality bourbon for a smoother, more refined taste.
– **Fresh Ingredients:** Always use fresh lemon juice and homemade simple syrup for the best flavor.
– **Egg White:** For a silkier texture, add a frothy egg white to create a Boston Sour.

Whiskey Sour

## Substitutions and Alternatives for the Whiskey Sour
– **Alternative Sweeteners:** Maple syrup or honey can replace simple syrup for a different twist.
– **Non-Alcoholic Version:** Use a non-alcoholic whiskey alternative or a simple tea base for a sober version.
– **Similar Cocktails:** The Amaretto Sour or Pisco Sour share a similar sour profile with different base spirits.

## Add a twist
– **Herbal Notes:** Muddle fresh herbs like basil or thyme for an aromatic kick.
– **Spice It Up:** Add a dash of bitters or a cinnamon stick for a spiced variation.
– **Berry Sour:** Incorporate muddled berries for a fruity and colorful Whiskey Sour.

## Preferred Liquors for the Whiskey Sour
For the best Whiskey Sour, opt for a **mid-range bourbon** like Buffalo Trace or Maker’s Mark. These bourbons offer a balanced flavor that complements the cocktail’s other ingredients without overpowering them.

## Similar Cocktails to the Whiskey Sour
– **Old Fashioned:** A whiskey-based cocktail that’s more spirit-forward with a touch of sweetness.
– **Margarita:** Swaps out whiskey for tequila but maintains the sour and sweet combination.
– **Tom Collins:** A gin-based alternative that’s equally refreshing with a citrusy profile.

## Food Pairings to go with the Whiskey Sour
– **Classic Pairings:** Nuts and charcuterie complement the Whiskey Sour’s robust flavors.
– **Innovative Ideas:** Try spicy wings or a tangy ceviche to contrast the cocktail’s sweetness.

## Whiskey Sour FAQs
– **Can I make a Whiskey Sour without a shaker?** Yes, you can stir the ingredients over ice, but shaking is preferred for the best texture.
– **What’s the best way to garnish a Whiskey Sour?** A classic cherry and an orange slice are traditional, but feel free to get creative.
– **Is it necessary to use fresh lemon juice?** Fresh juice is key for the brightest flavor, but bottled can be used in a pinch.

Whiskey Sour_001

Whiskey Sour

The Whiskey Sour is a classic cocktail that combines the warmth of whiskey with the tartness of lemon juice and the sweetness of simple syrup. This refreshing drink is garnished with a cherry and an orange slice, balancing the sourness with a touch of fruity sweetness.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 180 kcal


  • Shaker
  • Strainer
  • Rocks glass
  • Jigger or measuring tool


  • 2 oz Bourbon whiskey
  • 3/4 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Simple syrup
  • Ice cubes
  • Cherry for garnish
  • Orange slice for garnish


  • Fill a shaker with ice cubes.
  • Pour the bourbon, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup into the shaker.
  • Shake well until the outside of the shaker feels cold.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled rocks glass filled with ice.
  • Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.


For a frothier texture, you can add a small amount of egg white to the shaker before shaking. The quality of bourbon used can significantly affect the taste of the cocktail, so choose a good mid-range bourbon for the best results.
Keyword bourbon, cherry, Citrus, Classic Cocktail, lemon juice, Orange Slice, Shaken Cocktail, Simple Syrup, sour cocktail, Whiskey Drink, Whiskey Sour

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