Whiskey Sour Recipe

Posted in Bourbon, Classics, Cocktails, Sours on January 6, 2014

The Whiskey Sour

The Whiskey Sour, sometimes called the Boston Sour is one of the most acclaimed sour drinks in the cocktail world.  It may be incredibly tart, butt the sweetness of a high quality whiskey brand and simple syrup offset the sour flavor.  High quality (fresh) lemon juice is mandatory for a good Whiskey sour, as will your choice of high quality whiskey.  The whiskey sour has a very delicate balance of flavor, and has to be adjusted to individual taste.  As such, it's really difficult to get a well-made whiskey sour in a bar.  The key to a good Whiskey Sour is balance. Too much whiskey, and it’ll be too strong. Too much lemon juice and it’ll be too sour. Too much sugar and it’ll be so sickeningly sweet that you won’t be able to stand it.

If the initial mix isn’t to your taste, you can always adjust the ratios of ingredients to balance it out. This is one of the reason why you should NEVER use straight-up drink mixes for your own cocktails. Any variations of bar mix - Sour mix, or sweet and sour mix,  is just sweetened citrus juice. Use fresh ingredients instead, and you can more easily find the balance that you prefer.

The ratios of sugar to sour vary greatly on an individual basis, but I hope this recipe will serve as a good starting point for your own endeavors at creating an excellent whiskey sour.

What is in a Whiskey Sour, and How do you make a Whiskey Sour?

how do you make a whiskey sour



-2 ounces bourbon or other whiskey

-1 ounce fresh lemon juice

-1.5 ounces simple syrup

-Egg white

(Optional) Garnish:  Citrus Wedge, Cherries

Mix the bourbon, lemon juice, and syrup together in a cocktail shaker but do NOT add ice.  Take some egg white, and add it to the shaker.  Close the shaker, and dry shake until the egg white spreads out thoroughly.  After the egg white emulsifies thoroughly into a nice creamy foam, add ice and shake until the drink is chilled.  After that, use a fine mesh strainer to strain the whiskey sour into your glass.  Using a fine mesh strainer to double strain the drink ensures a smooth, even texture for the cocktail.  Use either a cherry or lemon wedge for garnish, and remember to adjust the lemon juice and syrup proportions to taste on any following creation attempts to taste.

Making a perfect whiskey sour - Whiskey Sour Variations

The Sour, like many classic cocktails, is a highly versatile drink that is ready for substitutions. Using honey as a sweetener is a fine variation of the whiskey sour, but some preparation would be required for use of honey as a substitution.   To prepare honey as a substitution, create a syrup by pre-heating equal parts honey and water.  Other base spirits, such asvodkay, rum or even tequila all respond well to this basic template. A rum sour with lime is, of course, a Daiquiri, and a tequila sour with lime and a bit of orange liqueur is a Margarita, and a Cosmopolitan is not far off.   In addition, many more variations of the whiskey sour recipe spawn off of using up the leftover actual citrus fruits from using their peels for garnish in other cocktails.  Got some orange rinds left from making a cosmo?   Go ahead and try a whiskey sour with orange as a zing.

Whiskey Sour Food Pairing

The Whiskey Sour is ideal for an after-dinner drink, with a complex flavor enough to satisfy you all on its own. But if you want something to eat with it, try light chicken or fish dishes as the cocktail's tartness is a pleasant contrast to the mild flavors. Salty snacks – like tortilla chips with spinach and artichoke dip – also provide a nice contrast with this drink.

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