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How To Create The Perfect Whiskey Sour
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How To Create The Perfect Whiskey Sour

When you walk into a bar, what do you ask for? Do you take a look at the menu to see what they have to offer? Or are you a creature of habit that knows what they like and stick with it? One drink that you will hear being ordered in bars across the globe is the Whiskey Sour. A welcome twist on a classic spirit, the Whiskey Sour is perfect for those looking for a strong drink without the hit. In this article, we will show you the perfect way to create a Whiskey Sour and a few twists to the recipe to try too. 

Whiskey Sour

The History of The Whiskey Sour

It’s unclear where exactly the Whiskey Sour originates from, but the first recorded Whiskey Sour dates back to the early 1860s. Found as a recipe in The Bartender’s Guide: How to Mix Drinks by Jerry Thomas, the ingredients consist of sugar water, lemon juice and whiskey. Suggesting shaved ice, the instructions state to mix the ingredients and add berries as a garnish.

As you will see below, the recipe has changed only ever so slightly over the years, although the essence is still the same. The combination of sweet, sour and spirit is ever-present. As the years went by, local bars would amend this recipe and add in ingredients of their own in order to make it more iconic. These ingredients would include honey, grapefruit juice, vermouth, orange soda and even thyme. Nowadays, we see bars offering only a few styles of Whiskey Sour with almost all of them staying true to the classic recipe. 


Recipe Ideas 

The Classic Whiskey Sour

You will need:

    • 50ml bourbon
    • 35ml lemon juice
    • 12 ½ ml sugar syrup
    • ice
    • a piece of lemon rind
    • a slice of orange and cherry on a stick

For a truly classic Whiskey Sour, you will also need a whisked egg white. 

Here’s how to make the drink: Fill a cocktail mixer with ice and place the bourbon, the lemon juice and the sugar syrup inside. Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds in order for the liquids to amalgamate together. Once blended, pour the drink over a glass with ice. If you are opting for adding whisked egg white, now is the time to delicately decant that on top of the drink. To finish, squeeze the lemon rind across the surface of the drink (to release the oils) and garnish with a slice of orange and cherry on a stick.

The New York Sour

Using the method and ingredients as above, make up your Whiskey Sour and pour over ice if desired. Before garnishing, take 25ml of high-quality red wine (a Shiraz or Merlot will work well for this as they have fruity undertones) and using the back of a spoon, slowly pour the wine on top of the Whiskey Sour. 

The Whiskey and Ginger Sour

Ginger and lemon are natural companions, so by adding a dash of ginger liquor into the classic Whiskey Sour recipe, you have an added kick. 

So the next time you are sitting at a bar wondering what drink to order, why not try a Whiskey Sour? Our personal favourite has to be the Whiskey and Ginger Sour because nothing quite says relaxation as the warming feeling you get from the whiskey and ginger combo. See you at the bar! 


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