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- Dish type
- Whisky cocktails
A refreshing whisky sour cocktail. Share at your next dinner party or barbecue.
38 people made this
- 2 tablespoons simple syrup
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 145ml whisky
- 1 cupful ice cubes
- 3 cocktail cherries for garnish
MethodPrep:5min ›Ready in:5min
- Combine the simple syrup, lemon juice and whisky in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice. Cover and shake for about 30 seconds, until the shaker is frosty. Strain into martini glasses and garnish with a cocktail cherry. This can also be served in tumblers full of ice.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(43)
Reviews in English (37)
This may be a personal taste preference thing, but it either needs more simple syrup or less lemon juice...just a little too tart for me. But that's not to say that we didn't empty the glasses!-21 Feb 2015
pretty stiff drink. not for the faint of heart. Used Makers for whiskey. Needs to be sweetened for true drinkability, so include the cherries and consider a larger ratio of lemon juice to whiskey.-20 Jun 2007
Dude, that is a whiskey drinkers whiskey sour. For those hardcore whiskey drinkers who are thinking along the lines of "a real whiskey drinker wouldn't add the mix, ice, etc". Fair enough. I like mine neat also but let's be honest: the ice and lemon tang really does go well on a hot afternoon!I gave this recipe a go with my rye whiskey fave, Forty Creek. The 5 oz did seem high for a recipe. It's more than double of any others I surfed up. But you know what? It's superb. I think you'd want to cut 'er down to two or three for those that don't like the booze to take center stage. I'm gonna hang with this one on hot summer days. Cheers.-27 Apr 2011
Spirit, citrus and sugar—the original big three—combine to form the classic sour, one of the oldest types of cocktails. The category includes the Whiskey Sour, which has sated thirsty drinkers for more than one and a half centuries. It’s unknown exactly when the cocktail was conceived (or who was the architect), but its history stretches back to the Lincoln administration, and the first printed recipe appeared circa 1862 in the famed “Jerry Thomas Bartenders Guide.”
The Whiskey Sour was traditionally made with whiskey, lemon juice, sugar and egg white, an ingredient that tames the tart flavor and creates a richer, smoother texture. Today that egg is optional, and it’s common to find bars serving Whiskey Sours without egg white. But if you want to taste the original incarnation of the drink, and put a little protein in your system, give it a try. When using egg white, you’ll want to perform a “dry shake” and shake all the ingredients without ice before shaking again with fresh ice. This pro move incorporates the ingredients together into one cohesive package.
Few drinks in the cocktail canon are as quick to satisfy as a silky sour. But like most classic cocktails, the Whiskey Sour has spawned countless variations, from tried-and-true riffs like the red wine-topped New York Sour to versions incorporating other fruits, juices and sweeteners. Add a flourish to any component, and you have a personal spin on this classic refreshment.
We like our Whiskey Sour spiked with bourbon, thickened with egg white and topped with a few dashes of aromatic bitters for a complementary spice note. Follow that format, and you can’t go wrong. But one of the best things about the sour is that it’s customizable, so you do you.
The Cocktail Bar Standard a.k.a. Using an Egg White
Add all ingredients to a shaker tin. &ldquoDry&rdquo shake ingredients without ice for five seconds to whip the egg. Add ice, seal tins and shake hard for 10 to 12 seconds. Strain into coupe or martini glass&mdashit&rsquoll come out white at first, and the color will emerge over the course of a minute under a paper-smooth head of foam. Express a lemon peel over the top of the foam for aroma and discard and decorate the foam with a few drops or dashes of Angostura Bitters.
The smoothest and most elegant way to make a Whiskey Sour is to make it with egg white. Now, if you were disinclined to try it before, I doubt I just sweetened the pot with the promise of a raw egg, but hear me out: Just like when you eat them, egg whites don&rsquot taste like anything really, but serve here to give the whole cocktail a velvety texture, a pretty white head, and most importantly, to bind to the tannins in the spirit, smoothing out the rougher edges of the whiskey.
It&rsquos difficult to overstate how effective an egg white is in transforming whiskey&rsquos astringency into something silky smooth. Usually, whiskey&rsquos oak tannins behave in cocktails like a manspreader in a middle seat in coach, all elbows and knees, crowding out the other flavors&hellip but the egg whites completely neutralize it (in this simile, it would be what, Xanax?) This is the version you&rsquoll get in most cocktail bars, and the best choice when shaking with bourbon or rye, which have the most aggressive tannins. Honestly, the egg white&rsquos almost too effective&mdashI&rsquoll reach for a bourbon here at least 45 percent alcohol to make sure it&rsquos got the weight to not disappear. Lots of bourbons work great here (and ryes, for that matter) but if I had to pick one, I&rsquod go with Elijah Craig, which is right in the sweet spot of age, proof, mashbill and price.
A necessary note: egg whites are largely safe, but if you&rsquore nervous or immunocompromised, feel free to use in-shell pasteurized eggs. If you&rsquore vegan, you can use aquafaba, which functions more or less identically. If all you have is a carton of pre-cracked, pre-separated egg whites, perhaps consider making it as below.
You can also use the standard cocktail shaker method with this whiskey sour mix recipe. Place the sour mix and whiskey into the cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake! This is nice if you’re planning to store the mix and just get it out for single drinks on different occasions. Bonus: you can also add an egg white to the whiskey sour using that method to get the classic retro foam topping.
History of the Whiskey Sour
The whiskey sour made its official debut in Jerry Thomas' 1862 "The Bon Vivant's Companion" (or "How to Mix Drinks"), which was the first published bartending guide. However, you can trace the cocktail's roots to a century before that.
In general, sour drinks were initially created to fight off scurvy among British Navy sailors during the 1700s. Most often, this meant adding lime to the rum rations (inspiring drinks like the Navy grog). Not only did it ward off disease, the rum or gin (and sometimes whiskey) helped preserve the perishable fruit juice on long voyages.
From there, the addition of a little sugar enhanced the citrus-liquor combination. The result was a more drinkable and very tasty beverage. These eventually became known as the sour family of drinks, which have remained popular the whiskey sour remains the most notable.
How Strong Is a Whiskey Sour?
Assuming that you pour an 80-proof whiskey into a whiskey sour, it is a relatively mild drink. Its alcohol content falls in the range of 14 percent alcohol by volume (28 proof). That's about half the strength of a Manhattan and similar to a glass of wine.
The History of the Whiskey Sour
Whiskey sours date back over a hundred years, becoming infamous for containing a unique combination of sugar and lemon juice, along with your whiskey of choice. Now while the drink may be intriguing, its past is not nearly as illustrious.
A man by the name of Elliot Stubb is credited with creating the first whiskey sour back in 1872, but the first reference to the drink came two years earlier in a Wisconsin newspaper. It may be unclear how the drink really became mainstream, but after over a century of delighted sourpusses, that point seems moot.
Cocktail Hammers’ Amazing Whiskey Sour Recipe
November 6, 2020, 5:01 am updated March 29, 2021, 7:59 pm
In 2020, the pandemic known as Covid-19 struck, and bars around the world had to close their doors. If there was one thing I missed during that time, among many things, was walking up to the bar and asking the barman for my favorite cocktail ever, the whiskey sour. After a couple of months staying in, I took matters into my own hands, bought a cocktail kit off of amazon, and all of the ingredients. How hard could this be right?
Actually, not that hard at all. I quickly learned my preferred recipe for the whisky sour. That would be the first cocktail that would start my journey into writing about cocktail recipes on a website so that I could help inform others on how to make simple and awesome cocktails from home. That website would go on to be the Cocktail Hammer that you see in front of you today. If you’re a history buff like me and what to know more about the history of the whiskey sour, click here. So without any more delay, let’s move onto the cocktail that started it all.
The trick to the egg white foam: dry shake!
How does an egg white turn into foam? It’s a technique called a dry shake. Here’s what to know:
- Use the Dry Shake technique. Most cocktails are shaken with ice in a cocktail shaker. But in a whiskey sour with egg white, you’ll do what’s called a Dry Shake. That means you’ll shake the ingredients first without ice. Then you’ll add the ice and shake again. This results in a lovely white layer of foam on top.
- There’s also a Reverse Dry Shake. Another technique gets even more foam: it’s called the Reverse Dry Shake. You shake the ingredients with ice first, then strain out the ice and shake again. This method gets it even more foamy. But we like the texture of the foam in a dry shake, and it’s most common for classic cocktails.
The key to an excellent whiskey sour? Getting the balance just right. This whiskey sour recipe has all the right proportions of bright, bracing lemon juice warming, floral bourbon and sweet simple syrup to deliver a refreshing cocktail that’s neither too cloying nor too biting. Using freshly squeezed juice is essential—the stuff that comes out of fruit-shaped squeeze bottles doesn’t even compare. If you don't have any lemon on hand, you can swap it out for lime (or a mixture of the two). Serve on the rocks with an orange wheel and a Maraschino cherry arranged neatly on a drink spear (optional but recommended!), and enjoy. Cheers!
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Frisco Sour Cocktail
The Frisco sour is similar to the classic whiskey sour and it's a very satisfying cocktail. The main difference between the two is that that the Frisco adds Benedictine and uses lime juice as well as lemon.
It is a great sour drink if you like your cocktails on the tart side, though the key here is to keep everything in balance. Too much citrus and it will be too tart, ruining an otherwise perfect cocktail. Then again, you don't want too much Benedictine because it is a rather sweet liqueur. Try it with the even pour of the three accent ingredients, then adjust it from there to suit your taste.
Rye is the original whiskey of choice, as it was for so many classic cocktails. Over the years when rye whiskey was in a slump, many people chose to pour bourbon, which remains an excellent choice. You can also go with a smooth blended whiskey like those made in Canada. Many include a good portion of rye, so it's a natural fit.
Each whiskey offers a different flavor and every brand will as well. Explore your options and try the Frisco sour with a few different whiskeys to discover which you enjoy most.
How to Make a Whiskey Sour
This is a great drink, because there’s not that much you can do to screw it up.
There are a lot of recipes out there, and frankly any one of them could be great.
My sister for instance, makes her whiskey sours with egg white. Which gives it an awesome froth, and a fantastic texture. For my recipe here, I’m not going to suggest that since I know a lot of people just starting out with cocktails feel pretty worried about cracking egg white into their drinks.
But if you’re feeling adventurous, give her recipe below a try, or get even more unique and try this Union Club cocktail.
My recipe? I keep it really simple, and use the same ratio I use for my classic daiquiris.
Sidenote: Check out the book Cocktail Codex to learn about some of these ratios and recipes. I’m not sure I’ve found a better book for teaching you enough of the basics to help you feel comfortable experimenting on your own. Here are some other favorite cocktail books as well.
Where was I? Oh yeah, ratios.
Super simple, super delicious.
I love the fact that this drink is great for both whiskey and non-whiskey drinkers.
If you know someone who says they don’t like whiskey? Make them one of these.
It cuts out all of the harshness often associated with whiskey, and allows you to taste the spirit without tasting straight alcohol.
And then once you’ve got them hooked on the whiskey sour, then you can slowly graduate them to a peach old fashioned.
Before you know it, they’ll be downing shots of Jamison like its nobody’s business.
Oh wait, we’re adults now. We don’t do that? Right. We don’t do that.
This drink is also great because you can serve it basically however you want.
If you do go with egg white, a coupe is best, but when you leave out the egg white? You can do a coupe, or you can serve it over a big cube in a rocks glass, or even get super pretentious and go nick and nora.
As for whiskey? I like bourbon in this, but use whatever you’ve got. This is not a pretentious drink, so anything goes.
I wouldn’t even judge you if you used the crappy bottled lemon juice.
Ok, that’s a lie. I’d judge you a little bit. But hey, I’m not going to pretend like I haven’t done it in a pinch.
But trust me, fresh lemon juice makes a BIG difference.
Regardless, you’re the boss.
Let me know what you think of my recipe, and how it turns out!
If you’re looking for another “beginner friendly” bourbon cocktail, consider making a mint julep as well. Only 3 ingredients, and super tasy!