Whiskey Sour cocktail ricipe
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by Bart

The Whiskey Sour is a well-known sour cocktail with whiskey that, when made properly, achieves the perfect balance between sour, sweet, and strong.

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Glass Tumbler
Flavor Sour
Method Advanced
Strength Strong
Drink Whiskey
Amount 1 cocktail


  • Bourbon (American whiskey) 45 ml
  • Lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Sugar syrup 10 ml
  • Egg White from 1 egg
  • Angostura bitters (optional) 2-3 dashes

Bar tools

  • Lemon press
  • Shaker
  • Jigger

How to

  • Dry shake with egg white after with ice


  • Start by separating the egg white. Use a raw egg and separate the egg white from the yolk into a small bowl. Make sure no yolk gets into the egg white
  • Use a shaker, but start without ice
  • With a jigger, add 45 ml of your favorite whiskey followed by 10 ml of simple syrup
  • Now, squeeze the juice of half a lemon into your shaker using a citrus juicer
  • Also, add the egg white
  • Shake vigorously (dry shake), then add ice to shake again until a frost layer appears on the shaker
  • Pour the mixture from the shaker into a nice whiskey glass. Also, pour out the ice
  • If you've shaken well, you should now see a beautiful white foam layer on your Whiskey Sour. Garnish it with a nice red cocktail cherry
Wiskey sour ingredienten
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Tip: Use egg white in your Whiskey Sour. This gives your sour a creamy, soft flavor.

Separate the egg white from the yolk in a bowl

Whiskey Sour: a combination of sour and sweet

The Whiskey Sour embodies both the bold, mature complexity of whiskey and the softness of the egg white. This combination blends masculinity with femininity, making the cocktail enjoyed by both men and women.

In sour cocktails, the key is the balance between sour (lemon) and sweet (sugar syrup or liqueur). Often, egg white is added during shaking, which creates a nice foam layer and a smooth taste in the cocktail. Sour cocktails offer plenty of room for experimentation. Caroline’s favorite is the Amaretto Sour, while Bart prefers the Drambuie Sour. If you enjoy red wine, try making a New York Sour by layering red wine over the Whiskey Sour.

How to choose the right Whiskey?

There are many options of whiskey to choose from. Whiskey Sour is a classic American cocktail that is usually made with Bourbon, an American whiskey. The taste of your cocktail is significantly impacted by the quality of the brand you use, so it’s always best to opt for a high-quality one. Some good bourbon brands to consider are Bulleit, Woodford, Jack Daniels Gentleman Jack, Four Roses, Jim Beam. and Maker’s Mark.

Bourbon is an American whiskey, whereas whiskey can be produced anywhere in the world. The name "bourbon" originates from Bourbon County in Kentucky, where it was first produced. Bourbon must consist of at least 51% corn, while whiskey has no minimum grain requirements. Bourbon often includes barley and rye in its production.

Differences between Bourbon and Whiskey

  • Taste: Bourbon and whiskey have distinct flavor profiles. Generally, bourbons tend to be sweeter due to the higher corn content, while whiskeys can have a broader range of flavors depending on the grains used and the aging process.
  • Aging: Bourbon and whiskey have different legal aging requirements. Bourbon must be aged for at least two years in new, charred oak barrels, whereas whiskey doesn’t always require new barrels and has no minimum aging period.
  • Region: While bourbons can only come from the United States, whiskeys can originate from countries such as Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and Japan.

Dry shake technique

For a frothy foam layer on your sour cocktail, shake the ingredients with egg white twice. Firstly, perform a dry shake without ice, then add ice and shake again before straining into a glass.

Fun Whiskey Sour fact: The first Whiskey Sour made with egg white is known as the Boston Sour.

Whiskey or Whisky?

Is it spelled Whiskey or Whisky? Well, that depends on the origin of the drink. The Scottish spell it as Whisky, while the Americans and Irish spell it as Whiskey. Legend has it that the Irish added the ‘e’ to distinguish their whiskey from the Scottish one. These bits of knowledge can come in handy when you’re sipping on a delicious whiskey cocktail.

Did you know that whiskey originates from “water of life” (from the Irish-Gaelic uisce beatha or Scottish-Gaelic uisge beatha)?

Suggestions for Variations

  • New York Sour: A Whiskey Sour with a red wine float.
  • Godfather Sour: in this sour cocktail, you combine whiskey with amaretto.
  • Autumn Spiced Sour: I find the Whiskey Sour especially enjoyable in autumn with various spices. I came up with this Autumn Spiced Sour myself, using cinnamon syrup, star anise, and cloves. It’s a hit in the fall!
  • Peach Whiskey Sour: whiskey and peach go well together. You can easily make this summery variation with Jim Beam Peach. A unique blend of bourbon with peach.

Common Mistakes

The Whiskey Sour can be a challenging cocktail to create. To ensure a delicious result, avoid these common mistakes:

  • No egg white layer. Without an egg white layer, your Whiskey Sour is significantly less smooth.
  • Wrong whiskey. Whiskey Sour is made with bourbon, which is American whiskey.
  • Using bottled lemon juice instead of fresh will give your cocktail a synthetic taste.
  • Not properly shaken. If you want to ensure a beautiful and tight egg white layer, use the dry shake technique. Start with a dry shake (without ice) and then shake briefly with ice to chill.
  • Wrong glass. You drink a Whiskey Sour from a sturdy tumbler or whiskey glass. A coupe glass is also an option if it’s without ice.

Prefer an alcohol-free Whiskey Sour? You can!

Are you a fan of Whiskey Sour but looking for an alcohol-free alternative? We tried making it for Dry January using Lyre’s American Malt, and it tasted better than our expectations! The American Malt gives a gentle nutty aroma to the sour, combined with a hint of vanilla. While it’s not exactly like a whiskey sour, it’s an excellent option for an alcohol-free version.

Making cocktails is fun. Always drink responsibly.