Our favorite, classic whiskey sour recipe is easy to make, perfectly balanced, and contains only 4 simple ingredients.
This classic cocktail dates back to 1870! It has a sweet and sour flavor from the whiskey and lemon juice. It also has a small amount of simple syrup to balance the flavors. Also, try our whiskey highball cocktail too!
Why Make this Whiskey Sour Recipe
I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I love a whiskey sour as whiskey is not my favorite spirit. But this cocktail is more of a sunny, refreshing sipping drink where only the best flavors of whiskey come out.
It’s absolutely refreshing and perfect for all seasons. Try this recipe, as the proportions are perfect for a well-balanced drink.
We also love that it’s a shaken drink that is served over ice and garnished with an orange wheel and a cherry. We prefer to serve it over a large ice cube that melts slowly. Perfect for sipping!
If you like this cocktail you’ll also love our Whiskey Lemonade!
How to Make a Whiskey Sour
- Bourbon Whiskey – Use a high quality whiskey for this recipe.
- Lemon Juice – Always fresh squeezed.
- Simple Syrup – Very easy to make, you can also use maple syrup too.
- Egg White – This is optional, however it creates a layer of foam and helps bring all of the ingredients together.
- Cherry – Fresh or Cocktail Cherry.
- Orange Wheel – Cut in half.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add in the whiskey, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white.
Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is cold. About 30 seconds.
Strain into a double old-fashioned glass.
To make the garnish, add half of an orange wheel and a cherry onto a cocktail pick and place over the top of the cocktail.
Quick Tip – We served this over a large round ice cube, using this mold and recommend larger ice cubes that slowly melt for this cocktail.
Whiskey Sour Variations
- The egg white is in this recipe to give the cocktail a frothy layer on the top. This is optional if you prefer to leave it out of the recipe.
- Instead of simple syrup you can also try pure maple syrup.
- Use fresh cherries or cocktail cherries like Luxardo.
- Add lemon juice and orange juice to create a variant of the cocktail called a Ward 8.
Whiskey Sour with Egg White
Adding an egg white into a whiskey sour creates a smoother finish, helps balance the tartness of the cocktail, and also creates a beautiful frothy layer on the top.
The risk of salmonella is low but it’s better to be cautious. So here are some tips for adding egg whites into cocktails.
You can also make a whiskey sour without egg white too. We prefer it with, however it will still taste very good without!
Frequently Asked Questions
Both of these classic drinks contain whiskey, but the other ingredients are not the same. An old-fashioned contains whiskey, bitters, and a sugar cube (or simple syrup) it doesn’t have fresh lemon juice or an egg white that a whiskey sour does.
It can also be stirred (or shaken if preferred) but overall an old-fashioned has a much stronger whiskey taste.
It has notes of caramel and vanilla from the whiskey, then a small amount of lemon as the sour component and it’s very lightly sweetened. It truly is very balanced with all of the flavors and notes coming through with each sip. Even if you’re not a big whiskey fan, you would still love this cocktail as it’s not overpowering and just simply delicious.
Heavens no! This drink is for everyone and actually one of my husband’s favorites.
A classic whiskey sour has whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and an egg white.
More Cocktails You’ll Love
Let us know if you make this delicious, classic whiskey sour recipe by leaving a comment and review below!
Classic Whiskey Sour
- 2 ounces bourbon whiskey
- 1 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 3/4 ounce simple syrup
- 1/2 ounce egg white
- 1 cherry, fresh or cocktail cherry
- 1 orange wheel
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add in the whiskey, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white.
- Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is cold. About 30 seconds.
- Strain into a double old fashioned glass and garnish with a cocktail or fresh cherry and an orange wheel.