To be honest, up until recently I really haven’t had very many whiskey sours.
To me a whiskey sour was the drink you’d get at a nightclub if you wanted to feel slightly less dirty than you really were.
Rum and coke?
“I’lllll have a whiskey sour.”
And then they’d pour crappy well whiskey into a glass with a bunch of artificial sour mix, and you’d think you were amazing.
Because, let’s face it….you were drunk.
But lately, I’ve discovered a newfound love for the whiskey sour.
And most of this comes from friends who aren’t cocktail drinkers.
I’ve had three friends over the last couple months, none of whom are big liquor drinkers, all tell me that they’d discovered a whiskey sour and it was now their drink of choice.
So naturally, I had to explore this a bit.
The whiskey sour ticks a lot of boxes for me.
First off, there’s a lot of different ways you can make it depending on your preferences – so there’s variety.
Second, it’s easy to make, so anyone can do it, or it’s super fast to whip up for guests.
Third, it’s delicious. I clearly had too many of those nightclub memories to realize, that a proper whiskey sour with decent bourbon and fresh lemon juice, is really damn good!
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.
- 2 oz spirt.
- 3/4 oz sweetener.
- 3/4 oz citrus.
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!
- Cocktail Tin
- Hawthorne Strainer
- 2 oz Bourbon I like Buffalo Trace but bourbon will do
- .75 oz Simple Syrup
- .75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- Combine all ingredients into cocktail tin
- Shake vigorously until very cold
- Double strain into glass of your choice