The whiskey sour has been one of the most famous classic cocktails across the globe for over a century, with the first published recipe appearing in 1862 in The Bartenders Guide by Jerry Thomas. It has become a staple in pop culture, featuring prominently in high profile films such as The Seven Year Itch and Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood.

The best part about a whiskey sour? Its simplicity! Only a few basic ingredients are required to create this iconic drink - bourbon, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and egg white. The egg white may sound like a bit of rogue element to the drink; however, it is what gives the cocktail its silky-smooth texture. A whiskey sour without egg white isn't a whiskey sour worth drinking.

Alternatively, if you'd like to make a vegan-friendly variation, the egg white can be swapped for Aquafaba or other egg white alternatives. Aquafaba is the liquid found in chickpea cans and has the same consistency as egg whites. Other egg white alternatives can be found in supermarkets and online. It is important that you have some kind of egg white variant in order to fully appreciate the smoothness of a whiskey sour.

Garnishes can be added to the drinker's preference. It is also a highly adaptable cocktail - once you master the basic whiskey sour, you can add lots of fun twists to the recipe!

So, let's get to it! Follow our simple recipe below to create a show-stopping whiskey sour:

Whiskey Sour Ingredients

50ml bourbon

30ml lemon juice

15ml sugar syrup

20ml egg white (or vegan alternative)

Cubed ice

Lemon peel

Orange slice and cherry on a stick to garnish

Whiskey Sour Recipe

  1. Add the bourbon, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and egg white (if using) to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Dry shake for 20 seconds. Be sure to hold on to the top and bottom of your shaker tightly - the egg white expands as you shake so make sure you have a good grip to avoid an egg-splosion!
  3. Add ice, then shake again for a further 20 seconds.
  4. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice.
  5. Run the lemon peel around the rim of the glass to add some extra zest to the drink.
  6. Add your garnish and enjoy!

Our top bourbon picks for whiskey sours are Sazerac Rye, Michter’s US Number 1 Sour Mash, and Smooth Ambler Old Scout American Whiskey. These whiskeys are all smooth, sweet, and spicy – perfect for a well-rounded and nuanced whiskey sour.  Another favourite of ours is Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 – it makes for a mellow and warming rendition of the cocktail, perfect for a nightcap.

Alternatively, you could try using Scotch whisky or cognac instead of the bourbon for a slightly different take on the classic cocktail.