Whisky Sour

Is there a cocktail more American than the classic whisky sour? I’m not sure that there is, especially when it’s made with American rye whisky. You see, the difference between any ol’ whisky and rye whisky is that rye whisky is made with a mash of at least 51% rye, aged in charred, new oak barrels, and has an almost spiced, for fruity, flavor, as opposed to bourbon, which is sweeter by comparison. The result is a dryer cocktail, which pairs with the lemon juice and simple syrup a bit better, in my opinion. Whisky sours were originally made with rye, as it was the original whisky of choice in this country, but as bourbon became more popular, it became more rare. However, now that rye is making a bit of a comeback in bars around the US, you will probably notice that more cocktails use it, and rightfully so, because a nice rye is definitely something to be appreciated. Do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle of rye to enjoy this Independence Day!

Whisky Sour
Your ingredients.

Whisky Sour
Juice your lemons.

Whisky Sour
Shake the lemon juice with the whisky and simple syrup and strain into two ice filled glasses.

Whisky Sour
Garnish with a cherry and an orange wedge and serve.

Whisky Sour
Serves: 2 drinks
  • 4 ounces American rye whisky (or another whisky or bourbon)
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1½ ounces simple syrup (made by combining 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water and boiling until the sugar has dissolved)
  • maraschino cherry, for garnish
  • orange wedges, for garnish
  1. In a shaker, combine the whisky, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Fill the shaker with ice and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into two glasses filled with ice, and garnish with a cherry and an orange wedge.


15 Responses

  1. Jane M says:

    nice ice cubes! do you buy them or make them in your freezer?

    • Sydney says:

      @Jane: Thanks! I bought some nice ice cube trays at a local kitchen supply store. They’re silicon, so it makes it easy to pop out the bigger cubes in one piece.

      @Chris: Same to you! I hope it’s not raining there right now like it is here!

      @Zoe: Thank you! Kramer picked them out :)

      @Mary: It’s pretty delicious!

      @Rebecca: You can definitely make this with bourbon or a whisky that you like, no worries!

      @Erin: I think that adding an egg white makes it a “Boston Sour”, but I do love an egg white in my whisky cocktails – the frothy top is so good!

  2. Jane I didn’t even notice the ice cubes, but now that you mention it they are pretty (as are all of Syndey’s pictures!)

    Wishing you guys a Happy 4th of July!

  3. Zoe says:

    I love those glasses! They are lovely.

  4. mary says:

    My FAVORITE cocktail!!!!

  5. Rebecca says:

    While I appreciate your informative and illustrative post on the Whiskey Sour recent experience with the Sazarec in New Orleans reminded me how much I dislike rye whiskey. It’s just too strong of a taste for me.

  6. Erin says:

    No egg whites? I had a whiskey sour at Seven Grand in LA but didn’t love it- think this recipe looks better (sans raw egg white-ick!)

  7. Jessica says:

    Aw, I love egg whites in a cocktail! This recipe looks nice too, but these cherries might be even better: http://tinyurl.com/2uj628a. They are the actual maraschino cherries, and don’t have all the sodium metabisulfate, calcium chloride, corn syrup and dye. Still, you can’t beat a well made whiskey sour.

    • Sydney says:

      Jessica: I want to actually make my own (because at $17/bottle, I don’t think I can swing it for maraschino cherries!) – I just need a cherry pitter! Thanks for the tip!

  8. Michelle says:

    I remember the grown-ups drinking this when we were kids. : ) No wonder – they sound pretty yummy.

  9. Sara says:

    These would be even bitter with a couple drops (no more than that!) of Angostura Bitters. That’s how my dad always made them. And the ad copy on the bottle of bitters is worth the price of admission…

  10. […] to put you in the holiday spirit, while the lemon juice is refreshing and sticks to the classic Whisky Sour roots. The finishing touch is a frothy egg white, which may sound strange if you’ve never […]

  11. […] to put you in the holiday spirit, while the lemon juice is refreshing and sticks to the classic Whisky Sour roots. The finishing touch is a frothy egg white, which may sound strange if you’ve never […]

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