Home Recipes How To Make A Whiskey Sour

How To Make A Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour

The whiskey sour is a classic cocktail that continues its reign of popularity in bars around the world. The sour flavor of the lemon combines with the sweet sugar syrup and whiskey to make a drink that’s a symphony for the taste buds.

Although the whiskey sour is a simple drink to make, balancing the ingredients is the key to a winning beverage. Each brand of whiskey has a different level of sweetness so you may need to experiment with the ratios before you achieve the perfect whiskey sour.

You may also be interested in our guide to moonshine stills if you’re the do-it-yourself type and want to make your own whiskey, brandy, distilled water, essential oils and more.

Prep time: 1 minute.

What equipment you’ll need

  • Strainer
  • Shaker
  • Glass (preferable short)


  • 2 parts whiskey
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • 1 part sugar syrup
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon peel and cherry to garnish


  1. Add the ice as well as all the ingredients into a shaker and shake hard for about 30 seconds.
  2. Drop a few ice cubes into a short glass.
  3. Strain the shaken mix into the glass and garnish with the lemon peel and cherry.

Tips for improving a whiskey sour

  • Instead of adding 1 part sugar syrup, change this to ½ part sugar syrup and ½ part egg white. This will add a creamy texture to your cocktail.
  • Use fresh lemon juice rather than the bottled option. Squeezing lemon juice take more effort but the taste will be superior.
  • Add soda to the glass to make a Collins.
  • For larger gatherings, it may be tempting to buy a pre-made sour mix. A better option is to pre-squeeze the lemons and combine with sugar syrup to make a tastier, homemade sour mix.
Whiskey sour recipe
Use a sour mix if you’re in a hurry.

Best whiskey to use

An 80-proof bourbon is an excellent choice for a whiskey sour base. It’s the traditional option that’s been used for centuries. However, if you like a strong-hitting drink, go for an overproof bourbon that will bring out the whiskey flavor.

For a smokey flavored whiskey sour, choose a scotch whiskey that isn’t your best bottle of single malt. Go for a blended scotch such as Famous Grouse that will offer smokey flavor at a reasonable price.

Related reading: How do I replace Jim Beam?

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