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Looking For More Easy Cocktail Recipes
Outside of this whiskey sour recipe, here are a few of our favorite cocktail recipes:
- Classic Margarita The very best classic margarita: lime, tequila and Cointreau. Perfection! And here are 10+ more ways to make a margarita.
- Best Gin and Tonic Here are the keys to the very best gin and tonic, the most refreshing 2-ingredient cocktail! A few secrets take this crisp, botanical drink over the top.
- Tom Collins Cocktail This popular sweet sour cocktail is light and bubbly! Dont forget the cherry.
- Prosecco Mimosa Heres the best mimosa recipe! This ones made with Italian Prosecco, orange juice, and a dash of Cointreau for the perfect bubbly tart flavor.
- Classic Old Fashioned The oldest cocktail there is! The classic method uses a sugar cube, bitters, and bourbon whiskey for a truly timeless drink. Or browse all our best bourbon cocktails.
Shake Dont Stir Your Whiskey Sour
When mixing cocktails with juice you want to make sure to shake them rather than stir them. Spirit-forward cocktails which consist only of spirits and sweeteners are find to stir, but once you introduce juices, break out your shaker. This is also the case with any cocktail including egg whites and creams as well.
Im not sure of the physics or the chemistry but shaking a cocktail with juice brightens up the cocktail. It wakes the juice up and makes it much more vibrant that a stirred cocktail.
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Should I Add A Raw Egg White
You can make a perfectly lovely Whiskey Sour by sticking to the original recipe of just whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar. These three ingredients balance each other beautifully.
But if you want to take your Whiskey Sour to the next level, add an egg white. This will not, in fact, make your cocktail taste like egg. Instead, the egg white will add texture, richness, and a particular creaminess that will make it seem almost like a whiskey milkshake.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: What about salmonella?
Your chances of getting salmonella from raw eggs are pretty low. The CDC estimates that only around 1 in 20,000 eggs are contaminated with the bacteria, and even if you do get a contaminated egg, as long as the egg is kept refrigerated below 45 F, the bacteria will have no chance to grow.
If you’re still worried, you can purchase pasteurized eggs, which are heated for a period of time to eliminate bacteria. You can also use pre-packaged, pasteurized egg whites like Egg Beaters, which will also save you the trouble of extracting the egg white from the yolk.
If You Want Spice But Hate Rye: Four Roses
Four Roses is a classic cocktail-mixing bourbon. Its smooth and sweet, yes. But it also has a nice bundle of spices and a bit of a bite, so it wont be overwhelmed by the other flavors.
A good smooth, warm, corn-heavy bourbon. Notes of cherries, apple with honey and orange with lemon, followed by oaky cinnamon. The perfect pair for a sour. If youre looking for spice and kick without rye, this is an excellent option!
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Or Mix Up Single Drinks
You can also use the standard cocktail shaker method with this whiskey sour mix recipe. Place the sour mix and whiskey into the cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake! This is nice if youre planning to store the mix and just get it out for single drinks on different occasions. Bonus: you can also add an egg white to the whiskey sour using that method to get the classic retro foam topping.
Best Whiskey For A Sour
You can use whatever whiskey you like for a sour, but we have some favorite types. Heres what wed recommend adding to the sour mix:
- Bourbon: Our top pick! The sweet flavor of bourbon whiskey is ideal
- Jameson Irish whiskey: Jameson is very mild and has less of a whiskey burn
- Rye whiskey: Rye whiskey has a spicy burn on the finish
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Egg White Is Optional But Classic
Now, you dont have to make an amaretto whiskey sour with an egg white: but we highly recommend it! Bartenders have been adding egg whites to cocktails since the 1860s. The texture and flavor that an egg white adds cant be beat! Why? Two things an egg white adds:
- Frothy texture to the surface of the drink, making it more fun to drink
- A creamy rich flavor, making it taste more delicious
If youre worried about the safety of raw egg whites in cocktails, the risk of salmonella is very low. In fact: melons, salad, and peanuts, have more of a threat for salmonella than eggs! Heres how to safely store and use eggs to minimize risk .
The Cocktail Bar Standard Aka Using An Egg White
- 0.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 0.75 oz. simple syrup
- 1 egg white
Add all ingredients to a shaker tin. Dry shake ingredients without ice for five seconds to whip the egg. Add ice, seal tins and shake hard for 10 to 12 seconds. Strain into coupe or martini glassitll come out white at first, and the color will emerge over the course of a minute under a paper-smooth head of foam. Express a lemon peel over the top of the foam for aroma and discard and decorate the foam with a few drops or dashes of Angostura Bitters.
The smoothest and most elegant way to make a Whiskey Sour is to make it with egg white. Now, if you were disinclined to try it before, I doubt I just sweetened the pot with the promise of a raw egg, but hear me out: Just like when you eat them, egg whites dont taste like anything really, but serve here to give the whole cocktail a velvety texture, a pretty white head, and most importantly, to bind to the tannins in the spirit, smoothing out the rougher edges of the whiskey.
A necessary note: egg whites are largely safe, but if youre nervous or immunocompromised, feel free to use in-shell pasteurized eggs. If youre vegan, you can use aquafaba, which functions more or less identically. If all you have is a carton of pre-cracked, pre-separated egg whites, perhaps consider making it as below.
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Why Make This Whiskey Sour Recipe
I wasnt a whiskey sour fan until the drink was introduced to our family by Alexs step-father, Joe. Joe is 1,000% passionate about this sweet tart drink. When hes entertaining, hell always ask: Want a whiskey sour? So of course over the years, this drink has become the standard for festive family get-togethers.
In honor of Joes 50th birthday, we created this an all natural whiskey sour recipe as an alternative to the store-bought mix he usually buys. This recipe uses maple syrup and fresh lemon juice, and truly makes for the very best whiskey sour recipe! Joe started serving it often, and it was a hit with cousins, brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncle alike. Now when our family gets together, youll see a big jug of maple syrup and a ton of lemons on the counter. Want to try out our family recipe?
Is Lime As Good As Lemon
Is lime as good as lemon in a whiskey sour? OK, well be honest with you: Not quite. In our opinion, the best sour is made with the smoother flavor of lemon versus the zing of lime. The best classic sour drinks are all made with lemon: the Amaretto Sour, Pisco Sour, Tequila Sour, Gin Sour, or Vodka Sour. We prefer saving our limes to make !
But that said: a whiskey sour with lime is still delicious! Its a different experience, but its still very delicious. Plus: you can be the judge! Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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How To Make A Classic Whiskey Sour
joshpuffpuff on Flickr
A classic whiskey sour is prepared in two steps: first, make the sour mix, and then the drink itself. The sour mix is generally comprised of two parts water, one part lemon juice, and one part white sugar. If you’re taking your time with it, you can boil the water and sugar first to create a simple syrup. Otherwise, thoroughly mix all three ingredients together, preferably in a cocktail shaker.
Once you’ve made the sour mix, pour two parts of your favorite whiskey over ice, and top with the sour mix. Garnish with a maraschino cherry or a slice of fresh citrus fruit. I like to use ‘drunken cherries’ that have been previously soaked in liquor to add an extra kick to the drink.
To Bitters Or Not To Bitters
Im a bitters girl through and through, and wholeheartedly believe the experience of drinking a well-balanced cocktail can be made better with the judicious use of bitters in a cocktail. I add bitters to my cocktails in many cases. Especially if its a new cocktail and it tastes as if its missing something.
Usually its missing balance or the elevation of sweetness or acidity you can adjust with the addition of bitterness.
That being said, if you dont have bitters, or you prefer your cocktail a little simpler, you can forgo the bitters in this basic cocktail. The sailors in the 1700s and 1800s most likely didnt have bitters and they enjoyed their sours just fine.
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A Classic Whiskey Sour Recipe
Published on January 22, 2021Updated on August 17, 2021 by Eden
Our favorite, classic whiskey sour recipe that 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.
How To Shake A Whiskey Sour
One of the beautiful things about adding an egg white to your cocktail is the rich, creamy texture it imparts. To get a nice, foamy drink, try one of these shaking styles:
I prefer the texture imparted by the traditional dry shake, but if you want to get a truly ridiculous amount of foam, the reverse dry shake is the way to go.
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The Whiskey Sour Ratio
At its heart, the whiskey sour is an easy recipe to remember: two parts spirit, 1 part sour, and 1 part sweet. While those ratios may vary based on the specific sour or sweet you use, the place to start with any sour is 2:1:1.
Ive found that each drinker has a slightly different preference for the amount of sweet and sour in the cocktail. For myself, I prefer a whiskey sour that tilts more to the sour end of the spectrum than the sweet while my family prefers the sweeter end.
I also love including bitters in my sours, either in the form or dashes of a complementary or contrasting flavor or by adding an amaro to the recipe. Rather than the cocktail being just a scale between the sweet and sour, the addition of bitters makes the flavor profile more interesting and enhances both the sweetness and the sour when the elements are in balance.
The ratios are designed to be adjustable based on your base elements. For example, if youre working with lime juice instead of lemon, because it is more acidic, you might need to use less lime juice. Or you could increase the ratio of sweetener. On the other hand, using a shrub as the sour instead of lemon might mean a decrease in the sweetener depending on the sourness of the shrub. Because shrubs are often sweeter than straight citrus juice, youll need to adjust the ratio to taste taking that into account.
Taste testing sours while making them is highly recommended.
While were talking about recommendations. . .
Expert Twist On The Whiskey Sour
We once again turned to Hayley for her expert twist on the whiskey sour, and she gave us one based on another well-known variation.
From the whiskey sour came many incredible variations. At first many were made by simply splitting the base ingredient, the whiskey, with something else. Take Sam Rosss Midnight Stinger that uses half bourbon and half Fernet Branca for the base. From there, others went on to change the type of sweetener used to add extra complexity, like in the Penicillin that uses a ginger honey instead of simple syrup.
A cocktail that in my opinion does not get consumed nearly enough is a cocktail called the Camerons Kick which incorporates both of these techniques. It first appeared in The Savoys cocktail book and is a whiskey sour made using both Scotch and Irish whiskey with Orgeat as the sweetener. This little twist is simply that with some added bitters and grapefruit.
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What To Do When Making A Whiskey Sour
Include an egg white for optimal texture.
A Whiskey Sour made with an egg white is formally referred to as the Boston Sour, but if you order a standard Whiskey Sour at a bar today, almost every contemporary bartender will serve it to you with an egg white. Traditionally, the first sours were made without egg white, says Patrick Abalos, owner and partner of Houstons Night Shift. I prefer it with egg white. It adds depth and body to the cocktail, especially with a good whiskey.
Egg whites add texture and mouthfeel, adds Aaron Wall, co-owner of London-based Irish cocktail bar Homeboy. Ive no problem using a substitute , but it has to give the same results.
With an emulsifier like egg white, or the vegan chickpea brine aquafaba, a Whiskey Sour is rich, frothy, velvety, and well structured to tame the sourness of the citrus, making the cocktail perfectly balanced. Without it, the Whiskey Sour loses depth and tends to feel out of sync.
Choose a high-proof whiskey with a flavor profile you like.
The most important ingredient in the Whiskey Sour is the whiskey. No matter how fresh the citrus is, your Whiskey Sour will be substandard if you skimp on the whiskey but you dont need to break the bank. We recommend spending at least $20 on a bottle to make sure youre getting a reliable, high-quality whiskey.
At the end of the day, you know what you like best. And our bartending experts also have recommendations.
Put your own spin on the classic template.
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Up the ante on the Whiskey Sour by floating a spoonful of dry red wine across the topthat’s called a New York Sour. Other sour drinks include the Amaretto Sour and the Brandy Sour. Really, any cocktail that uses the liquor-plus-citrus-plus-sweetener build is a close cousin to the Whiskey Sour, like the Gin Sour and the Pisco Sour. Then there are the sour heavyweights: the and the Daiquiri.
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Whiskey Sour Mix In A Pitcher
Want the easiest way to serve whiskey sour mix? In a pitcher! Whip up the recipe below, which makes 8 servings. Heres the important part: add it to a pitcher with 2 handfuls of ice. The ice doesnt just chill the drink: it dilutes it a bit to the desired consistency and flavor. This way, you dont have to worry about shaking up separate drinks in a cocktail shaker!
How To Make A Whiskey Sour
Simply shake up the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, and youre good to go! The measurements in the recipe below: in both ounces and tablespoons to make it easy for family cooking. Just shake all the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker until cold. You can also cheat and just stir them together until the syrup has dissolved. Serve over lots of ice and enjoy! Try our clear ice if you want a stunning look.
Whiskey sours are traditionally served with a slice or orange and a cocktail cherry. You can also add an egg white to get a frothy foam topping: that makes it a Boston Sour! Go to Whiskey Sour with Egg White for more. When you make this drink with bourbon, you can also call it a Bourbon Sour.
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What Is A Meyer Lemon
For those of you whove never enjoyed a meyer lemon, they are a cross between a mandarin orange and a regular lemon.
They have a darker color and are smaller and rounder than regular lemons with a smoother, thinner skin like a mandarin. Generally available in grocery stores from November through May, youll most often find meyer lemons sold by the bag rather than individually.
The rumor mill claims you can eat meyer lemons like regular fruit as they are sweeter than your average lemon. Im not sold on that idea , but the combination of fresh meyer lemon and lime juices gives the “made from scratch” sour its unique flavor in this cocktail recipe.