The Whiskey Sour Recipe That Made This Drink a Legend

We're whiskey a go go going straight to the bar to ask for this whiskey sour recipe.

Updated February 16, 2024
Classic Whiskey Sour

Picture this — the deep, rich caramel notes of whiskey perfectly complemented by a lemon's zesty tang. If you imagined a whiskey sour, you're spot on. This timeless cocktail has been a bar favorite for ages and we have the perfect recipe for you to make it at home. 

How to Make a Whiskey Sour 

As one of the oldest recorded cocktails, the whiskey sour has graced bars and homes since the late 1870s. While its precise origin story has been lost to history, with some accounts citing Wisconsin and others proposing Chile, it wouldn't have withstood the test of time if it didn't send your tastebuds to nirvana. Discover what paradise tastes like with our go-to recipe. 


  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • Ice
  • Cocktail cherry and orange peel for garnish


  1. In a cocktail shaker, add whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and an egg white.
  2. Dry shake for approximately 45 seconds to mix ingredients and create a froth.
  3. Add ice to the shaker.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  6. Garnish with a cocktail cherry and orange peel.
Quick Tip

If you're not a fan of the egg white, you can skip it and use aquafaba instead. Never heard of it? You've probably got some in your pantry right now; it's the liquid found in canned chickpeas.

Related: 11 Best Whiskeys for a Whiskey Sour You Won't Soon Forget

4 Fun Whiskey Sour Variations 

Cocktail recipes are meant to be tinkered with. Find the right combo for your tastes by experimenting with fun variations. 

  • Use bourbon for a slightly sweeter whiskey sour or rye whiskey for a firmer bite.
  • Substitute the whiskey for an infused whiskey or fruit-flavored whiskey for added flavor.
  • Muddle the cocktail cherries and orange peels before adding ice and shaking.
  • Serve in a coupe or martini glass instead of on the rocks for a fancier look. 

4 Simple Garnishes to Try 

If you want something flashier, deviate from the traditional whiskey sour garnish with these ideas.  

  • If you have a thick foam, use a few drops of bitters to create a design. If you're not ready to freehand, you can also run a cocktail skewer through the drops to elongate the shape.
  • Add a lemon or orange wheel or twist.
  • Adding a dehydrated citrus wheel will make the whiskey sour stand out.
  • Use an orange slice instead of a peel for a post-drink snack.

Sour Never Sounded So Sweet 

Hearing the word sour doesn't immediately set most people's tastebuds alight. But there's way more to this cocktail than a sip-induced pucker. This well-balanced drink is a cocktail elder that's propped up the whiskey business for over a hundred years, and for that, it deserves a toast. 

The Whiskey Sour Recipe That Made This Drink a Legend