While thousands of cocktails have been created over the past two centuries, only a few have stood up to the test of time. The whiskey sour is one of them—a classic and timeless cocktail that’s been passed down generations of men. A well-made whiskey sour is considered a sophisticated drink choice, making it an ideal cocktail for the modern gentleman.
Also, unlike many cocktails, a whiskey sour has—as the name implies—a sour taste. So if you can’t stand sugary drinks but aren’t up for straight liquor either, this is a great alternative. In this article, we will share two popular whiskey sour recipes that you can enjoy today. Plus a few interesting facts about whiskey sours.
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Origin of the whiskey sour
The first mention of a whiskey sour recipe was in Jerry Thomas’ The Bartender’s Guide in 1862—the first-ever published bartending guide. But whiskey sours have been around for much longer.
In fact, more than a hundred years before that, sailors found a way to fight off scurvy and seasickness during their long journeys by making sours ( a mix of liquor, water, and citrus). Over the decades the drink gained enough popularity onshore to be included in the Bartender Guide.
Since then, whiskey sour has become a much-loved cocktail in the United States and Canada. So popular that each year on August 25, people across the United States observe National Whiskey Sour Day.
Main ingredients of a whiskey sour
One of the reasons this drink has been popular for so long since it requires only four ingredients: whiskey, lemon, egg white, and simple syrup.
Most people prefer bourbon, though a good rye whiskey and Canadian blended whiskeys make an excellent sour as well. You can substitute different types of whiskey to achieve unique flavor profiles.
As you switch from one whiskey to another, you may need to adjust the ratios of the simple syrup and lemon juice. Below are some whiskey brands we highly recommend for making whiskey sours.
- Buffalo Trace
- Crown Royal
- Bulleit Bourbon
Fresh lemon juice.
Ensure you use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor. In most instances, bottled lemon juice will be either too sweet or too tart and this will significantly affect the quality of your drink. As you might already know, citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges are the most often used fruits in cocktails.
This is sugar dissolved in water. Some people use maple syrup or powdered white sugar but the simple syrup is the most commonly used.
Egg whites won’t change the flavor of the drink but will give it a luxurious foamy texture. Ensure you use fresh eggs. If you don’t like raw eggs, you can use pasteurized egg whites (about 2 tbsp).