How to make a whisky sour

by Colin Sinclair
a whisky sour
Did you know, 25th August is National Whisky Sour Day?
That’s right. A full day dedicated to this classic whisky cocktail. So – whether you’re a self-confessed sour lover or completely new to this deliciously sharp drink – it’s the perfect time to buy a new bottle of whisky (or three!), dust off the old cocktail shaker and mix yourself a special treat.

What is a whisky sour?

A whisky sour is a simple yet sophisticated whisky-based cocktail.
The drink has a long history, dating back to the inception of ‘mixology’ in the 1800s – with the first whisky sour recipe recorded in 1862, in the Bartender’s Guide by Jerry Thomas. Fast forward to 2020, and it’s fair to say, this classic mixture is still a much-loved staple on all good cocktail lists.
Typically, it includes three core ingredients: whisky, lemon juice and sugar. These are mixed together using the ‘golden ratio’ for cocktails; that is, two parts liquor, one part sour, one part sweet. The lemon juice helps to round-off the alcohol and gives the drink a very tart, citrus flavour. However, to make the cocktail a little smoother and creamier, some people like to add fresh egg white.

Whisky sour ingredients

  • 30ml of your favourite whisky
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • 15ml of sugar syrup (or a teaspoon of sugar)
  • ½ fresh egg white
  • Cubed ice
  • Orange slice and maraschino cherry (to garnish)

3 simple steps to make the best whisky sour

One of the best things about a whisky sour cocktail is how quick and easy it is to make. Simply follow our three-step guide and you can whip one up in no time, from the comfort of your own home.

Step 1: Measure

first step to make a whisky sour
First things first, fill the cocktail shaker with cubed ice. Then, carefully measure out the main ingredients – whisky, lemon juice, sugar, egg – and pour all three into the shaker.
Different styles and brands of whisky will give the cocktail a unique flavour. Therefore, as you switch from one liquor to another, you may need to adjust the sweet and sour elements.
What’s more, bottled lemon juices can often be very sweet and will significantly affect the quality of the final drink. So, wherever possible, we recommend using fresh lemon juice instead.

Step 2: Shake

Second step to make a whisky sour
A whisky sour is a shaken cocktail. All of the ingredients and flavours should be thoroughly mixed and the sugar dissolved.
Therefore, the next step is to pop the lid on the cocktail shaker and start shaking. Shake the mix vigorously backwards and forwards, for at least 30 seconds, until the outside of the shaker is cold.

Step 3: Serve

Third step to make a whisky sour
Finally, strain the mixture into your chosen cocktail glass. This could be a traditional tumbler filled with cubed ice, or a sour glass that has been chilled in the fridge before serving.
Either way, the best whisky sour recipe is always garnished with a slice of orange or lemon and a maraschino cherry. Absolutely delicious. 

Celebrate national whisky sour day with our whisky sets

Here at Whisky Tasting Company, we’re a huge fan of the whisky sour – unsurprisingly. And on the 25th August, we’ll be celebrating National Whisky Sour Day in style and mixing up a treat.
Why not join us? Our core whisky tasting sets are an ideal way to try out the whisky sour recipe outlined above. These feature either three or five 30ml whisky miniatures, and each one will give the cocktail a unique and exquisite taste. You can experiment with the drink, try out a few different sweet and sour combinations and discover your favourite whisky sour concoction.
Simply browse our full collection and place your order today. Whichever set you choose, it will be delivered within 2-4 days and ready to enjoy on the 25th. If you have any questions, our would like to find out more about how to make a whisky sour using our whisky tasting sets, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Either give us a call on 01743 247220 or send an online message and we’ll get back to you.