The Perfect Whiskey Sour Recipe

It’s time to master the Ultimate Whiskey Sour – the oh-so-delicious drink that mixes up bourbon, lemon, and a touch of sugar. This is a long-standing bar staple for a reason.

The Perfect Whiskey Sour Recipe featured

I’d only recently started exploring the crazy-awesome world of cocktails (who knew there was so much more than just vodka and cranberry juice?) when, one fateful night at my local bar, I met my true love: the Whiskey Sour. This gorgeous drink across the counter caught my eye. Glistening with condensation, rocking that caramel color, and that lemon wedge perched on top… I knew I had to have it.

But maybe whiskey still feels like a stretch for you. No problem, I’ve been there too. So, allow me to introduce some alternatives. Ever tried a Rusty Nail or a Sazerac? These two classic cocktails are really something to write home about. The Rusty Nail, with its blend of Scotch whisky and Drambuie, and the Sazerac – an old-world mix of rye whiskey, absinthe, a sugar cube and Peychaud’s Bitters. Each is delightful and unique in its own right and I encourage you to give them a whirl!

Why You Will Love This Cocktail Recipe

  • The balance of flavors is exquisite; the richness of the whiskey, the tartness of the lemon, and the sweetness of the syrup make for one refreshing and delicious drink.
  • It’s super easy to find the ingredients you need. Any self-respecting liquor store will have a wide selection of whiskey, while the syrup, egg, and lemon are probably already in your kitchen!
  • The Whiskey Sour is such a staple that cocktail aficionados have been experimenting for years, so there are almost an infinite amount of modifications for you to try. (See the ‘Variations’ section below)
  • You’re inevitably going to have someone over who wants one, so you’ll definitely want this one in your repertoire!
The Perfect Whiskey Sour Recipe ingredients
5 minutes


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Jigger (to measure liquids)
  • Lemon juicer
  • Fine strainer (if not built into the shaker)
  • Rocks glass (preferably chilled)


  • 2 oz bourbon or any whiskey
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1 egg white for a frothy texture, optional
  • ice
  • Angostura bitters and lemon wheel and/or maraschino cherry for garnish


  • In a cocktail shaker, combine whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white (if desired).
  • Shake the mixture vigorously without ice for 15-20 seconds to blend the egg white and achieve a frothy consistency.
  • Add ice to the cocktail shaker and shake once more for another 15-20 seconds to cool the beverage.
  • Filter the mixture into a rocks glass filled with new ice. Adorn with a lemon slice and/or maraschino cherry.

Tips and Tricks

The most important tip is to choose the right whiskey. Bourbon’s usually my go-to, but feel free to try rye or Irish whiskey, too – whatever suits your taste! Just make sure it vibes with the tart and sweet flavors in your drink.

Avoid using bottled lemon juice, go for the for the fresh-squeezed stuff – it makes a world of difference. And while you’re at it, you can prepare you simple syrup at home (just a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water that is heated until the sugar dissolves then allowed to cool).

The frothy egg white is key. Just shake everything (minus the ice) to blend the egg white beautifully.

I always prefer an extra smooth finish that doesn’t include pulp and ice bits. That’s why I recommend to double strain. Use a regular strainer and a fine mesh strainer when pouring your drink.

For garnish, lemon wheels or maraschino cherries are classics, but I’ve used orange or lime zest, mint, and even a few fancy bitters (not all at the same time, of course) to my drinks and I’ve never regretted that decision.


The Low-Carb Whiskey Sour: Replace the simple syrup and use a natural sweetener like stevia, erythritol, or monk fruit extract. That should helpm reduce the

New York Sour: This is a very simple variation, just pour some red wine (like Malbec or Shiraz) over the back of a spoon on top of your drink. It gives a gorgeous look.

Bourbon Maple Sour: Swap simple syrup for pure maple syrup!

Spiced Whiskey Sour: Add a splash of cinnamon-infused simple syrup or a couple dashes of Angostura or Peychaud’s bitters!

The Perfect Whiskey Sour Recipe featured


How many calories are in a whiskey sour?

My whiskey sour recipe has 150-200 calories, depending on the whiskey and simple syrup you use. The egg white adds about 20 more calories.

How do you properly drink a whiskey sour?

Serve it up in a rocks glass with ice, sip it slow and enjoy.

Is using an egg white in the whiskey sour safe to consume?

The alcohol and lemon juice help reduce the risk of using raw eggs. But if you’re pregnant or have a weaker immune system, you can either use pasteurized egg whites or skip the egg altogether.

Can I make the whiskey sour without simple syrup?

Swap out simple syrup for maple syrup (see variations), agave nectar, or honey if you want.

Is the Perfect Whiskey Sour Recipe suitable for a crowd?

You can scale up the recipe for as many guests as you need. Just mix it all up in a big container or punch bowl.

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How to Store a Whiskey Sour

If you need to mix up that whiskey sour ahead of time, combine the whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a pitcher and store it in the fridge. Don’t add ice or egg whites—they’re best right before you sip!

When it’s time to serve, always use fresh ice and mix in that egg white just before pouring to get the perfect results!

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