Whiskey Sour Recipe

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Updated 2024

A whiskey sour is one of my favorite classic cocktails. I made my whiskey sour recipe with an egg white, but it’s not necessary! Even though egg white is traditionally part of the drink, no bartender will scoff if you ask for one without it. I will say, adding the egg white makes it so refreshingly light. 

The trick to getting the perfect frothy-ness (not a professional term), is to do a dry shake (no ice) before a final shake (with ice). For any egg haters out there, I promise it doesn’t taste like one–give it a try! If you’re vegan or allergic, you can always substitute aquafaba (aka chickpea liquid!). 

For more cocktail recipes, try my Easy Margarita Recipe, Blackberry Mocktail Mule, and Bloody Mary Board.

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Best Whiskey for a Whiskey Sour

There is no wrong whiskey, it just comes down to your preference! If you need a place to get started, try one of these:

  • Buffalo Trace
  • Maker’s Mark
  • Wild Turkey 101
  • Bulleit 
  • Elijah Craig Small Batch

Whiskey Sour Recipe

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce egg white
  • Ice
  • Aromatic bitters (optional)

Directions

  • Add the bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white to a cocktail shaker. Shake for about 10 seconds without ice (dry shake).
  • Fill the shaker with ice, then shake for another 10 seconds.
  • Strain into a coupe glass. If using, add a few drops of bitters to the foam in the shape of hearts. 

A few tips:

  1. Add the egg white just before shaking! You don’t want it sitting in the shaker with the acidic lemon juice.  
  2. Bitters add complexity and depth of flavor, so even if you don’t make a design with them… try sprinkling them on anyway! Also, try orange and Angostura bitters.
  3. Try this water bottle hack for separating the egg whites.
  4. For a whisky sour without the egg whites, use aquafaba instead – the liquid from a can of chickpeas.

How To Make a Whiskey Sour: Video Tutorial

Alternative Drinks To Whiskey Sour

A sour is a classification of cocktail. It’s one of the easiest, too! The classic recipe is made up of three ingredients: a spirit, a sweetener, and a citrus (hence the sour). As you can imagine, there are a lot of different kinds of “sours” to try beyond whiskey. Here are some of the most popular:

Egg Whites in Cocktails 

Some of the earliest cocktails (throwback to the 1800s!) featured egg whites to help soften the acidity of the alcohol and citrus juice. Curious about why the egg white foams when you give it the dry shake? In layman’s terms, it’s because shaking adds air into the mixture, which the egg white then traps to create the foam. 

Eggs are also an emulsifier—which means they help bind other dissimilar ingredients together (like juice and alcohol, or in the case of mayonnaise, oil, and lemon juice). When you do your dry shake, the egg white is binding the other ingredients together, and if you shake it well enough, they won’t separate, ever! 

Think it will give your drink an eggy flavor? No way! I learned that the egg flavor comes strictly from the yolk. When you separate that what you get is an almost tasteless ingredient that gives your drink a ton of body and a light, airy froth! 

Hot tip: Raw eggs can be hazardous to your health! Don’t ever use an egg white from an egg that has any cracks in the shell (even a hairline). The safest route is to use pasteurized eggs

What’s the Difference Between Bourbon & Whiskey?

Even though this drink is called a whiskey sour, we use bourbon in this recipe. Why? Well, technically speaking, all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.

Whiskey (and bourbon) is made from grain, often wheat or corn. There are also barley whiskeys and rye whiskeys (hence if you hear someone order a rye at the bar). The biggest factors that distinguish bourbon from other whiskeys are: 

  • Bourbon is made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn.
  • Bourbon must be aged in new charred oak barrels.
  • Bourbon can only be made in America, most often in Kentucky. 
  • Because of the corn, bourbon tends to have a slightly sweeter flavor than other whiskeys like Scotch or rye. 

If this intrigues you, watch Neat, a great Netflix documentary about bourbon.

Whiskey Sour Pairings

Lucky for us, whiskey and cheese are a match made in heaven. A whiskey sour tends to be sour and a little bitter, so going for rich and salty foods is the way to go! I usually go with an aged gouda and sharp cheddar.

Try some of my charcuterie boards to pair with your whiskey sour:

Show Me Your Whiskey Sours

I hope this post inspires you to make this classic cocktail. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the beautiful drinks you create from my tips. If you make something inspired by this post, please tag me at @ainttooproudtomeg so I can see and share! 

And, If you liked this recipe, please rate and review.

whiskey sour egg white design

Whiskey Sour Recipe

5 from 1 vote

Description

Make this whiskey sour with or without an egg white for a classic cocktail experience.

Ingredients
  

  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 oz Egg White
  • Ice

Instructions

  • Add the bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white to a cocktail shaker. Shake for about 10 seconds without ice (dry shake).
  • Fill the shaker with ice, then shake for another 10 seconds.
  • Strain into a coupe glass. If using, add a few drops of bitters to the foam in the shape of hearts. 
Tried this recipe?Rate & Review!


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Recipe Rating




1 Reviews

  1. Ryan P wrote:

    5 stars
    Thank for this. I am so horrible at making drinks.

    Posted 12.21.20 Reply