It has been said that the elements of a truly great cocktail strike a harmonious balance between sweet, bitter and sour. One of the simplest expressions of this (and one of the most time tested) is the classic whiskey sour. Relatively few ingredients comprise this cocktail. Whiskey, lemon juice and sugar encompass all of the essential flavor elements, and the optional addition of egg white creates a version with more body and a lighter, frothier texture.
With a history that goes back to the 1800s, the whiskey sour is a quintessential cocktail, one that any mixologist or home enthusiast should be well versed in making. The pleasure that this drink elicits is simple, straightforward and complete.
Anything with such a pedigree and such basic elements will always be open to interpretation as the drum of time beats on. That's why we decided to round up a curated selection of whisky sour recipes that represent the hallmark drink at its finest, in both classic form and with interpretative twists. Whiskey Sour Day is Thursday, August 25, and we've got you covered with the best recipes and the best glassware for the job. Dig in below to see our picks!
Classico DOF is the perfect glass for your whiskey sours (and other cocktails). The clean lines and simple styling of Classico echo the charm of the whiskey sour—a case where only a few basic components create something much greater than the sum of its parts. Classico DOF is crafted with the proprietary SON.hyx formula and carries a 25-year guarantee that guards against chipping on the rim, as well as discoloration or cloudiness resulting from washing. Lead-free and eco-friendly, this made-in-Italy glass will serve you and your guests in classic style year after year.
(Classic) Whiskey Sour
This recipe is from one of our favorite reads for food and drink inspiration. If you’re using the egg white, try to find organic free-range eggs straight from the farm (your tastebuds will thank you).
- 2 ounces whiskey
- 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 egg white (optional—use if you’re feeling mildly adventurous or need a drink with a little more gravitas)
- Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and shake for 10 seconds (if using the egg white, give it a little extra muscle and a little extra time).
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass.
- Garnish with a cherry, a slice of orange, both or neither!
This lovely twist on the classic sour has the punchy, fruity addition of apricot brandy. Recipe abstracted from The Washington Post.
- Ice cubes
- 1½ ounces bourbon
- ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ ounce apricot brandy
- ¼ ounce simple syrup
- Twist of orange peel, for garnish
- Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the bourbon, lemon juice, apricot brandy and simple syrup.
- Shake well, then strain into an ice-filled rocks or old-fashioned glass.
- Garnish with the twist of orange peel.
New York Sour
Gorgeously layered colors of golden orange and crimson red make this a showy cousin to the classic. Recipe courtesy of Liquor.com.
- 2 ounces rye whiskey or bourbon
- .75 ounce simple syrup
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- 1 egg white (optional)
- .5 ounce red wine
- Add all the ingredients except the wine to a shaker and fill with ice.
- Shake well and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
- Carefully pour the wine over the back of a spoon so it floats on top of the drink.
There you have it! Call up your friends, snag the essentials and you’ll be set for Whiskey Sour Day. Life is short and every smile is a direct achievement. These recipes will make you smile (and pucker).
At Luigi Bormioli, we take pride in our Italian-crafted, superior quality glassware. Your glasses, created using our proprietary SON.hyx ultra-clear formula, will retain their brilliant and transparent appearance and are backed by our 25-year guarantee that guards against chipping on the rim or foot, as well as discoloration or cloudiness resulting from washing. You will enjoy their beauty, durability and strength for many years to come. We aim to enhance your tabletop lifestyle and entertaining experience with a glass for every occasion. When the moment matters, the glass matters.