Made with just a few ingredients, this Whiskey Sour recipe is a timeless classic cocktail that can be enjoyed for any occasion. We’ve included instructions to make it the original way with egg white, as well as the more modern way without. Whichever you prefer, you can’t go wrong with this whiskey cocktail.
Easy Whiskey Sour Recipe
Did you know that whiskey sours date back over a century? It’s said that they originated in the mid-1800s, making it one of the original whiskey cocktails. Though the technique and possibly some ingredients have changed, it’s still a strong, well-balanced drink.
Like most classic cocktails, a whiskey sour is made with just a handful of simple ingredients. Nothing fancy here, just contrasting flavors added together to pack a punch.
If you’re not a huge fan of whiskey or bourbon, this is a good recipe to start with as the lemon and egg white are a great distraction from the strong whiskey flavor.
What is a Whiskey Sour?
A traditional whiskey sour is made with whiskey, lemon juice, sugar, and an egg white. The egg white adds a creamy, rich flavor and a frothy texture to the surface, which is fun to drink.
Even though this age-old tradition dates back to the mid 1800’s, most bars don’t typically make it that way anymore and you’ll usually be served a whiskey sour without an egg white.
We’ve included a version with and without the egg below and you can decide which you like best!
Whiskey Sour Recipe Ingredients
There are just 5 ingredients in this classic whiskey sour cocktail.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Whiskey – We typically use bourbon whiskey. See below for notes on the best whiskey for a whiskey sour.
- Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice is essential.
- Simple syrup – You can either make your own (see below) or buy some at the store.
- Orange slice & maraschino cherry – Traditional whiskey sour cocktail garnishes.
- Egg white – We included variations of this cocktail with and without egg white.
What’s the Best Whiskey for a Whiskey Sour?
Since whiskey is the star in this classic cocktail, you’ll want to use a high-quality one. That doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive bottle you can find but definitely purchase a mid-price range whiskey. Bourbon is a type of whiskey and that’s what is normally used and what we prefer it for its sweeter flavor.
Try it with Maple Syrup
How To Make A Whiskey Sour (Without Egg White)
A whiskey sour without egg whites is made in just 2 steps.
- Shake. Shake the whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice until very cold.
- Serve. Strain the cocktail into a glass and garnish with orange and cherry on a toothpick.
How to Make a Whiskey Sour (With Egg White)
If you want to make a classic whiskey sour with the egg white, you’ll need to add just one extra step.
- Shake without ice. Shake the whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white for 15 seconds without ice.
- Add the ice. Add the ice and shake for an additional 30 seconds.
- Serve. Strain the drink into a glass. The foam will form a layer on the top. Garnish with the orange and cherry.
How to Make Simple Syrup
Simple syrup is a mixture of equal parts water and sugar and is often used to sweeten cocktails since the sugar is already melted. While you can buy it pre-made at any liquor store, it’s also super easy to make yourself.
Just combine 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan, bringing it to a simmer until all of the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool and add to your cocktails. It will last for 2 weeks when stored properly in the fridge.
Whether you serve it on the rocks or straight up, a whiskey sour is meant to be served chilled. Even if you’re a fan of room-temperature whiskey, it doesn’t go so well with egg whites or the other flavors in this drink. For garnish, Whiskey sours are typically served with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry on a toothpick.
More Classic Cocktail Recipes:
- Old Fashioned Cocktail
- Dirty Shirley
- Sex on the Beach
- White Russian
- Tequila Sunrise
- Bee’s Knees Cocktail
- 2 ounces bourbon whiskey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice , freshly squeezed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons simple syrup
- 1/2 orange slice
- 1 maraschino cherry
- 1 egg white* (see note below)
Whiskey Sour No Egg White
- Add the whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Fill with a handful of ice and shake until very cold.
- Strain the cocktail into a glass (with or without ice) and garnish with the orange slice and cherry on a toothpick.
Whiskey Sour (With Egg White)
- Add the whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white to a cocktail shaker without ice. Shake for 15 seconds.
- Add ice to the cocktail shaker. Shake again for 30 seconds.
- Strain the drink into a glass; the foam will form a layer on the top. Serve with or without ice and garnish with the orange slice and cherry on a toothpick.