How to Make a Whiskey Sour

How to Make a Whiskey Sour Cocktail
Dan Baker/The Manual

The whiskey sour is, hands down, a classic cocktail and one that is great both for people who love whiskey and for people who might be on the fence about whiskey (read: they haven’t tried enough good whiskey yet and it’s your job to show them the light). The first written references to the drink come from the late 1800s, though most likely the drink itself, like many classic cocktails, had existed in some form for a time before that. We enjoy this cocktail because it has all of the hallmarks of a good drink — spirit, sugar, sour, and a “weak” element (from that old saying)  — in proportions that have been dialed in over the last century-plus.

If you’re nervous about using an egg white in your cocktail, you could omit it (and, technically, the first iterations of the drink did not feature an egg white), but you will not have the same creamy mouthfeel or consistency. If you still want the mouthfeel but can’t get over the egg thing, you can find a substitute for egg white in aquafaba, otherwise known as chickpea water. If you’re doing that, you’ll want to use about two tablespoons per egg white. Either way, it is up to you. For our video, we omitted the egg white.

How to Make a Whiskey Sour Pour
Dan Baker/The Manual

Below, check out our video showing how to make a rye smash cocktail shot by The Manual’s own Riley Young with Eddie Riddell at Trifecta Tavern in Portland, Oregon. Trifecta Tavern is open nightly and serves up an exquisitely curated cocktail program (thanks to Riddell) and a variety of seasonal dishes from executive chef Chris DiMinno.

How to Make a Whiskey Sour

Glass: Rocks

Tools: Shaker

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1 egg white, optional*
  • Cocktail cherry, for garnish.

Method: Add all ingredients except cherry to a shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a rocks glass with a large cube of ice. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

*If using an egg white: Add all ingredients except cherry to a shaker without ice. Shake well. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a rocks glass with a large cube of ice. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

This recipe features Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey, the winner of the Bourbon category in The Manual Spirit Awards 2019. If you’re looking to find other cocktail videos, we recommend checking out how to make a Bee’s Knees, a Blood and Sand, a mojito, or a whiskey smash.

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