How to make a whisky sour cocktail

It's a classic cocktail that's easy to make at home.

Published 3rd Aug 2021
Updated 3 rd Aug 2021

The whisky sour, or whiskey sour as it's traditionally known thanks to being made with bourbon, first appeared in Jerry Thomas' The Bartender's Guide in 1862.

What's in a whisky sour?

The whisky or whiskey sour is made with a bourbon, or Scotch whisky, lemon juice, sugar and egg white.

These are shaken up and served with a citrus or maraschino cherry garnish.

Alternatives include a New York sour, which has red wine floated on top.

Whisky sour recipes

whisky sour
Picture: Shutterstock

Traditional recipe


  • 50 ml bourbon
  • 25 ml lemon juice
  • 15 ml sugar syrup
  • 1/2 fresh egg white
  • Ice
  • Cherry and an orange slice, to garnish


Fill cocktail shaker with ice and add all the ingredients except the garnish. Shake really hard for about 30 seconds.

Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice and garnish with cherry and orange slice.

The Old Pulteney Silver and Gold Sour

whisky cocktails

Picture: Old Pulteney


50ml Old Pulteney 12 Years Old

10ml apricot liqueur

Port Charlotte unveils first 18 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky

15ml fresh grapefruit juice

15ml lemon juice

5ml sugar syrup

15ml egg white (optional)

Grapefruit twist

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Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.

Shake well and fine strain into a cocktail or coupe glass, then garnish with a grapefruit twist.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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