Simple Whiskey Sour Recipe

Whiskey sour ingredients are as simple as they come: a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a spoonful of sugar, and plenty of whiskey. For a Boston sour, add an egg white, too.

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Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Shaking with ice chills the cocktail without over-dilution.
  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice beats sour mix in terms of flavor and aroma.
  • Toasted sugar tastes less sweet than plain, with subtle notes of caramel to complement the whiskey.

It ain't fancy, but that's a big part of its appeal. Because at the end of a long day—scratch that, a long week—you just want a nice, easy drink. The whiskey sour, with the gentle bite of lemon tempered by a whisper of sugar, is a simple, go-to classic for a reason.

Recipe Facts

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Active: About 15 secs
Total: 2 mins
Serves: 1 serving

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Ingredients

  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or toasted sugar
  • 1 egg white (optional, to make a Boston sour cocktail)

Directions

  1. 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, or everything or nothing at all.

Special equipment

cocktail shaker

Notes

Whiskey sour mix, a commercial combination of citrus juice and sugar, is pasteurized for stability and a far cry from the vibrant flavor of freshly squeezed juice.

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