whiskey sour
Photo: Be at One

August 25 is National Whiskey Sour Day, so that seems like a fine occasion for rounding up a five-pack of whiskey sours. The traditional cocktail is comprised of either three or four ingredients, depending who you ask. Those would be whiskey, lemon, sugar and an optional egg white. We like to employ that egg white, as it adds a silky consistency to the drink that raises this recipe to another level. That said, you do whatever feels right. Now, here are five whiskey sour recipes, from basic to not basic, to help you celebrate this important holiday.


2 oz whiskey
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz simple syrup

Shake hard with ice, then strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge or cherry, if you must.


wildhawk - 9 deaths of the ninja

Photo: Wendy Suh

by Wildhawk, San Francisco

2 oz coconut whiskey*
1/2 oz pear eau de vie
3/4 oz white port
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz egg white

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin with ice and shake hard. Double strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass (preferably a ninja cup, if you’ve got one lying around) and garnish with toasted coconut flakes.

*Coconut Whiskey

25 oz Kikori Japanese Whiskey
1 cup toasted coconut
¼ cup fresh coconut

Add ingredients to a Cambro and let macerate for approximately two days. Strain when ready to use.


Photo: Jaime Smallbone

Photo: Jaime Smallbone

by Michael Avekian, Jasper’s Corner Tap (San Francisco)

1.5 oz bourbon
1 oz Chamomile syrup
1 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 egg white
1 splash agave
3 sprigs of mint
2 dashes orange bitters
1 bar spoon strawberry jam

Fill tin with all ingredients and ice. Shake hard, then double strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a sliced strawberry and mint sprig.

Sip & Sour

by Pamela Wiznitzer, New York

1 3⁄4 oz Baker’s Bourbon
1⁄2 oz Averna
3⁄4 oz cola syrup•
6 dashes Angostura Bitters
3⁄4 oz fresh lemon juice
1 egg white

Combine all ingredients (but just half the bitters for now) in a shaker without ice and shake vigorously. Add ice and shake again. Strain over fresh ice in a lowball glass and garnish with a lemon peel and three dashes of Angostura Bitters.

*Cola Syrup

1 can or bottle of craft cola

Pour cola into a pan and heat on low. Allow to simmer and reduce for 10 minutes until it attains a syrup consistency. Remove and allow to cool.

basil hayden's summer sour

By Matt Grippo, San Francisco

1 1/2 oz Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
1/4 oz tonic syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake vigorously for ten seconds. Strain into an ice filled rocks glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

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